College will be a huge change. I know it is for most students, but I look at it differently than some of my friends who have, or will be, graduating. I've been homeschooled from 3rd grade up. Even now I still wish I could have changed that, at least for the last year or two of high school. There are many things I miss... being with friends every day; being able to ask a question when something didn't make sense in class; gym time; attending student meetings. There are also things that I'm not going to be able to do that I had always looked forward to, mainly: a real graduation ceremony. I'll be finishing school soon, and once I complete that very last class it's just over.
That's it. Done.
Somehow it's like an unfinished book. You read and read for hours, you finally get to the last chapter which wraps everything up, then you close the book, disregarding the final chapter. I've gone through 12 years of schooling, I come to a close, and... what? That's all there is. I will now just move on to the next 'chapter' of my life.
So there's no graduation ceremony, and yet I'm still satisfied. Here's why... God's brought me closer to Him! He has been with me every step of the way, never letting me go. Sure, I've taken plenty of falls, but He had helped me back up. I don't believe I would have seen as much spiritual growth as I have, had I attended a Christian high school. I'm not saying there would have been no growth. I'll never know what might have happened. All I know is what did happen.
Just thinking about everything that's lead up to who I am now is completely overwhelming to me, even as I type this out. My God is such a gracious, merciful, magnificent, patient, caring, and loving Father. I can't begin to write all that He's shown me, especially in these last 2 years. Everywhere I look, each memory that comes to mind- it all comes back to Him. I'd like to leave you with a few thoughts, some areas in which God's hand had control.
The fact that I was able to get through all 12 years of school amazes me. I went to a Christian school in 1st and 2nd grade, then my mom decided to try homeschooling my sister and I. It was such a long time ago I can't remember what I thought of the idea at the time, or even what my first few years of homeschooling were like. One memory I do have was saying goodbye to some good friends. CCS was where I made my first best friend Liz. Knowing that I probably would never see her or anyone else again was quite saddening to a little girl like me. I was (and still am) shy, so making friends could be hard sometimes. The friends I was able to make became close, and I was leaving all of it. Over the next few years the Lord brought new friends into my life, some of who I still keep in contact with.
Stepping into high school brought on new challenges, yet many I tried to overcome on my own. At the time I don't think I was very close to the Lord. I was always in church, always playing the piano each week. I brought my Bible on Sundays and Wednesday nights. I loved God. But He wasn't a major part of my life, only when "big things" came up.
It was when I went on our yg's mission trip to Mexico last summer where my heart changed. I don't want to repeat what I said previously on my trip, although I could go on and on =) I would encourage you to read for yourself in an earlier blog post. The point I want to emphasize most right now is this. God showed Himself through the people in Mexico. Serving Him was most important to those people, many of who I am blessed to call my friends (and there are ever-so-many stories to tell there!). After being with them for 10 days, I realized I wanted what they had in my own life more than anything I'd ever wanted. So I chose to reach out to God, and was blessed beyond measure. It's impossible to express all He's done in one year, or what He's shown me He is able to do in others. If you're around me for any length of time you'll undoubtedly hear about God's faithfulness in my life. I love sharing what He's done!
All this to say, I want the Lord to continually be first in everything I do. Trusting Him isn't always easy, but in the end it's definitely worth it. It brings an unexplainable joy and peace to my heart. Going to college isn't going to change that. There will be new challenges, new friends, new experiences. The Lord is the One I will go to and lean on to get me through the next four years, which will prepare me for the rest of my life. My prayer is that others will see Him through me. I want to spend my life serving Him.
Please pray for me as I finish my last week of school, for my preparations for college this summer (physically and mentally), and my first semester at Maranatha College.