These are two of the girls in my youth group, at camp five years ago. Tonight they will graduate from high school.
I am so proud of them. I really am. But I can’t help but feel a little nostalgic as they grow up and move on. When I first started working with the youth at my church, these girls were sixth graders. Now they’re practically adults.
We had a youth service honoring the seniors last Wednesday. They shared a lot of funny memories, and Jason played some old video clips. We had a great time. At the very end of the service, he played a pretty typical slide show of photos of the seniors growing up. I had done pretty well until then, but as I watched the pictures scroll by, tears welled up in my eyes.
Within minutes, I was a blubbering mess. And when I say I was a mess, I mean that very literally. My mascara was everywhere, my nose was running, and at one point, I blew my it so hard it started bleeding. (Thank you, pregnancy!) I couldn’t help it, though. These kids are special to me. No matter how many more classes of seniors we graduate in our youth ministry, the class of 2011 will always have a special place in my heart.
I also couldn’t help thinking, as I watched the faces of the parents who were in attendance that night, that it probably doesn’t seem very long ago at all to them that they were taking the baby pictures that we showed. And I wondered how fast the days will slip away until I’m sitting in those chairs, watching my own baby walk away and be a man.
So if you see my eyes watering a little more than usual this week, don’t assume it’s allergies. I’m just feeling a little sad as I say goodbye to some wonderful young men and women.