Graduation Party

graduation_hats_in_airIt is graduation season! A lot of people (children, teenagers, young adults and some elders) have graduated from school.  Some are completely done and others are simply going to the next level or another school to continue pursing their education in a particular area. For me – this is graduation season as well! I feel like I graduated from pity school to party school. A place to embrace the festivities. For this was certainly not the best start for a 2015 “new and exciting year”.  

January was justice for God.
February was frightening for me.
March was miserable.
April was aggravating.
May was madness.
June was jumpy.

Now July is approaching and it is an exciting time for me. I love the summer not only because I get to celebrate my big 40 milestone birthday this year but I get to enjoy days of beautiful weather. This is my favorite time of the year. The start of this year dragged so much with trials, travels, bad weather, and a lot of other changes for us. But we got through it….It is done. I never thought I would pull through! Especially when it rained [the bad days came], it really poured down on me. I felt like there wasn’t going to be any let up. Then I began to write publicly. This changed my focus. It also changed my life. This was a step in the direction that God wanted for me. As quickly as the words came, quickly I wrote them down to share. Many times crying through it, laughing or just smiling at what God was doing in my life. Overall, I am just thankful that I am able to experience a new place of joy and freedom in this avenue of writing.

This is why I call myself a “graduate”. I am in a much better place now, even though seeing the graduates left a mark on my heart and a pang of guilt because I didn’t know there would have been a graduation for me in 3rd year Bible Institute. With the rapid turn of events this year, the best thing for me was to take a break before I would have ended up with a major meltdown. I needed the time. I needed the rest. I needed to refocus my life and re-prioritize things. Not many will understand why I did so. I got all the sorry stares and words, “Oh, well you threw in the towel.” I did not throw in the towel. I threw in a flag and a banner that said “WAIT!” If I am going to do this, then I am going to do this the right way and at a healthy pace for me that would not compromise the most important things in my life. God sees all things and has allowed me to take this time for renewal, refreshment, restoration, rebuilding and reviving. There was nothing else left I had to give. The REST was necessary for me. For I know when I walk down the aisle next year for 4th year, I will have passed an even greater milestone for myself.

I did not allow pity to enter my heart at the graduation ceremony for them. That is what I graduated from! It is an internal thing. To feel myself coming to a place of wholeness is the biggest graduation I could ever attend. I am able to do many things that I was not able to do before. I smiled with them, rejoiced with them, took pictures of their moment for them and gave the recognition and honor they so deserved for their diligence in completing out this year. That took a lot from them. They are our church members!

imageThis verse came to me quickly when I was sitting there and that pang of guilt hit me for taking a break… and it is in Matthew 20:6, “the last shall be first and the first last.” It was as if the Spirit of God inside me was quickly calming me to let me know that I will also have a time to experience this as well. My journey down the road God has for me is just the right path and pace. Right now I will put all my effort in celebrating with others.

The best thing that happened last night was a promise for me. Even though you took the break, God counted that cost and will still allow me to make up the work and graduate 4th year with the rest of my group.  Only God does those things! I rejoiced even more.

Don’t get STUCK where you fell SHORT.
Let the Lord STRENGTHEN you, He will MAKE UP the Difference!
For every time you failed, fell short, collapsed, God said He’s going to make it up to you.
He’s going to pick up the slack. Where you fell short, Jesus stepped in!
“God’s strength is made perfect in my weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of God may REST UPON ME!” [2 Corinthians 12:9]
Bishop T.D. Jakes

So no matter what the situation is currently, I am so comforted at this time in my life to know that I am a Grad in the eyes of God. I feel it myself. I view that over my own life. The cap and gown didn’t do it for me this year…it was the prayer and His word. It was taking the time to study more privately and learn the new things that God had for my life. If I hadn’t have done that, I would have never experienced the victory that I am dancing in now. It is time for our party! We all have something to celebrate. Right now I will celebrate the peace and joy that is resonating in me. For I thought this day would never come again.


~Forever Thankful.

About Christina

Blessings to all that are viewing this. My name is Christina Cruz-Mendez. I am a Senior Pastor at Mission United International Church in Yonkers, NY working along side my husband Juan A. Mendez Jr. Senior Pastor, currently residing in Canton, Georgia. We have been together for 29 years with 2 children that God has blessed us with. Makes us the family of four - "JusChrist4". I have been a Christian and active in ministry for about 22 years now. Through all the rocky and smooth roads in life I am eternally grateful that God has brought me this far in life to share with the world what He is doing in me, through me and for me. View all posts by Christina

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