Valedictorian understands God’s gifts
CAPTAIN NANCY HALVERSON
Editor’s note: The Crossbearers Session’s top cadet gave birth to her third child May 23, 2002.
I want to share with you today about packages. Think back. Have you ever had the chance to watch a baby or toddler open a present and notice what they do? Often you will see the child is more interested in the box the gift came in and the other wrappings than in the gift itself. Are we as people of God more interested in the outer wrappings and appearance of His gifts that we fail to notice the actual gift?
Our two years here at Crestmont have shown me a few things, I have learned about several different packages and learned to see the gift inside. The first package God taught me about was people. Twenty three cadets of the Crossbearers session, all of us different. We have a variety of backgrounds and gifts. We are Tlingit, Brazilian, Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Canadian, Korean, and American. We have the gifts of teaching, pastoring, music, preaching, encouraging, intercession. Some of us are quiet, and some are the life of the party. God has made us all into different packages and has done a wonderful work in each of us to prepare us for the work ahead. God has been establishing us over these two years as we prepare gifts to give to others; He wants us to be a blessing to others. We’ve grown closer to Him and to each other and I know that I am grateful for each unique person I have spent two years with, God’s gift to me.
The second package I reflect on is the experiences of the past two years. Packages may look good on the outside, or bad, but only I can choose to treasure the gift found inside. Some of the experiences we have had while being here were not so good, and some were great, but we have all taken something from the times we have had here. God has given us gifts to reflect on and learn from. We have experienced learning the rules and the schedule, getting to know one another, out Sundays and brigade work, spring campaigns, dinner theater, bell ringing, special picnics and fun days, summer assignment, commissioning, lots of class work, time frustrations, the Olympics, house duties, and the list goes on and on. Some of these times were the best I’ve ever had and some of these things were the most difficult things I’ve had to face, but God has spoken to me and to all of us and used all of them to teach us and make us grow. I challenge all of you today, and especially my session mates, to look deeper and see what God wants you to see within the experience and and within people.
The third package I think of today is God’s plan for our future. I speak specifically to my session mates, but this applies to all of us. In two days we will be given an appointment and it can be so easy to judge the package. God may send you some costly packages, or some cheaper packages. We must not worry if they are done up in rough wrappings. We can be assured that hidden within that rough package there are treasures of love, and kindness. What God has in store for each of us may not be what we had in mind, and the package may be deceiving, but God has wonderful treasures planned for every one of us if we will only look deeper and discover them.
God wants to bless us with the packages around us, through people, through experiences, through the future. Each of these are good and perfect gifts from the Father that we must treasure.
Fellow Crossbearers, take this promise with you. All these gifts come from the Father. Look for the gifts within the package. But even better than that is the promise that God will not change and He will be faithful. He will always be beside each of us. Treasure the people God has put in your life over the past two years, look back and enjoy the good memories and learn from the hard times and look to the future with anticipation of the good gifts God is going to give to you.
Academic Achievement Awards
Principal’s List with Honor
Michael Halverson, Nancy Halverson, Lisa Smith, Eric Wilkerson, Janet Wilkerson
Principal’s List with Distinction
Joel Harmon, Kelley Lutcher, Ramón Ocaño, Joshua Sneed, Carlos Souza, Erica Unmi Yang
Principal’s List with Merit
Moy Hernández, Jr., Tina Leicht, Michael Lutcher, Gildete Souza