Tonight was the senior banquet at the church I am a youth intern at this summer in Coppell, TX. Senior Sunday has been a day of remembering and celebrating the lives of these students as they embark upon the journey that is ahead of them. It has been a day to reflect upon the memories of this group as they have grown together and experienced the Lord working in them as a community. It has been a day to honor these seniors and their parents and the lives they live that are so precious.
And I couldn't help but spend the entire day thinking: 2 years ago, that was me. 2 years ago, I had to leave every comfort I had ever known: my parents, my school, my youth group, my youth ministers, adult mentors, and best friends. I had to leave my house, my dog, my room, and the town that had meant so much to be over the past 13 years. I had to leave the body of Christ, First Colony, that was so important to me and dear to my heart.
Today was a day for me to remember what it was like leaving everything comfortable in my life and embarking on a new adventure that would lead to the greatest picture of community that I have ever experienced.
I always thought that I would graduate, leave, and start a completely new journey. I always thought that I had grown up, and would put the past behind me and start fresh. But what I have realized today is that every event, every hug, every tear, every memory, every bible study, every camp, every mission trip, every church service, every individual that I encountered....the combination of these things is what continues to make me who I am today.
We are all in this journey of life. I thought my life would basically start over, but what tonight has made me realize is that we don't start new, but that we experience different scenes on this one road--this road to Christ. It is the combination of all those things together, that leads me towards Christ. And I am still traveling on this road, experiencing new things, encountering new difficulties, and falling more deeply in love with Jesus.
Yes, my friends have changed. Yes, my passions have changed. Yes, my life looks different. But I wouldn't be where I am today without all of the things in my life that has led up to this point. If I could pick an emotion of the day, I would pick thankful.
I am thankful for parents that love me unconditionally & raised me up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
I am thankful for other people's parents who have taught me what it means to live for Christ.
I am thankful for two brother, who can be hard to deal with at times, but know what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
I am thankful for growing up in a church family that led me into greater relationship with Christ.
I am thankful for mission trips that taught me how to serve and deny myself.
I am thankful for camps and retreats that showed me who God was and what he was doing in my life.
I am thankful for unbearable situations; situations that have only made me stronger.
I am thankful for memories; good and bad.
I am thankful for my youth group and the impact each and every one of them has had on me.
I am thankful for youth ministers that taught me how to love.
I am thankful for interns that have steered me into greater love for Jesus and caused me to go into ministry.
I am thankful for the community of friends I have made in Abilene--that have shown me what the gospel of Christ is by their love.
I am thankful for the relationships I have with various high school, middle school, and elementary students--that teach me what it looks like to have faith.
I am thankful for every single moment of every single day that has brought me to the point I am at now.
I don't know where the Lord is going to take me in the next couple of years. All I know is that the Lord has a mighty plan--a plan of redemption and salvation through a messed up sinner like me. Every event that happens in my life will be part of the continuous story of the work of Christ's love in my heart. Sometimes I don't understand why the Lord has chosen me. I don't always grasp why he chose my heart of all hearts to work in. All I know is that I am thankful that he has called my heart his home as he continues to work out his story of redemption in my life.