As part of that day's events, I've planned a DVD montage of his life replete with pictures, music, and fun. One of the songs I'm using will be from his State Choir CD - rather gratuitous, I realize, but the song is spectacular and fits the mood of the particular pictures in that segment.
The prep time has been quite the journey for me. I've laughed and cried, remembering the good times and bad, as I've perused a lifetime of pictures. But the reminiscing has been quite interesting.
See the tears aren't so much for the pain of the hard times but the joy of knowing that my son has truly made it THROUGH those times. He's not stuck in a mire of pain and bitter memories but has learned so many valuable lessons that only the difficulties of life can teach.
Then when I look at all he's accomplished thus far, in his short eighteen years, it makes this momentous occasion that much sweeter. It gives both him and me great hope for his future endeavors. It is a balm of peace that God is still in control through the tough times and that He still leads us through and beyond them to greater life on the other side.
My pastor once talked about the song of the "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" and how that was a misnomer. A bridge implies that God keeps us over or out of the troubles of this life, but that is by far incorrect. He is not our bridge over troubled waters but our submarine through them.
Jesus promised that in this world we would have trouble, but that He has overcome the world. Therefore we have hope through the difficulties of life.
It is a beautiful thing to see that my son has been through life's troubles thus far and has made it through with his faith intact. There are struggles that await him in the future - of that, I'm certain, but I also have hope that he has the foundation in place to make it through those as well.
But let's just get through graduation first.