This is my story. A story that proves that God still reveals his plans for our lives, and He uses every experience – both good and bad, and works them together to bring those plans to pass. This is a story of faith. Unwavering faith in God. I pray that all who read this will be encouraged that their light afflictions, which are just for a moment, will work for a far exceeding and eternal weight of glory. 2 Corinthians 4:17. Some of the names in this blog are changed to protect the identity of the characters in this story.

It was December 12th, 2005. I stood in line in a hallway at the Benedict College arena awaiting the student procession. After four years of hard work, it was finally graduation day! As I stood, I took frequent glances at my graduation gown, the yellow honor cord on my neck signifying Magna Cum Laude; I couldn’t believe graduation day was already here. The graduates continued to get in line as they arrived and soon it was time for the student procession. We began to walk into the arena with the academic staff, professors who taught me the past four years lined up on both sides of the hallway clapping and cheering as we proceeded to the arena for our graduation ceremony. That moment made my four years at Benedict College worth it. It was an emotional experience.

I walked into an arena full of guests, students, proud parents and then I spotted my mum and siblings on the bleachers waving and beaming with pride. I waved as I approached my seat. After the student and academic processions, the president of the college approached the podium and the ceremony commenced. Then, my favorite part the ceremony came and boy, we were in for a show!! Benedict College graduations were quite interesting and extremely festive. With no limits on the number of guests the graduates could invite, you could be sure that cousins, parents, siblings, church members, uncles, grandparents, et al would be fully represented and ready to show out! As soon as a graduate’s name was called, there would be loud cheers, whistles, sometimes tambourines from the guests and you would hear the mommas screaming, “That’s my baby!!” and calling out the cutest and most embarrassing nicknames, “Go Pookie!!”, “Go Nay Nay, Yes!!.” The graduates didn’t come to play either. They would do flips on the stage after receiving their degree, throw the peace sign, dance, kneel and thank God, or do a step while throwing up their fraternity signs, and others simply walked across the stage with a big smile after receiving their degrees. “Sana Ndon!” my name was called to receive my Bachelor’s degree in Physics, my family and friends jumped up and cheered. I walked across the stage with a huge smile on my face although I had initially contemplated kneeling with my hands up to God right on the stage. God deserved praises for seeing me through college.

After the graduation ceremony, I walked out ready to take on the “real world”. I had my post-graduate life all planned out nicely. I was going to work for a year, take the GRE exam, apply for graduate school to study Environmental Engineering, and get a decent-paying job after graduate school.

I was finally outside the arena then suddenly my mom, family, and friends ran towards me and embraced me with everyone taking turns to congratulate me. I posed for tons of pictures while holding my shiny purple degree holder which I was careful not to open in any of the pictures. Inside the purple degree holder was a nice little letter with the Benedict College letter head reading: “Congratulations on your graduation! You will receive your certificate when your balance of $11, 000 is paid in full”. I held my degree holder with pride and celebrated, we would worry about the letter later.

To be continued….