Graduation Day

The moment was here. Six long years had passed since the dream had been established, and today – TODAY!! – the dream was becoming a reality. No more waiting. No more mourning a dream lost.

Anticipation filled the air and the audience sat on the edge of their seats as the guest of honor made his way to the front. His appearance was a shock to many. The last time they had seen him, he looked healthy. Now he had lost so much weight and looked like only a shadow of his former self.

But that was not going to stop him from being present in this moment. This was the moment he had yearned for, fought for, even put off death for. Along the way he had been told time and time again that it was impossible, that he would never reach this point.

But they were wrong.

6 Years in the Making

For those that follow our blog you know the story of Harvy – one of the boys in our program that has been fighting cancer for the past six years. You also know that his health has been rapidly deteriorating and the doctors have told us multiple times that he would not be with us much longer.

What you may not know is that six years ago, when he found out he had cancer, he made a vow to his mother and himself that he would graduate high school.

No matter what.

That said, as of a few weeks ago, he still had over a year of classes to finish. As you can imagine, it has been particularly devastating for Harvy to realize he might not reach his biggest goal in life or be able to keep his promise to his mother. She of course has always understood and would never hold him to that promise, but to Harvy a promise is a promise and he longed to fulfill it.

Not the End

Over the past six months our team has prepared for Harvy to leave us to go home with the Lord. We have raised funds for his funeral, worked with his mother to help her process through the loss that is coming, and spent time trying to help Harvy make sense of everything that is happening to him.

It has been a hard six months for Harvy, his mother (Sylvia), and our team. But Harvy has remained steadfast in his love of the Lord. He has not turned his back, changed his mind, or gave up his faith. He loves the Lord and believes the Lord loves him.

He is an inspiration to us and many others, including the teachers and students in his community.

During this time, unbeknownst to us, the directors of Harvy’s high school worked through the details to help Harvy realize his dream. They organized for Harvy to attend the graduation ceremony, receive sufficient credits to graduate, have the graduation exam waived, to receive a diploma alongside his peers, AND to be the guest of honor at the ceremony itself!! (See the pic to the right to see his face on the cover of the program!)

To say I am speechless at their generosity and outpouring of love would be an understatement.

Walter told me that when Harvy found out that he would be graduating his face seemed to beam with excitement, pride, and the fullness that comes with a dream realized. As they prepared him for the trip to the auditorium, Sylvia, Harvy, and Walter rejoiced together at what was about to occur.

Graduation Day

When they arrived at the facility Harvy was escorted to his seat of honor at the front of the student body. He had on a full cap and gown and sat with his peers, ready to graduate. As his name was called, he closed his eyes and took in the sound. The noise of applause was all around him, cheers of support rising from the crowd.

I can only imagine the joy that he felt in that moment. After waiting six years, then being told that his body was too weak to support his pursuit of his dream and that he would have to give it up, his goal had come true. For anyone that has ever long-suffered for a dream, you know how rich the realization of that dream is when it finally comes to pass.

I imagine that his mother was filled with a similar but very different joy. To watch her baby, her little boy, finally reach the goal that he had longed for. To know that whenever Harvy passes away he would not leave this earth hurting over a hope unrealized. I can only imagine the peace that would provide.

Making Sense of it All

Sometimes the Lord orchestrates such soul stirring moments that all I can do is sit in silence and ponder the amazing love he lavishes upon us.

God did not have to let Harvy live this long. He didn’t have to let him graduate. And He certainly didn’t have to surprise ALL of us with the news.

But He did. And so much more.

He looked upon His child that he loves so deeply, the same child that has been so faithful to Him, and he gave Him so much more than his heart could have ever hoped for. Not just enough life to reach graduation, not just the chance to graduate, but the chance to be the guest of honor at his OWN graduation, and to have his entire community support and celebrate him.

He graciously gave Harvy, Sylvia, Walter, Johana, myself, and so many others the chance to see Harvy reach his dream, giving us all a little more closure as He calls Harvy home.

He didn’t have to. But He chose to. Because He loves us.

What a great God we serve.

One Comment

  1. Karen Sanderson says:

    Amen and yes, He is a Great God! Congratulations Harvy!!

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