It’s been weird, y’all! I won’t rehash the dumpster fire of 2020, but you made it! Congratulations!
You’re headed to college or a job or some other plan that catapults you into the real world! It’s an exciting place full of opportunity to grow into exactly who you were created to be.
But there are some scary things out there too. You’re going to be tempted. You’re going to be pulled in multiple directions that all seem good and you’re going to have to make choices. You’re going to find yourself, lose yourself, and find an unexpected version of yourself all over again. You’ll gain friends, lose friends, fall in love, and get your heart broken. It’s going to be so messy and beautiful!
Some of you feel like you’re starting this next stage with both feet under you. You’ve worked hard, followed all the rules, and stayed on the straight and narrow path. My prayer for each of you is that you continue to do so. But, if you don’t – if you make mistakes you thought you’d never make – my prayer is that you know you are still loved and pursued by God. It is never too late to return to His open arms. I pray that the people in your life – parents, friends, mentors – will also pursue you in the good times and your rough patches, too. If you don’t have a person, I will be your person!
Others of you feel like you’ve already failed. You’ve made bad choices that have led to more bad choices and the beginning of your adult life isn’t shaping up the way most people expect it to. Maybe you feel hopeless and defeated. I did in some ways, too. I made poor choices in high school that led me down a path that left me feeling shameful and hopeless. My prayer for all of you is that you KNOW that it is never too late. Those people that seem to have it all together and seem to “get” this whole Jesus thing? They do want you to be part of that club! They don’t think you aren’t good enough to be one of them. They know the truth about Jesus – the truth that we are all sinners and Jesus wants us all to come to Him. If those people intimidate you or don’t seem welcoming – I’ll be your person!
Some of you are enjoying life and being a “normal teenager/college student”. I get it. Partying is fun. That’s why it’s so attractive. That’s why so many people choose that lifestyle. That’s why I chose that lifestyle. But, let me tell you this – the party always ends. There are usually some regrets – some things that make you say, “never again!” But then there is always a next time because that kind of fun has to be manufactured over and over again. That isn’t really fun. The real fun is knowing how valuable you are; knowing that there is a party that never ends; knowing that you never have to hunger or thirst for anything again. I know it sounds strange, but when you know you know! It’s such a better party and it doesn’t stop!
No matter where you are in your heart and soul, you are nowhere that God cannot reach you. You’ve got amazing things ahead of you. You’ve got a whole host of people cheering for you, whether you know that or not. I’m one of them. I am cheering you on! I want you all to have what I have now. And if you have no idea what I have, then I want to tell you. You can comment, email me, find me on IG, whatever you prefer, and I will be here for you.
So, graduates, go out into the world and make the most of all of it. Have fun! Work hard, find your way, and have a great time!