Estimated reading time: 3 minutes:-)
For most students across the nation, school starts within the next one or two weeks. My first day is in five days. That’s it!
I’m going to be a senior this year, and it’s daunting. School looks different. People have changed over all the months we stayed at home. Routines are not the same. How can I be a leader in all of this? It’s crazy.
Truthfully, I’m having a hard time finding peace right now. Senior year is looking different than what I hoped for. My senior soccer season has been condensed and modified, as if it is a thing of little importance, cast aside. My friends have moved away, moved on, moved apart. I feel like I’ve forgotten what a normal outfit looked like over quarantine, so there’s that. And I’m running out of time to finish summer homework, reach publishing deadlines, prepare for school, and have a few last moments of summer fun with my friends.
I don’t know what lies ahead. I’m too scared to get my hopes up, because so many times in the last few months I’ve been let down. So I find myself in a fog, a stubborn numbness to the disappointment around me, a conflict about the future.
But God has something greater planned than the disappointments that surround us now.
2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us a glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, for what is unseen is eternal.”
Wearing masks everywhere you go is temporary. It won’t last forever.
Watching the world burn around you in chaos and division and conflict is temporary. It won’t last forever.
Even here, when you look at yourself in the mirror and all you can see is flaws, even this is temporary. It won’t last forever.
Beloved, you still have a future and a hope! Even if things don’t look the way you expected them to be, you will still find joy in unexpected places. You can still laugh! Yes, the world is crazy right now and perhaps you’re just as conflicted as me about what life will look like in the next year, but you are still allowed to smile.
Proverbs 31:25 says, “Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at a time to come.” This laughing is not disrespectful or ignorant. I laugh because I have found the joy of Jesus! And when the world falls short, as it does every time, Jesus is my hope.
My friends can testify: when things are falling apart in my life, I often say, “It’s okay, I’m still going to heaven.” It’s silly, because heaven seems so far away and the worries I have are so pressing and real. But it is true. You are allowed to find joy here because you are still going to heaven! And that is reason to celebrate.
I hope that you can find peace in these times. God placed you here, in this time, for a reason. You will be disappointed. You will have more cancellations of things you cherish. You will still struggle this year. With school. With family. With health. With friends. With relationships. With life.
But this life is such a gift.
And you will also laugh this year. You will find new friends. You will see Jesus in new places. You will smile so many more times! You will see the leaves fall again, the snow drift down, the flowers peek from beneath frozen ground. You will dance again. You will sing again. You will look at something so beautiful it stops your breath. You will feel the air on your face again, and it will feel like a wild piece of heaven.
You will find joy this year—Jesus.
Have hope, beloved. Because all the things you wish you could change are temporary. But your king, Jesus Christ, who loves you more than you can imagine, is forever.