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GRADual Insight

“Madeleine Mae Temple-Lowe.” My heart raced as my name rang out among the sea of people. This was it—the most exciting moment I’d worked so hard for! Homework cram sessions, exorbitant amounts of coffee, endless hours of crying, studying, and writing . . . it was finally paying off. Glancing toward the audience, my thoughts froze as the announcer proceeded to read my accomplishments. I couldn’t help but search the crowd for my family who had driven 10+ hours to support me. Anxiously searching for their faces, I finally spotted my father towards the back entrance, smiling at me. His gaze was filled with pride and love. Walking onto the stage, I gleamed with excitement as I grasped my diploma. Over four years of dedication and hard work had led to this exciting moment. I had officially finished college!

After my graduation ceremony, the day proceeded with warm hugs, well wishes, and an overload of pictures.Family and friends had come from all over the world to support and celebrate a loved one’s achievement. As I glanced around at fellow students, hundreds of faces were smiling with pride at the accomplishments well earned. Every graduate had reached a specific career goal. For some, that meant pursuing a degree in nursing, business, education, media, or graphic design. But for me, it meant achieving my lifelong dream of being the first in my family to graduate college. I’d always dreamt of pursuing a career in writing, and now I was one step closer.

Graduation day exceeded all my expectations. It felt incredible to be recognized for reaching an important life goal and I found myself wishing the day would last forever. Although graduation day was unforgettable, my previous four years of college were more than difficult. Success seemed too far to grasp during those exhausting school years, and sometimes I had all I could do to climb out of bed for an early morning class. I won’t lie, moments of frustration and anxiety often crept in, presenting me with the idea of quitting altogether. But when those thoughts plagued my mind, I focused hard on the end goal.

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14, NIV).

A life of achievement and hard work will present setbacks, but however daunting or impossible the journey may seem, the end result will be rewarding. Regardless of where you are in life, it’s important to continue pressing toward your goals. Take hold of opportunities, and with God’s help, conquer the challenges given, striving to be better than you were yesterday. With prayer and perseverance, you will climb your way towards achievement, and when you do, it’s a mountain-top experience!

Madeleine Temple-Lowe writes from Indiana.

 

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About Madeleine Temple-Lowe

Madeleine Temple-Lowe

writes from the midwest.

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