As I sit, perched on my undeserved bench overlooking the Pacific with a warm coffee in hand, the fog rolls out, and the boats become visible, while the fish are reeled in.
I am a high school graduate, a college graduate, and I have promising career opportunities ahead of me.
At the age of 26, I remember gratefully that the first half of my life was spent at Cherry Hills Christian School. From the nursery through middle school, and the occasional Sunday service when a baseball tournament wasn’t being played, there are few places I have lived more life than within the brick hallways of Cherry Hills. I learned to be a kid while there. I painted by number; counted to 100; struggled to read; admired my teachers; played soccer against the older kids at recess; went on class field trips; was entranced by history; and imagined with my friends the never executed, most epic food fight of all time.
I won school basketball games and thought I was pretty cool. I got nervous for tests, failed tests, aced tests, and cheated on tests. I had a crush on a girl. I was exhausted, cold, frustrated, growing — and then I went to practice. I received grace, smiled huge smiles, shamefully accepted consequences, and wrestled with perfectionism and crazy amounts of energy.
Quietly, almost unknowingly, I was loved by my teachers, friends, chapel speakers, administration, coaches, and parents. A guy named Jesus was somewhere in there, too. And I learned about Him. And I believed in Him. And I think I prayed to Him. But it wasn’t until later, when I reflected back and continued to be nudged, that I knew He was true.
Cherry Hills is where I grew up. And I will always be grateful for that. Wherever I am, and no matter the circumstances, I will always be a part of the CHC Lions’ pride. As you all so graciously loved and cheered for me, I, too, love and cheer for you.