On June 25, 2016, we celebrated The Seattle School’s 18th Commencement ceremony at Seattle’s historic town hall. It was a day that was at once festive and solemn as our entire community gathered to honor the hard work of the graduating students in our Master of Divinity, MA in Theology & Culture, and MA in Counseling Psychology programs.

Each year, three graduates—one from each degree program—are selected to address their fellow students and all of those gathered to celebrate their accomplishments. Here, Bethany Bylsma (MACP) shares about rediscovering and learning to love her younger self, a little girl who waited patiently for Bethany to come find her. Bethany’s words are wise, bold, funny, and beautiful; you may want to grab a tissue before you watch this.

“Even when I found her, I tried my best to change her, to rewrite her cares and her heartbreak in some way. It was all I could do. That is, until The Seattle School taught me something about love. And in love, I stopped trying to change her. I let her heartbreaks be real and her joys be mine. And when I stopped trying to change this little girl and learn to love her, that’s when I knew I could be a therapist.”