I was on YouTube (go figure) and an advertisement popped up for Aeropostale. Before the add allowed me to skip, a question popped up in the ad:
“Are you who you were a year ago?”
That question instantly struck a chord in me. It wasn’t a question I really had to ponder to come up with an answer; the answer was a resounding no. This past year has changed me in ways I could never have anticipated or prepared for. I am not the same person that I was a year ago, and I’ll never be that person again.
The question did get me thinking though. If I’m not who I was, who am I?“
At the beginning of my junior year, I was aggressively uncertain about the vast majority of my life. The class two years ahead of me had been a huge influence on my high school career until that point. They were graduated and moved on which meant that I had to start stepping into leadership roles and responsibilities which, quite frankly, terrified me. I wanted to be a little girl for the rest of my life, which meant that growing up was scary. Speaking of growing up, I’d been thoroughly informed by the people before me that junior year would be my most difficult year of high school. They, of course, thought they were talking about ACT tests, college applications, rigorous curriculum, the most difficult religion class I’d ever had (woot for Christian schools!), and taking on the responsibilities of an upperclassman. Yessiree, I was quaking in my boots. I had no idea what God had in store for me.
I’ve talked quite extensively about all of the terrible things that happened to me in the past year, but I haven’t done a whole lot to dwell on the highs of the roller coaster.
I haven’t told you about how I had the opportunity to participate in the most fun and most rewarding musical that I’ve ever done.
Or how I finally sprouted a pair of wings (or rather, a driver’s license) and the freedom to start taking on my own life.
You didn’t know that my God used and inspiring woman who has become a strong mentor to me to give me a Bible study that He used to speak to me so many times when I needed him most.
Or that He gave me the most timely religion class (woot for Christian schools!) so that I would have no doubt as to the power, love, and complexities of my God, even as my friend stated with such conviction in class on his final day of life on this earth.
I had the best season in speech that I’d ever had last year. I was able to break finals seven times total in seven meets, one being a meet two size classes higher than our school.
I was able to grow the closest I’ve ever been to many of my friends and teachers, even my family.
I began to gain confidence in my skills as a musician, and, in turn, as a person. I was the lead saxophone and soloist in my jazz band, and I finally joined the school choir after having been afraid of being horrible for so long.
After school got out, I took a life-changing tour of Europe, and it is a treasured memory and experience that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
I started this post thinking that I was going to go into detail about everything that changed me this year, but I decided that would take far too long. Needless to say, it’s made an impression.
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that life is like a kaleidoscope. Nothing is ever the same, and you can’t keep your favorite beloved image in it for long. But every little shift brings out a new and beautiful collection of colored shards of glass and mirrors. Death is never a good thing, but God can bring beauty out of the ashes. Whatever God is doing in your life, whether you like it or not, is a part of His perfect plan. We only see a sliver of God’s work, but we trust that He is making it beautiful.
So here I am, at the threshold of my senior year of high school. I get one more year in this incubated environment before I take my first step into the real world with college. My question for me (but it’s kind of for you too) is this:
What am I going to do with the time I have?
God has blessed me with an opportunity in this day, this hour, this very minute. How am I going to use the time I have to glorify Him and to live life to its fullest capacity? Life doesn’t hang around for you to live it. I’ve learned over this year that I have nothing without my God, but with Him I have everything. So I plan to take that everything into the world and spread it. I want to show God’s undying, unfading, unyielding, absolutely perfect love to the world. I know that love for myself, and it has blessed me beyond comprehension. Life here isn’t perfect, but one day it will be. For right now, we have a job to do. We are called to live and thrive and love with everything in us, because those are the resources that God has given us. We are nothing if we are not His children. So now I ask you, what are you going to do with today?