Friday, March 8, 2013

Self Encouragement

To all you high school seniors out there, I salute you. You probably woke up one day last spring, mid drone through your AP psychology textbook, and thought, “Oh my God, I have to prepare for college.” Reeling from that blow, I’m sure your first SAT scores were a little disappointing.

Maybe in the summer you suffered from some doubt. Okay, that’s the understatement of the year. A more apt representation of your feelings most likely included a chorus of sneering voices in your head chanting, “you’ll never make it!” in unison.

Then October came and I bet you laughed at how people say junior year is the hardest. That seemed like years ago, rather than just a few months. Meanwhile, you were drowning in a pile of applications that wanted to know your mother’s home address twenty-six years ago, your childhood stuffed animal’s name, and how you would use that information to broaden your global perspective and cultural diversity (P.S. How has your favorite food prepared you for a leadership role?).

November might’ve looked something like this: Fill out forms. Fill out forms. College loses the forms. Fill out more forms.

Then you waited two months. Aha! Your first acceptance letter. Everyone was proud. Your parents told everyone they know. The congratulations came thick and fast and all you could do was stutter something like, “Um, uh, foreign language, I think.” when they asked what you're going to study.

You waited another month and then repeated the process.

And again.

Finally you’re right here in the present. It’s March and you’ve got a wicked case of senioritis. Also, you can’t afford any of the schools you want to go to. You might be feeling just a tad bit completely and totally overwhelmed. You might be thinking that if life would just pause and you could get a decent night’s sleep, that you’d wake up and be able to accomplish a few of the tasks on the To Do lists floating around your room. Maybe every day you startle awake at 6 AM and think, “Where am I supposed to be right now?”

May 1st, National College Enrollment Deposit Day, is a looming deadline in my- I mean your- perpetual game of hurry up and wait. Have all your prayers started sounding like desperate pleas yet? Are the college visits getting more intimidating? Good! You’re on the right track. From here on out, it’s all in God’s hands.

First off, all of this will be over soon. A decision will be reached, so just hang in there. Even better news, God planned for your college education even if you forgot about it. It’s going to work out. God is going to make a way. He created streams in the desert, he helped a teenager defeat a giant, and he sent salvation for the entire world in the form of a human baby. I think he can handle college tuition.

So be encouraged, even though you’re afraid. Act confident even when you get overwhelmed to the point of hiding in your room and compulsively eating your secret stash of jellybeans. Find within yourself the things that God is calling into being. Believe that he only wants the very best for you even when he seems to ask too much. Know that he is God and you are called to be his child. Remember that though his plan for you is great, right now he is only asking you to take a single step of faith.