coffee, tears, and ending: a letter to the graduates of MHGS 2011

I snuck into the Graduate breakfast this morning. The goal: to fill my coffee cup with that sweet nectar of life (plus cream and sugar). I got my coffee and then I crashed the b-fast festivities.

One thing I will say about my school is that the administration, the faculty, and the staff are not blind to the hard work that goes into getting a degree from MHGS (or The Seattle School, I’m still having a hard time embracing the new name). They know what it’s like to delve into your own life, your own relationship, and yourself in order to be a better vessel to help others do the same. They know. They are very aware of this journey, and for that I am grateful.

The Graduate Breakfast is a time when the graduating class gets to share a meal with faculty and staff, and they have a hour to share stories. I listened in on some of the stories and this is what I want to say to the graduating class of 2011 from Mars Hill Graduate School…

–(Some of these words came from things people shared at the breakfast, some are from conversations I’ve had with graduate friends, and others are mine, all mine)–

Dear Graduate,

Your stories have profoundly impacted the cohorts that come after you. You have done good, hard work during your time here and that has not gone unnoticed. I am changed because of my relationship with each of you, and I carry you with me.

My gratitude for your journey is inarticutable (I think I just made up a word)… point being, I cannot articulate my gratitude for you; your openness, your bravery, your vulnerability, and that dash of madness that comes from the wellspring within you has made me feel as though I, too, can be brave. I, too, can be transformed. That I, too, can choose to not merely survive life but to thrive within the confines of body, earth, and time.

Well done, to each and every one of you. I say well done.

My prayer is that you will know, to the deepest level of your soul that you are good. Know, please, that you have done good work. I pray that God will show you blessing for all your pain, your heartach, you tears, and struggles. I pray that you will love yourself, as you have taught me to love myself – not inspite of my flaws but because it is my flaws that make me lovely.

Your flaws are lovely.

I have a hard time ending, grieving the loss of another year, another cohort gone from these walls, another beginning in site. I have a hard time allowing myself to feel the emptiness your leaving brings to me. I pray that I will feel the sorrow, I pray that I will continue to acknowledge the impact you have had on me.


Now, having said all that, I really want another cup of coffee but I think I’m done with life transformations for the day.


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