Reaping what they’ve sown: Trinity Lutheran High School graduates 39

Like a garden grows, so has the Trinity Lutheran High School Class of 2018.

In four years, the students have gained knowledge, made friends and developed their relationship with God through their classes, extracurricular activities and life experiences.

Now, they have reaped what they’ve sown.

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On Saturday morning, 39 seniors walked into the Bollinger Athletic Complex, dressed in blue and white caps and gowns, and walked out as graduates ready to plant anew.

Seniors Briley Abraham, Courtney Barker and Rachel Onken shared the responsibilities of valedictorian this year, each earning a 4.0 grade-point average. Senior Noah Criswell was salutatorian.

“I am confident to say that this entire class will represent Trinity well and its mission to educate, develop and prepare Christian servants and leaders,” Criswell said.

Onken said their “seed of faith” was first planted by their parents during baptism and has been nurtured and cared for in their time at Trinity.

“Through our daily theology classes and weekly chapel services, our seeds of faith have been watered through hearing the Word of God,” she said.

As they now prepare to go off to college or the workforce, those seeds of faith will be challenged.

“The world will try to sow a new seed in us — a seed of doubt,” Onken said.

Their educational and theological teachings, however, will guide them in the right direction.

“With the Holy Spirit and our Trinity experience, our seeds of faith have been planted on a firm foundation,” she said.

Growing and maturing has required different resources for different students, but there is one resource they all have needed, Barker said, and that has been God.

“Yes, there have been some storms along the way filled with challenges that tried to knock us over,” Barker said. “Our class has experienced schedule changes, a new principal, new teachers and other adjustments that took some getting used to. But our strong roots in Christ have held us firm and allowed us to spring up.

“Trinity has enriched us and caused us to mature through the knowledge and skills necessary for college and our future careers,” she said. “Now, as our growing stage comes to a close, we have the opportunity to sprout up before all nations. We are ready to bloom and share God’s Word with others.”

Sometimes, plants need to be transplanted from one location to another. That process can be too much for a plant, causing it to wilt, while other plants thrive.

The same goes for high school graduates, Abraham said.

“While growing, we each have developed a set of unique skills and attributes that have prepared us for the future, and now, it is time for us to apply those skills as we are transplanted on to our next stage of life,” she said.

Although each student is experiencing different emotions, from nervousness and excitement to curiosity and sadness, they can hold strong to the one thing they share to get them through.

“One thing remains constant of a Trinity graduate, our faith in Christ Jesus,” Abraham said. “No matter what challenges we face in our new locations, we will always have our faith, which will make us confident. … Though everyone reacts differently to change, we all share a common belief — our faith that is never-changing.”

Graduation is part of the transplant process, Abraham said.

“We started as seedlings, but now, we have grown,” she said. “As we say goodbye to a chapter in our life and are transplanted to our new locations, we should give all glory and thanks to God for all our accomplishments and for our future years to come.”