Blessings of a Pandemic Graduate

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Ecclesiastes 3:1

My college graduation, the day that I dreamed of for four years, was supposed to be May 9. Of course, the Coronavirus pandemic changed that, and and the commencement ceremony is now postponed indefinitely. I could dwell on everything that Covid ruined and let myself be bitter. I admit that I gave into my bitterness from time to time, but this never satisfied me. I remembered to keep turning to the Lord, which helped me to keep radiating joy during this time. There are things that haven’t been the same because of Covid, and it hurts and it’s okay to feel sad about it. While I let myself feel those emotions when I needed to, I learned to recognize the blessings that the Lord has given me through Covid, particularly on my graduation day.

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Not having graduation the way that I wanted it was a lesson in humility. Something that I learned from Fiat 90 was detachment. I’ve been learning how to let go of earthly things to seek the kingdom of God. Growing in detachment has helped me put my will aside to follow God’s will. It hurt to have to let go of my plans and dreams for graduation, but I’m glad that I did. He doesn’t take away something good from us only to give us something mediocre. God had plans for my graduation day that were still so good, and spending my graduation day at home was better than I ever could have imagined.

I’ve heard that you don’t know what you have til it’s gone, and I’ve heard that absence makes the heart grow fonder. Everything about this pandemic has taught me to appreciate blessings as they come. I talked on the phone with one of my best friends from college a few weeks ago. We caught up and talked about a few of our favorite memories together, like getting together in our dorms to do homework and listen to music, our heart-to-hearts, and bouncing artistic ideas off of each other. We certainly didn’t take those moments for granted, but we agreed that we would have cherished them a little more. I’m looking back on college more fondly now that my time at SRU was cut short.

At first, I didn’t understand how something good could come from something as distressing as a global pandemic. I kept praying to recognize the Lord’s goodness during this time. Slowly but surely, he softened my heart so I could see the blessings that came from this less-than-ideal situation. This is probably how I was able to enjoy my graduation day so much.

I celebrated my graduation with a beautiful day at home and then at my aunt and uncle’s house. I started my day with a holy hour and logged into to a heartfelt dance department Zoom call where my dance faculty shared some beautiful words with me and the other seniors. Nathan came to visit and we took beautiful graduation pictures. (My Mama should really be a photographer because the pictures turned out gorgeous.) We got together with some family to have dinner and play board games and card games. The whole day was filled with joy. Everything about it was lovely as I was surrounded by loved ones who made every moment special. It wasn’t the day that I expected, but it was a day that I’ll cherish forever.

I can’t exactly say that I’m glad that my commencement ceremony is postponed indefinitely. I still want to walk and see my friends in their caps and gowns. I’m glad that this was the alternative. The Lord gave me countless blessings that made my graduation day better than I ever could have imagined. It was filled with so many people and things that I love. I know prior to graduating I was heartbroken that my plans had been shattered, but looking back on how beautiful that day really was, I wouldn’t change a thing.

Stay radiant!

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Published by madeline_mckissick

Originally from Western Pennsylvania, Madeline spent a year of service in Washington DC before settling on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. She and her husband, Nathan strive for holiness and Sainthood by living simply and intentionally with their eyes fixed on God. You can find Madeline wearing cardigans, enjoying a charcuterie board and a glass of wine, playing board games, spending time with her loved ones, and sometimes doing all four at once. Check out and @radiantwjoy on Instagram!

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