Two months ago, a wonderful couple in our community offered to fly me to Kentucky for my grad-school graduation. Knowing that the timing would be close with the birth of our second son, Kayla and I wondered if I should do it or not. I'm always up for a trip, especially if there is a chance for some adventure - so we decided to go for it, and I couldn't be more thankful.
Zion was born on Friday. I graduated on Saturday, and returned to Van Buren on Sunday.
I was surprized at how much I needed the whole experience. It had not just been four years of papers and books, Kayla and I were blessed with life long friendships, intense seasons of joy, and some very difficult trials as well.
One day I was taking finals, Kayla already back in Arkansas for the summer. The next I recieved a call informing me that we had had a miscarriage. The next I was in a U-Haul with all of our belongings never to return to Wilmore as a student again. It was like I had been snatched away against my will, yet I was too enveloped by shock to fight back.
Now, a year later, after the dust has settled, I returned. I thought I was going to graduate, and I did, but I recieved more than just a degree. This time I left Wilmore with a picture of me in graduation attire next to my favorite OT professor. This time I left Wilmore with some of Korrie Harper's sweet tea on my lips, and some of their front porch breeze still in my hair. This time I left with the tears of Dale Williams on my shoulders and his words still lingering in my ears.
This time I left Wilmore with a smile, all the way down to my soul.