As soon as I heard the first couple of chords play, I knew I had to stand, sing, and cry out to God for His grace and mercy. A couple of moments later four or five people stood up out of nearly 18,000 graduates sitting on the football field. It was toward the end of Liberty University’s 42nd annual commencement ceremony when the band played, “When I Think About the Lord” it’s an old Gospel song that reflects on the providence of God.
As the song played, I experienced a rush of emotions. I was overwhelmed as I heard the lyrics of that song “when I think about the Lord, how He picked me up and turned me around; how He placed my feet on solid ground; it makes me want to shout hallelujah thank you Jesus Lord you’re worthy of all the glory and all the honor and all the praise!” I stood and lifted up my hands and with tears streaming down my face, I sang that song as hard and loud as I could.
A couple of moments later, nearly 18,000 graduates stood up, many of them with hands lifted in a sign of surrender to a Holy God. What a moment! I thought about the amazing grace that God has shown me and I couldn’t help but stand up and shout. I wept uncontrollably for several minutes.
This year was certainly challenging with work, school, and family pressures. However, I wasn’t crying because I had survived the workload of this past year (I wrote well over 400 pages of research papers, book reviews, and discussion boards). I sobbed because I was reminded of God’s hand on my life. His hand is on my life because I’m a son. Because I’m redeemed. Because He loves me. It made me shout like the song so elegantly and passionately declares, “hallelujah, thank you Jesus!” I haven’t had a moment like that in a long time where the tears just kept streaming. I was so thankful for how the Lord has blessed the Briscoe family.
It was emotional moments like standing in that stadium, littered throughout the weekend, that filled my heart with joy as I celebrated the succesful completion of my second master’s degree.
This year I earned a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from Liberty University’s School of Divinity. Tracy and Luke were there to see me walk across stage. Kudos to the Liberty staff for organizing and running graduation efficiently and joyfully. Every staff member/volunteer was all smiles and eager to answer any questions we had. I really appreciated that the volunteers and staff were always quick to say congratulations to the graduates.
It was so neat being in that stadium with all those graduates. The excitement was tangible. As soon as I walked into the stadium and saw the stands filled with people, all the early mornings and late nights in Starbucks and the UNF library felt worth it. At first, I was a little skeptical of online education. However, I thank God for the education that I received. My professors were always helpful and caring. The discipline it takes to go back to school helped me in a lot of areas in my life. I feel more refined and sharp.
Liberty University has been an amazing experience. I’m sad to move on, but I’m grateful to be apart of the Liberty family. To God ever be the glory.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.