One of my students called me yesterday. She is in a predicament. She needs to graduate this semester. If not, she ages out. 

She needs to pass just my class. She has struggled previously and this is another attempt. There is added pressure as her dream job will not be available if she doesn't pass. She is less than 15% away from having enough points in class to pass, but the hardest items for her to complete stand before her.

I assured her that she will do it. I provided her a plan to do it and then she said, "I can't be there at graduation if I pass."
Immediately, without any hesitation, I asked, "Can you make it up to the Twin Cities? (she lives in Rochester)" 
"I think so," was her response.

"Let me know the time and date that you can make it up here. When you get here, I promise to be here. We're going to put you in a cap and gown. I'm giving you a tassel. You will move that tassel from one side to the other. You will have that experience. You have worked too hard to come this far to not have that experience."

I could hear a crackle in her voice. "You would do that for me."

"Yes."

This is what education is all about for me. When a kid gets it. When kids don't give up no matter how tough that road is they travel. Why? Because it matters.

Yesterday was not about a paycheck. Yesterday, today, and tomorrow is about who matters the most. My students. 

This is my life. Just because I received a diagnosis of Parkinson's a few years ago, it doesn't mean I stop living. No matter how difficult my days are, I have a goal, just like my student. 

Reaching that goal isn't easy. My doctors told me that, my body tells me that, too. But in my corner rooting me on is the greatest Teacher one could have. He didn't give up on me, no matter how much I struggled or at times avoided the fight. I can count on Him being there for me because I matter to Him. 

"Long before he laid down Earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love..."
Ephesians 1:4

"We love because He first loved us."
1 John 4:19