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MLC grad, Mary Falk
Dear Graduate,

When your senior year began, I'm sure you could have never imagined this. You maybe had goals in sports, drama, or band. Maybe you worked your butt off to be at the top of your class or perhaps simply to graduate. You wanted to savor these last weeks of your high school or college experience—these last weeks with your friends.

And then came the coronavirus. Each day brought new cancellations. Along the way, you hoped your favorite activity, sport, or competition would still eventually be able to happen, but then it all got cancelled.

I know you are disappointed. You may even be angry—angry with the coronavirus, angry with the government, angry with God for taking away one of life's great milestones. That's why I wanted to write you this letter to let you know we hear your hurt and feel your frustration. I also want to share with you a thought which may help heal that hurt.

I encourage you to look at what is happening right now as the greatest lesson you learn in your high school education.

In your life you will make many plans and goals. You will dream and desire to do great things. Many of those dreams are within your reach. You can control how well you plan and how hard you work to achieve those goals. Oftentimes our dreams don't come true and our plans fail because we fail to put in the effort.

Sometimes, however, things happen outside of our control.

As the old Scottish poet once wrote: "The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry."

Your life is not only defined by how well you control the things you can control, but also by how well you respond to the things you cannot.

My grandfather never walked the graduation walk. He had to leave school to work on the family farm during the days of the Great Depression. Though disappointed, he achieved many wonderful things in life, not the least of which was raising three sons to be godly men.

Yours is not the first generation in history to lose a precious piece of their youth to unforeseeable and uncontrollable circumstances. Some generations have responded to such setbacks by becoming stronger and wiser. My grandfather's generation is now known in history as the "Greatest Generation."

How are you going to respond? I encourage you to respond in faith—and to remember God's words to his people when tragedy struck them many centuries ago.

"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11).

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry, but God's plans never do. God has plans for you. He worked all of time and history to bring Jesus into this world to save you from the hell you deserve for all the bad things you have done. His plans for you end up with you graduating one day to the glory of heaven.

Believe in him and one day you will walk that glorious walk and receive your diploma.

Meanwhile, God has plans for you. At times, he is going to allow things to happen in your life which are out of your control. He does so to teach you, to form you, and to make you stronger. You are now at a crossroads in your life. How are you going to respond to these events which are out of your control? I know you are frustrated and heartbroken, but my encouragement is that you respond in faith.

My prayer is that you see this—right now—as the greatest lesson you learned in school.

Written by Forward in Christ editorialist Andrew Schroer and posted on his blog, 364 Days of Thanksgiving. Please forward to the graduates in your life. Photos are courtesy of Martin Luther College, whose graduation and assignment services were held virtually on May 16.
MLC grad, 2020 glasses
MLC grad, son handing diploma
MLC grad, Zarling mask
MLC grad, stage on patio
MLC grad, trampoline
MLC grad, poster
MLC assignment pic, Tyler Roecker
MLC assignment, Emily
MLC assignment, huddle
Campus ministry

Campus ministry survey

It's graduation season, so we have college on the brain. WELS Campus Ministry is celebrating its 100th anniversary, and Forward in Christ wants to share stories and photos from campus ministry students over the years. Here's how you can help. We put together a quick questionnaire through Survey Monkey. Forward this link to students and alums that you know: Or, fill the survey out yourself if you've participated in a WELS campus ministry.

Explore the May issue of Forward in Christ:

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