Friday, May 08, 2009

Commencement Speech

Ok friends, the speech is finally over and it went really great so I thought a good place to post the speech would be right here on my precious blog. Here it is, although you don't get the emotion with it. Let me know what you think! :) Anthony took video of it so maybe if I can figure out how to edit it and put the speech on youtube I will do that and put a video of it on the blog. Hopefully I will be able to figure that out! ;)

Here it is....

When I was asked to speak to you today, one thing immediately came to my mind. “ I can’t believe after three years of these people knowing me that they still trust me to speak in front of a large group!” Honestly, it was absolutely the most wonderful thing for me to hear because I realized it was an affirmation of how much work I had done in this program. In Zechariah 13:9, it says that fire refines us and tests us in our lives and work. In my case, the fire of Grad Psych has done both. I came into this program with a lot of battle wounds. I had lost a lot in my short 26 years and had overcome a lot of obstacles including a diabetic diagnosis that almost took me out of this world, witnessing suicide first-hand, abuse, broken dreams, and like everyone, a lot of heartache before I darkened the doors of my beloved home, Graduate Psychology.

These challenges did not suddenly stop just because I came to the program either. In the 2nd year of my program, my 13 day old nephew and step-mom were killed in the same day in a tragic car accident. You would think that this would have stopped me in my tracks and made me quit. It sure didn’t! This program gave me some amazing tools to not only do therapy with but also to use in my own life. I learned to stop and grieve my losses even when it hurts terribly. I learned to lean on others through pain and allow their support to help me when I had no more to give. I learned to listen to these brilliant professors when they said their famous words, “No Erica, I am pretty sure that is your stuff!” Most of all, it taught me that although we are all alone in our suffering as humans, there is a God that loves me and is always holding us through it. I can honestly say that there were days that I felt Grad Psych saved my life.

There are a few things that got me through Grad School that I have to give credit to; my awesome professors, my classmates who are going to be amazing therapists, marrying the love of my life and relying on him through thick and thin, my amazing friends who are my family, and the love of my grandpa who although could not make it here today in body, is here with me and proud beyond measure. He would probably have some car analogy to let me know that by saying I was “built Ford tough.” Those things right now would be amazing to hear. Luckily this program taught me how to give myself what I need and today I need to be proud and I am. I am proud of me and all of you (turn to look at other graduates) It’s been a long, hard journey and we finished the process that God started.

The biggest question I get these days is “Man, Erica I bet you are so tired of school and ready to be done. You must be burned out.” To that I respond, “Nope, not burn out or burnt up, just more refined gold.

1 comment:

JayneSees said...

Beautiful, Bettie!

Warm, real, and honest.
Good for you!