graduationReturn for Graduation

“Hey, Mom,” Sarah asked me, “did you get the email from the university telling you that graduation starts at 8:30 and not 8:00?”

A bipolar disorder doesn't have to derail your future. bipolar,mental health,graduation,success

“Not yet,” I told her, “but I haven’t checked my email lately.” I thumbed through the schedule of graduation weekend events, marveling at the differences between my graduation and my daughter’s graduation.

My class had the distinction of holding the first outdoor graduation. Her class will graduate on the Centennial Green—a special outdoor amphitheater developed over the years specifically for graduation ceremonies. Our class worried about the weather, her class warns the attendees to bring umbrellas in case of inclement weather.

My alma mater has grown from a college to a university in the 31 years between graduations, and the program reflects the changes. The weekend offers a variety of receptions, dedication ceremonies and events. “Which things do you want to go to?” I asked Sarah. “Did you see the bell tower signing? You, Dad and I should all go sign it together!”

Ten years or so ago, the main administration building got torn down, and a new one built in its place. The University invites the alumni and graduates to sign the bell tower, so Sarah, Pedro (also a graduate) and I plan on climbing four flights of stairs to sign it together. Somehow, Pedro and I both missed this tradition during our graduations.

Our daughter's graduation doesn't represent just an academic achievement, it represents a mental health victory! bipolar,mental health,graduation

Hope for the Hurting

Our daughter's graduation doesn't represent just an academic achievement, it represents a mental health victory! bipolar,mental health,graduationI look forward to our return—I haven’t attended a graduation there since my own. Pedro finished mid-year and decided not to return to attend his graduation since we had moved far away. Sarah won’t just graduate—she’ll be doing a victory lap (metaphorically speaking).

Sarah has overcome major roadblocks in her life, so to see her graduate six years after she finished high school will be a victory celebration. At times, during her no good, very bad, horrible year, I hovered on the edge of despair.

The prayers of friends gave me hope that Sarah would have a future—that God would save her and return her to us. And God answered those prayers. We have journeyed from ‘unfriended’ (she unfriended me on Facebook at one point) to best friends.

If someone you love struggles and you see no end to their woes, I urge you to pray. Pray for discernment and wisdom to listen and speak in season. Never forget that God loves your loved one even more than you do. He sees the way and the why in impossible-looking situations.

God gives hope to families whose loved ones struggle with a mental illness. #MentalHealthAwareness #bipolar #fmfparty Click To Tweet

“May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope.” Romans 15:13


  1. Cheers and fives up top(virtually). I know this has been a tough last four years for you and her! Go girls! Way to persevere and give God the glory along the way. Prayers for a happy return to campus this summer. Jenn, FMF
    jennifer cook recently posted…Return to “The Man”My Profile

  2. Love this victory for us all! Prayer and good parenting and trusting God and learning as you go has worked! Greater victories are ahead – I just know it.
    Love you!
    Karen Sebastian-Wirth recently posted…PAUSEMy Profile

  3. Way to go Sarah! Def a victory dance!
    This has been a time of ivercoming for you all.
    And the reminder tgat God loves our loved ones even more than us, hard to comprehend but oh so true

  4. i’m so happy for you anita:) i’ll be sharing this one for sure! i have a few friends i talked to just this past weekend who are still in the hard time you are talking about…when there doesn’t seem to be any hope. this post is very hope-giving for whatever GOD has planned for a person’s child! blessings for you and sarah as she moves forward after graduation:)

  5. Thank you for this, Anita. It’s beautiful, and I also gain encouragement from it. This week I will be having a conversation with someone I was friends with for 27 years; we had a conflict 5 years ago and while we still see each other, things were never resolved. Maybe this conversation will be a start. Your words “Never forget that God loves your loved one even more than you do. He sees the way and the why in impossible-looking situations” give me hope. Congratulations on your daughter’s graduation — I hope this is a joyful time.

    Jeannie (#31 in the linkup this week)
    Jeannie Prinsen recently posted…Five Minute Friday: RETURN – my last trip to the farmMy Profile

  6. Anita, what a wonderful post. Your last paragraph especially gives me hope. It really is true that God loves our kids more than we do and He can reach them when we can’t. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor this week at #TellHisStory.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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