Not everyone does this, but I sent out Graduation Announcements. I am the first person on both sides of the family to graduate with a college degree, let alone a JD. I worked hard, really, really hard for what I have achieved. So I had pictures taken and wrote a graduation letter to go with the pictures. Here is a copy of my announcements:
To My Wonderful Family and Friends…..
For seven years I have worked towards one goal: to graduate law school. I remember when I first dreamt of being a lawyer. I was nine years old and sitting in Judge Miller’s courtroom. The trial was an intricate dance and fascinated me. As an adult, I realized that following this dream was essential to my life purpose. I remember sitting in a school gym where my church met on Sundays, watching a video clip of Indiana Jones crossing an invisible bridge, and hearing a dear friend of mine explain that steps of faith are like that. Take that one step, and the bridge will be there when your foot lands. This friend also shared the following verse: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Law school seemed impossible. I was a single parent of a young child, had little money and people kept asking, “How are you going to do this?” To me, that was not the question. The real question was, “How can I not?” I took that first step, and I have never looked back and God faithfully provided the next rung on the bridge every time.
There is a saying in law school, “First year they scare you to death, second year they work you to death, third year bore you to death.” I was never scared. The first day I walked through the doors of the law school, I was a nerd, I cried. I felt at home, as if I had finally found my place in this world. I was the only first year law student I heard saying, “I love law school.” Every day was a new adventure. My second year, I enjoyed not so much school, because I was an old hand at that. What I enjoyed was my first legal job. I liked knowing that I worked in a place that helped children. And the saying held true, between the professors and my job, I was worked to death. My final year, school really did bore me. However, as a third year law student, I became certified to appear in court. I argued cases, worked on trials, questioned witnesses, and conducted hearings. My first appearance freed a little boy for adoption. I will forever remember this little boy’s name. My prayer, as I drafted the final judgment, was that God would bless this boy and his new family.
The road has not been a struggle free. There have been many ups and downs. But one thing remained constant, the assurance that the path I was on was the right one and that God was paving the way. My life has been greatly enriched by my experiences in law school. I have not only become booksmart, but I had to think about who I am and why I think and believe the things that I do in this life. I have come to treasure the people who surround me. I can’t begin to thank my friends and family enough for the encouragement, the affirmation, and the hours when you sat and just listened to me in my times of joy and pain. There are no words.
As I look to the future, I realize that this journey is not over, but just beginning. Law school was only preparation for the real work of impacting lives and living out my purpose. I don’t know what the future holds, and the path before me remains uncertain. But I believe wholeheartedly that the rungs of the invisible bridge will continue to appear as I take each new step in this journey.