Many of you are going off to school over the coming weeks. Others may find yourself in the workforce for the first time. Whichever state you may find yourself, this letter is for you.
An exciting future awaits you. Perhaps a little trepidation as well. I would like to encourage you today with 3 truths and 3 to-dos. No worries here, there won’t be a test later, just take what you need and leave behind what you don’t.
I pray there is even one truth here that will encourage you on your journey.
You are loved
While I do not know how many years you have graced this earth, there is one truth that I know for a fact. YOU ARE LOVED. Scripture says that you are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of your Creator who knew you and all of the days ordained for you before even one of them came to be - Psalm 139. Regardless of what anyone has told you before, this was is and forever will be true. God loves you so much that He sent His Son to die for you, so that you can live a full life, a life full of love and grace.
You have a purpose
You may be walking to school or waiting tables. Whatever your day looks like today, may I encourage you that You Have a Unique Purpose. Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Consider this, a caterpillar is on a journey to transform into a butterfly. Every day of your life is a step in the journey designed just for you. Your transformation awaits.
You will change the world
Every generation leaves a mark on the world in which they live. You are no different. You may hear different terms given your generation like –X and –Y. But may I recommend that you not get caught up in fancy definitions meant to generalize but instead step into your unique purpose with faith. We can get caught up in who we think we are supposed to be that we miss out on who we were designed to become. Without knowing all of you personally, I already know that you are beautiful, smart, funny, creative, and I believe that you will change the world. Don’t allow a lack of faith from others or yourself nor the badge of your past to keep you from your purpose. Remember to have faith as small as a mustard seed and allow your past to weave into the fabric of your future. And if you need a little extra faith, give me a call, I’ll be your wing-man.
I believe in YOU!
So, now that I’ve buttered you up, let me give you a little homework. Not too much, nothing to get anxious over. Remember, take what you need and leave behind what you don’t.
Yes, I mean figuratively and literally. Look up from your smart device and look around you. Smell the flowers. Take a walk. Call a friend. Smile at a stranger. Engage in a coffee break with someone down on their luck. Listen. Life is so very short and if you blink you will miss it. Don’t allow technology to take away the beautiful memories to be experienced in the now. And don’t forget to look up and thank your Heavenly Father for the beauty in which He has placed you! Psalm 19:1 tells us that “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His Hands.” EVERY DAY you can witness His Glory. It is a gift given to you to remind you that He is with you always! We can enjoy His glory all around us and share in it through every connection that He places in our path.
I know, I know, you don’t want to be told what to do. You are “adulting” now and ready for independence! So I’ll try and keep the preaching to a minimum.
Consider this “free advice” from one adult who is not your mom to another.
I won't sugarcoat it, life can get hard. The alarm clock will go off every morning. The teacher / supervisor has expectations which may not always seem fair. The bills have a way of regenerating themselves every 30 days. Challenges may creep in and interrupt your best laid plans and you may ask yourself, “When is summer break?” But can I share that these are some of the greatest moments of your life. These moments are building “grit”, also known as “integrity.” Consider these little challenges as “refining tools”. All meant to grow you little by little. Very rarely do any of us wake up over the downside of 21 and say “I’ve made it! I am now a respected and successful adult!” And if you are that person, be careful of the downhill slide.
Life has a way of throwing you a curve-ball and pushing you into a pit of quicksand, but this is the thing, you have a choice to allow yourself to be pulled under or grab a rope and pull yourself out dust yourself off, and keep on going. Don't be afraid of responsibility or consequence. Responsibilities build muscle and consequences have a way of turning on the light when things get dark. You’re building grit, you’ve got this!
I’m saving the best for last. Yes, you have responsibilities. You must always show respect. There are times when loving friends and family will pour into you and others when it seems like you are on a deserted island with no cell connection.
But please, never forget to breathe. I don’t mean just mechanically. Remember when I said to look up? Along with that is the time you take to breathe and just enjoy life. Responsibilities will always be there, but you must take the time to refresh and regroup. Psalm 46:10 says “Be still and know that I am God.” There is so much to share in this little teaching, but today I would like to point out that our Creator knows you need time to relax and to breathe. He has built this into your schedule. Make it a priority, you are important to Him, to yourself, to me and to your generation.
So, be still, breathe, live, love, laugh and don’t forget to dance in the rain.
As you step out into the next phase of your journey, know that we are so very proud of all of you! We are thankful to be able to pass the baton to a generation of young people who care about the world in which we live. And while we may groan a bit in our old age and complain a little about saggy pants, we have great confidence that you will change the world.
Father, thank You for the amazing young people who are stepping up into the purpose for which you have designed. We pray for them and lift them up to You, Lord. Please grant them wisdom, discernment, strength and courage. Guide them with your loving hand. Help them change the world to be better than that which they entered. We know Lord that you have a plan, to give them hope and a future and we ask for your favor over their lives and their generation.
In Jesus’ Name