One of the hardest times in a teenager’s life is bridging the gap between high school and college. I remember walking across the stage, while my brothers screamed like wild banshees. I remember the lecture I received from mom after not informing her about the reward that I was unaware that I was getting. I remember the dinner following, and a graduation party filled with good friends and good food. I also remember the terrifying feelings of anxiety for the things to come.
I was well prepared by my teachers, my parents, and my student pastor, but reality was about to set in: I’m no longer a kid. Now, I had longed for the freedom graduation offered, but I had no idea what was next. I knew what I was called to, but I struggled with the idea of if God was really willing to use me. I realize not everyone is called to full-time ministry, but everyone is called to minister. The questions that would come, the doubts that I would face, and the fears that arose were real, and though I had people in my life that had prepared me, it didn’t stop the hard times from coming.
I’ve come to realize that no matter the amount of preparation, life can still hit you hard. If you’re a parent reading this, I know it may be hard to read that you can’t always protect your baby from the hardships of life. If you’re a soon to be graduate, it’s equally as difficult to know that your parents can’t make every bad situation go away. But, there is hope. Here’s what I know:
THE INFLUENCE OF A PARENT REACHES FURTHER THAN ANY OTHER INFLUENCE
You get 936 weeks with a child between birth and age 18. My questions to you are:
What seeds are you sowing in the moments you have with your child?
Do they know they are cherished by their heavenly father?
Do they know that their worth is more precious than gold in the eyes of God?
Do they know there’s nothing that they can do to make God not love them?
These questions are hard to answer if you haven’t consistently pointed them to a God who knows the very fabric of their being.
In addition to those things, your child needs to know you’re on their side. They need to know that they will fail, but that failure is not final. They need to know that they have a support system behind them that will carry them when they can’t seem to take that next step.
As I navigated the waters of uncertainty after graduation, I knew my parents loved me. I knew they had my back, and that my failure did not define me, but Jesus did. Because of that, I knew I could face the world. My prayer is that your student is prepared to face the world.
HARD TIMES WILL COME, BUT MAY OUR FAITH BE BIGGER THAN OUR FEARS.