Written by Kylie Hallmark, fellow homeschool senior
Life is hard. Exciting. Full of joys. And sorrows. But also really hard.
Which is why we need Truth and Hope to carry us through. And Truth sometimes comes in the most unexpected ways.
Our senior’s name is a wisp of smoke, there then gone in a moment, her name a droplet amidst the billions in this world. But she is not here without purpose, not in existence without meaning. Although humanity will probably never know her name, our Creator does, and He named her Melina Baracker. To every name, He assigns a place, a culture, home, and society. For Melina, she was born in Kalispell, Montana, 2003, and raised here all her life. Currently, she lives south of Columbia Falls.
Since the age of seven, Melina was homeschooled. As a primary rule, she was always encouraged to read and dig ceaselessly for pure, unabridged truth. Now, Melina has access to treasures of truth buried underneath society’s education enforcements. One of the things she has learned is that victors write history; but not all victors write truth. A healthy dose of curiosity and skepticism never hurts when it comes to what is taught, and that which is normally accepted may not necessarily be correct. Hidden truths hide round every corner, if one only looks for them.
Growing up, her favorite homeschooling activities were 4-H and its Shooting Sports program. Through that, she’s developed acute competitive precision and a high capacity for calmness under stress. Gratefully, she thanks all instructors for their prodigious teaching.
From a young age, Melina loved writing, which started as poetry on a blank page. But at twelve, her family moved. Her dad had been hired onto the railroad, and he was rarely home. New experiences, hardship, and emotions created a need for a greater creative outlet, so she switched from poems to novels. Since then, writing has become her life. Now, she has a whopping six novels completed and more in the making. She has found, sometimes, as Caleb Robinson says, “…fiction is the only thing that can show us reality.” Stories reveal beauty and ugliness, darkness and light of the past, present, and future.
Among other hobbies, she also enjoys singing, songwriting, filmmaking, studying history (primarily 300 BC – 300 AD and 1800 – present), listening to music, hunting, immersing herself in space exploration, reading great books, fangirling Star Wars, kayaking, hanging out with amazing people, drinking chai tea and occasionally sleeping.
This about sums up Melina’s past. In regards to her future, she’s not entirely sure where she’s headed. What is certain—she will never stop learning. A long list of history books awaits her for when the tassels are turned! After graduation, Melina will keep working, finish her novels, and publish them traditionally. After that, God only knows. Some possibilities are EMT training, piloting, counseling, or teaching English overseas.
For Melina, as it is for all seniors, graduation is intimidating. The transition from childhood to adulthood is a terrifying reality, but one all must face. Roy Benett said, “There are five important things for living a successful and fulfilling life: never stop dreaming, never stop believing, never give up, never stop trying, and never stop learning.” This is her battle cry as she embraces adulthood, forever rooted in the grace of her Lord and Savior.
Before closing, Melina thanks her mother for being the strongest person she’s ever known, her best friend, and mentor. “Mum, if you cry at my graduation I’m gonna too, so let’s not go there,” she says. She would also like to thank her dad and sister for being some of the most amazing people she has ever known, and everyone in CWW for all their support and encouragement.
Melina urges those about to graduate: immerse yourself in learning. There’s a difference between going through the motions versus actually paddling through the knowledge presented in your education. Pursue what you love; even invest in what you don’t. Stay open-minded always, and take one day a step at a time. Education sets your foundation for life. Put in the effort to make your foundation strong!
In conclusion, from porgs to platypi or tiny wizards that turn her friends into tree stumps, life is hard…but He is hope in this world. Life is hard…but never stop fighting. In the end, it’s always worth the journey.
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid; yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, that thou mightest be justified in the sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. ~ Romans 3:3-4