In perfect formation they came around the corner; perfectly suited up shoulder to shoulder and not a step out of pace. I’ve never seen such a beautiful display of pride and humility. I looked and scanned the group of Marines to find his face and as I looked at each one of them they all held such a glory that told a story of absolute victory. The miles they have run, the hills they had to climb, the obstacles they had to get through, the mental and physical exhaustion endured, the pain, the loneliness, all of it was over and now they stand in this place, in front of all who matter the most to them, to receive an honor given to the few, the proud, the Marines. I found his face among the hundreds of young men and I couldn’t have imagined the eyes of my baby shining any brighter. He is a Marine; He did it; He finished!! I imagined the little boy with big dreams who grew to be a young man whose dream was a reality. As I sat there I remembered many moments just like this before in my life oh sure none of them are of me in uniform but I have been a victor clothed in pride and joy. I have tasted the faithfulness of God who carried me through some of my darkest battles. I believe we all have at one point in time. Life is full of training grounds and battles that we must pass through and conquer. This life we live is not easy and can be down right cruel but those of us who have Jesus have a hope that sustains us like a letter from a loved one while away from home. We have this expectation of good out of every situation no matter how daunting it may be at the present moment. We can see through the pain and visualize the promise of victory. We are reassured through the word of God that if we don’t lose heart we will receive our reward. A reward that far surpasses the long journey behind us and more enjoyable than we could ever imagine. We all have a graduation ahead of us if we just stay the course. Just like my son isn’t done with his training neither are you and me. There will always be something more to be learned, to be discovered. Each time we finish we go from one glory to another, from victory to victory. You see this life was never meant to be our comfort zone it was only meant to be a training ground because in going from glory to glory it means we go from one training ground to the other. If you are still alive then it is not over and neither is your purpose!! You may be in a training season that seems pointless or your own war and you’re battle weary and want to give up. Let me tell you what I told my son over and over while he was in boot camp…You got this!! You were created for victory so finish strong!!! God hasn’t brought you here to let go of you now!!! Don’t’ miss your moment to be an example of the sustaining hand of God, don’t let defeat rob you of the pride of victory!! Be strong and courageous for the Lord your God is with you!! The feeling of relief that flooded my heart when I got to touch him and tell him just how proud I was of him. Tears streaming down my face as my heart was bursting with pride and joy. I will never forget this moment of absolute perfection and don’t you miss yours…you’re almost there!!