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By Amy Bode

Graduation Day.

Those two words seem big. Momentous. Life-changing.

And in many ways they are. Tonight the 8th grade class will walk across the stage and receive their diplomas.

Some students have been at Timothy Christian Schools since preschool. It’s not that hard to imagine them as three and four-year-olds bounding out the side doors at Timothy and scaling the tree next to Mrs. VanderNaald’s classroom.

In fact, it seems like just yesterday. But over a decade has passed since those preschool days and they are ready for high school.

Other students came in elementary school, 6th grade, or for some 8th grade was their first year at Timothy. But no matter when they came, one thing remains true: The teachers and staff work tirelessly to build a community where each student feels confident to not only hone their unique gifts and talents, but to grow and deepen their faith.

This is a talented class of artists, musicians, actors and actresses, athletes, scholars. They have deep friendships and connections. There were some beautiful, unforgettable moments this year—moments of triumphs and defeats. But there were also moments where the students’ blossoming faith was so evident it was a reminder of why Christian education—and our Christian community—is so important.

Late in the fall, the boys’ junior high soccer team won the conference title for the third year in a row. After the game, a Timothy father gathered the parents around the boys and prayed for them to always—win or lose —keep their eyes focused on Jesus. It wasn’t about the conference title or the trophy or even soccer, it was about the boys’ hearts and eternal implications.

That was a reminder of our community of faithful parents.

At the last choir concert, Kate Buikema’s voice filled the auditorium, leaving the audience in stunned silence during her solo.

That was a reminder of teachers who nurture and tend to student’s God-given gifts and talents.

Or at the final middle school track meet—many records were shattered—but after crossing the finish line, runners gathered together and prayed.

That was a reminder of students’ maturing in faith.

There were so many other awe-inspiring moments for this class. Some happened quietly in the classroom with teachers, during Bible study, others on the basketball court.

This class will have many other unforgettable moments in high school. They may have four more years at Timothy Christian Schools to grow and develop and mature, but tonight they have taken a significant step towards independence, towards adulthood.

But that is what God intended. And that is precisely why Timothy Christian Schools is so important.

To the Class of 2021: May you continue to grow in the knowledge of Jesus Christ over the next four years. May your hearts be grafted to your Lord and Savior. May you strive to glorify Him in all you do. And in four short years­—when you walk across the stage for the final time—may you continue to be disciples of Christ who go out and transform the world.

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