Concordia commissioned alumnus Tanner Olson to write an original piece for commencement. The poem is titled "Before You Go."
Olson has been writing, sharing poetry, and telling stories online and in person since 2013. He is the founder of Written to Speak, an online creative project that blends faith, humor, and curiosity as he seeks to point readers and listeners toward the ultimate source of hope and love, Jesus. He has published multiple books of poetry, and has reached No. 1 in Christian poetry on Amazon with his work.
His published works include:
Walk A Little Slower
As You Go: Words for the Unknown
I’m All Over the Place
Continue: Poems and Prayers of Hope
Before you go
By Tanner Olson
Before you go
Take a deep breath and remember the Truth you’ve come to know
That hope gets the final word
and His Grace is never gone
mercy has been written over every single wrong
And when you are weak His love remains strong
keep your eyes above and begin with love
and hold fast to the beauty that continues to last
There is joy in every day
And good is always on the way
there is promise in the pain
and peace in the sorrow
and just like tomorrow
you can begin today
knowing He carried you through yesterday.
And what is happening today may never happen again.
Look around and you’ll see
A group of people ready to change history.
Step into it.
The uncertain and unknown, but know with certainty you are never walking alone.
Through the steps forward and steps back, the surprises and cracks
The questions and suggestions, the raises and unexpected phases
You are never walking alone.
And when it gets difficult,
And it will get difficult.
This is only the beginning.
And you are ready.
Prepared to be the light in the darkness
The hope for the hopeless
The voice for the voiceless
Together we will change the world one day at a time
We can be the ones to remind love is worth the climb
We can be the ones to be the light in the night
We can be the ones to stand for peace in the fight.
And we will be the ones who live uncommon.
From dusk until dawn
Today until gone
We, we will live uncommon.
Join Olson’s nearly 50 thousand followers on Instagram, where he shares daily encouragement and hope on his platform @writtentospeak. Follow Tanner Olson on Instagram and Facebook, and visit his website at writtentospeak.com.
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