"Stepping Onto the Grass" — A Note from a Parent of a Recent Cedarville Graduate
March 28, 2016
While your family may be anticipating a high school graduation, we want to share a story written by a mom reflecting on her daughter's college journey that passed so quickly. We share Kim and Brie's story with you for encouragement and perspective on how God can use the next four years in your student's personal, professional, and spiritual development.
Investing in students' lives is why those of us on the faculty and staff choose to serve at Cedarville University! God sends us the most amazing students, and we are humbled to be a part of how God is working in their lives for His glory.
Three years ago, our daughter, Brie, walked across the graduation stage, shook the president's hand, and received her diploma in nursing from Cedarville University. It seems like yesterday we dropped her off at Getting Started Weekend with a dream to become a nurse.
During her preceptorship prior to graduation, she cared for a baby in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Dayton Children’s Hospital who was 2 pounds and could fit into the palm of her hand. A dream come true. As she told me of this little baby, my mind flashed back to Brie as a child playing on the sidewalk of our little country home. Today she is a compassionate, strong, and professional nurse. My heart is full of gratitude for Cedarville University — for its passionate and professional faculty and staff, for the transformational experiences, and for the encouraging and supportive friends.
When we built our first home, we had the task of seeding the surrounding three acres. Brie, 4 years old at the time, had to stay on the cement patio as the grass slowly grew. Soon, green lush grass surrounded our home. One day as she played on the patio, we realized she was not venturing out to play in the yard. She would carefully put her little toes out to touch the soft blades of grass, but she would quickly pull her foot back with a giggle. On one hot July day, I was sitting on our blue front porch swing watching Brie play. I called out to her, "Step onto the grass." Because she had spent weeks avoiding the unknown territory, she looked at me with surprise in her face. I said again, "Step onto the grass. It is OK. Go explore."
At that moment I didn't realize that "step onto the grass" would be a key phrase in our relationship. As I think of her years at Cedarville, she not only stepped onto the grass, she jumped. Cedarville University gave her opportunities to explore, share the Gospel, and serve Christ on the other side of the world — as she cared for rescued prostitutes and their children on the brothel lined streets of Chiang Mai, for the sick in a remote jungle village of Cambodia, and for families in the slums of poverty-stricken areas of Asia. She became the hands and feet of Jesus while sharing the good news of salvation.
Passionate and professional faculty and staff stepped into her life and made a difference. After watching our daughter journey through university life, I observed the impact of great men and women of faith inspire her. They took the time to encourage, direct, and guide her. Brie graduated with an incredible education from outstanding faculty.
Brie experienced transformational opportunities in her time at Cedarville. She worked as a Resident Assistant; she served as the Communication Director for Student Government Association; she traveled on the Civil Rights Bus Tour; she studied in Spain for a summer Cedarville’s International Programs; she was involved in community projects, professional development opportunities, and much more. Opportunities abounded all along the way.
The encouraging, fun, supportive friends she made will last a lifetime. Cedarville is more than just what occurs inside of the classroom; it is outside the walls of academia, too. I could not recount all the stories she told me about her four years at Cedarville. I heard stories full of adventure, silliness, and fun; conversations about life, God, and relationships; and grand memories of concerts, Elliv, sporting events, and more.
Because of her time at Cedarville University, I saw Brie become more of the woman God designed her to become.
Because of my faculty status, I sat on the platform during graduation in my own regalia, and got to meet her on stage to congratulate her. Brie and I cherish this moment and have talked about it often since she graduated. It was just a few seconds in time, but it took my breath away. I looked into her eyes and said, “Step onto the grass.”
At Cedarville University since 1989, Kim Ahlgrim serves as Associate Dean for Academic Enrichment. Her team assists hundreds of students to achieve their academic goals, and Kim is known for her deep care and concern (not to mention her enthusiasm and passion) when helping students succeed academically and spiritually.
P.S. For students who have already been accepted to Cedarville University, be sure to submit the $250 reservation deposit to ensure their place in the incoming fall 2016 class!
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