• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Milestones And Memories

I had the honor to be in the drive through “Clap Out Parade” in the church parking lot for our preschool four year old's. The teachers and available staff went out and cheered for these children. We had music, clappers, signs, banners and we all cheered as the children rode by. A sign at the end said, “Have a Great Summer”! Some of the kids looked like they were in a parade and waved to all of us and some looked like, “what is this all about?” Many waved out of the windows, some stood in the sunroof of the car! Some even stood in the sunroof holding a sign saying, “I LOVE YOU!” for their teachers! Most of the kids were smiling and many of the mom’s were crying. It brought me back to my girls preschool days and how I cried at those milestones. Being a part of these memories and milestones brought tears to my eyes.


Our director told us leaving the week the way they did, was very unsettling and emotional for the entire staff, as well as the kids. They sent home packets, maintaining contact through Zoom, FaceBook and dropping items at the student’s homes. They wanted to have closure to the year for these young kids who do not understand why they can’t play with friends or come to school.


This year is particularly hard due to the stay-at-home orders issued. Some people with graduates, of any age, may feel as though they’ve been robbed of once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. There are those seniors who bought their perfect prom dress and never got to go to the prom. Seniors missed out on their last high school sports season. Once schools were closed indefinitely educators and students had to figure out how class would be without a classroom. Teachers have gone outside of their comfort zones in learning Zoom, Google Classroom, reading to a class with video, FaceBook and FaceTime. It has been a learning experience for the teachers and the students. Graduation ceremonies and parties cancelled. Some of these milestones have been planned for 13 years.


Then there are the rest of us who have futures also and we are always graduating into new opportunities and seasons of life. Even in our old age we can have exciting futures. Remember Abraham and Sarah! They had their future change at the age of 99 when they had a baby! No matter our age, young or old, we should go boldly and look for every opportunity that God gives us. No matter what our circumstances are right now we can trust in the fact that Jesus Christ will be with us every step of the way!


We must all continue to remain hungry for knowledge. Paul urged his friend Timothy to “continue in the things you have learned.” 2 Timothy 3: 14, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it.” God has a plan for all of us and it is better than anything we could ever imagine. Jeremiah 29: 11, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” He knows each step we will take before we take them. He knows our every thought before we think it. God knows us better than anyone and better than we know ourselves. Psalm 94: 11, “The Lord knows the thoughts of man…”


Even during the times of a pandemic we must trust that God sees the whole picture and we only see one piece of the puzzle. We must walk by faith, trusting God, to lead us. There may be new ways to do things, a change in our plans, a different route but whatever it is, know that God loves you and has your best interest! Each year the last chapel at our preschool is about Jesus telling the children how much He loves them and how important they are to Him. And Jesus’ message has not changed. He loves you and you are important to Him! We are all His children! No matter what age we are!


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