As a toddler, Songbird attended a Montessori School that held “Moving Up Ceremonies.” No graduations for such tiny students. Yet we parents wanted to mark learning and growth milestones and celebrate our peeps’ progress. Mainly, we just couldn’t resist the opportunity to watch those tiny feet march up the aisle and see our little people wearing their fancy dresses and suits, holding candles. Yes, it was more fun for us.

Last weekend, we marked another major family milestone. A graduation graduation—and I’m saying it twice so you know it was the real deal. When Songbird made her way up the aisle, she wasn’t tottering or clutching something flammable. She strode confidently in her heels and cap and gown, smiling from one bedecked earlobe to the other. Songbird owned that moment, and not because she looked gorgeous in her formal black robe. She’d worked diligently to don that honor shawl, to line up with her fellow graduates, to move toward a new stage in life and away from all she’d learned and known before. Us included.

I had to struggle to see her. And not because her tassel kept tickling her nose and obscuring her face (which it did) or because I had to peer through a throng of people (I sat in front). It was just difficult to see her through my happy-sad tears. Hubby and I—and really, all the little people—were so proud and excited because we’d helped her reach this goal. And this time around, it was more her doing and for her good.

Moving up. Graduation. We’re all striving for it. Not the kind where you get a sheet of paper with gold-lettered writing. When you pose for cringe-worthy photos. That draws you back in ten years to celebrate at a reunion—one you’ll probably skip in twenty or thirty.

The moving-up ceremony we believers faithfully strive toward is the one where we hear that ultimate “Well done.” We’ll wear white robes marking us as saints of God, bearing crowns more precious than any cap and tassel. And when it’s over, no tear will obscure the beauty of His glory.

Nothing can hold a candle to that.

For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Philippians 3:20, 21



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