Sheer Joy

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Cheesing...as per the usual. I am finding myself overwhelmed with gratitude for the love I received over the past week.

On May 18, I graduated from Eckerd College in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. I finally graduated after originally beginning my pursuit in 2007 (eight years prior) and studying at three very different schools. It was my goal since the day I first enrolled in classes, but for various reasons it took me many arduous years down winding roads to achieve it.

But what really has me swirling in a tornado of love is the support of everyone who joined me in celebrating. Twelve of my family and friends from all corners of the United States and several local friends celebrated this milestone occasion with me. They sacrificed countless hours, vacation time and money to be with me. Two of my best friends traveled fourteen hours overnight both ways just to watch me walk across the stage. Family flew into town from Seattle, Chicago, New York and Houston, and travelers from my hometown of West Monroe, Louisiana and Coral Springs, Florida. It was a tremendous showing of love and support that I will never forget.

It has not always been all good things and achievements though. My friends and family have loved and supported me through the most tumultuous times in my young life. Times when I questioned myself and God, when I was lost as a goose, when I was searching for belonging. What's more is that they didn't always understand me, but chose to love me anyway. They didn't understand why I had to move across the country or why I have such a one-track mind with a type-A personality. All of that didn't matter to them though. They chose to trust me to listen to the Spirit and make good decisions. They chose to support me when I couldn't see through the weeds of day-to-day life. They chose to love me regardless of my past or mistakes. That's a crazy kind of love - a kind which I hope to emulate.

I wish I could express in words the sheer joy I felt from receiving this kind of love. I wish I could tell you how much it means to hear so many people tell me they are proud of me. But as the old saying goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words".

With a crazy kind of love, PriskaTabitha