Friday, October 24, 2014

A Bittersweet End

Tonight was my Cross Country team's end of season banquet.  Another ending, another reminder that this is my last year at home.  There are a lot of "lasts" this year.  Sometimes I lost sight of that; that this is really my last year of high school.  It's easy to forget sometimes.  And then there are nights like tonight where it stares me in the face.  Where it's repeated over and over again how this is my "last year here" and everyone makes a big deal of me leaving.

It's exciting - I love being a senior.  I love being an example.  But at the same time, it's a bit strange.  Not to be cliche, but the only word that truly describes my senior year is "bittersweet."  For the past year, I have been ready to leave high school.  And as each day passes by, I become more and more ready to move on.  Ready to accept more responsibility.  Ready to meet new people and have new experiences.

And then there are times where I am reminded of how great of an experience high school can be, and I'm once again sad about leaving.  Even though I feel ready.

Senior year is hard.  It's hard because, in my mind, I feel like I've already moved on from all this.  I'm past the situations and the drama.  But at the same time, I'm constantly reminded that this is my last time to experience all these things.  My last gathering with my Cross Country team.  My last fall dance with my friends.  My last fall at home, even.  It is truly bittersweet.  Because I am so ready to leave - a sentiment I've repeated over and over again this past year - and then again, I am not ready to go.

I spent most of my evening tonight with these two incredible middle school girls.  After running with them for over three months, I have come to love both of them so much.  They have the sweetest, kindest hearts, and I am blessed to know them.  They bring me so much joy every time I'm around them, and we have the greatest times goofing off together.  Between singing "Let It Go" during practice at the top of our lungs and screaming those ridiculous inside jokes, even around strangers, we've shared so much laughter.  They have taught me what pure joy looks like.  They have showed me to be an encourager, and to smile even in the hardest circumstances. And I am truly thankful that they've been put in my life this year.

And somehow, they look up to me.  I guess it's because I'm a senior, the oldest on the team, and they look to me as an example.  It's partly flattering.  It's also extremely humbling.  I'm not perfect.  I never will be.  But I still have the opportunity to change lives, in spite of my imperfections and failures.

I spend so much time longing for more.  Longing to be free from high school and out of the house.  Longing to be living that college life; taking care of myself and studying the things I enjoy.  There's nothing wrong about being excited for tomorrow.  Yet, Biblically, we should be living in the present, and enjoying the situations that God has placed us in right now.  James 4:13-15 says "Now listen, you who say, 'Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.' Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, 'If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that.'"

Hard to swallow sometimes, but it's the truth.  And it is God's will that I be at home right now.  I'm not "stuck" here.  I've been placed here, to do something great, while God readies me to do even greater things next year.  Sure, I'm not living it up at college yet.  I'm not meeting a hundred new people.  I haven't been able to have a huge impact on the world.  But, I have had an impact on two precious middle school girls.  And that is more than enough.

I truly am sad that my senior year is passing so quickly.  It is the very definition of bittersweet.  But I am so, so excited for what God has in store for me.

“There are no happy endings.
Endings are the saddest part,
So just give me a happy middle
And a very happy start.” 

- Shel Silverstein

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