Dear 2020 students & Seniors

I know this is hard for you. I know that this sucks. Going to school one week thinking you will see your friends and your teachers and the next week not. Going to school one week and thinking you're going to have prom, your spring sports season, and graduation and the next week wondering if you will. I know that you're missing out. I KNOW. Let me tell you how I know.

My high school career was a little out of the ordinary. My senior year I ended up doing school online. I didn't have teachers, I had automated voices. I didn't have classmates. I had me, myself, and I. In the midst of changing to online we ended up moving to another state. Where, ironically, my “online school” was. They hosted a graduation which I was able to walk in. But, before that we ended moving out of state AGAIN. I tell you all this because I know what change feels like. I know what staring into the unknown feels like. Where I differ from you, is I walked through it alone. I didn’t know the classmates I walked across the stage with. You don't have to walk it alone. You have your classmates who are walking through the same thing. Reach out to them, encourage them. Give them a call, send a text, facetime, or even do a duet on tik tok with them.

Find a way to make this time a time of positive growth and productive use of your time. Use it to press further into the word of God and to deepen your relationship with the Lord. He is your LIFE source. He is your protector, your provider, your peace, your comforter. He cares about you, he cares about the things you care about. Like prom, your sports seasons, graduations, etc. Choose to change your perspective. It’s easier said than done. But, believe me, the reward is so much greater than the effort of the change. When you choose to focus on the positive, change your perspective, and fix your eyes on the Lord, your focus will no longer be on stress, sadness, worry, loneliness, or whatever you are feeling at this time. Or any time.The Bible tells us to think on good things. “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honorable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. And fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising him always.” Philippians 4:8 (TPT).  When we think on good things it causes us to speak those out. Our thinking will affect our speaking and our speaking will affect our thinking, changing our perspective. 

Here are 3 steps I challenge you to take advantage of in the next 30 days to grow closer and go deeper in your relationship with God.

  1. Read about God’s love.

God’s love is unconditional. No matter what we’re going through, no matter what we’ve done, no matter what we’re going to do. NO MATTER WHAT nothing changes the way God feels towards us. Knowing God’s love will help us understand God’s character because God IS love (1 John 4:7-13). It will help us know the foundation of every belief we have. It will help us to love the people around us patiently and kindly (1 Corinthians 13:4-13) especially when they start hoarding all the toilet paper. Knowing God’s love will allow us to walk in confidence and peace. His love is perfect and in His perfect love there is no fear. 1 John 4:18 tells us this

“There is no fear in love. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves punishment, so then who is afraid is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love].”

  1. Read how He made us right with him.

“17 And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness will be quietness and confident trust forever. 18 Then my people will live in peaceful surrounding, and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places.” 

Isaiah 54:17-18 (AMP)

We know that God works all things together for our good. When we know how God has made us right with him we know that we are established by Him (Isaiah 54:14, the AMP version is my personal favorite), meaning we are recognized and accepted by Him. We know that when everything seems to be going wrong and when everything seems to be out of place we have a sure foundation. A foundation that gives us peace, rest, healing, blessings, assurance and that sees and accepts us. 

  1. Spend time with Him like you would with a friend.

Develop your relationship with the Father. Worship Him, turn on your favorite worship music and love on Him. Not because you have to, but because you’re overwhelmed by how much He cares for you. Spend time in His word. Read your bible, it is truth and comfort. James 4:8 reminds us that when we draw near to God He will draw near to us. Remember and be grateful for what the Son has done for us. He gave his life for us and bridged the gap between us and the Father. Finally, pray in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our guide, our helper, our advocate, and is always with us (John 14:15-21). He leads us to the gospel truths and enables us and gives us the strength to face trials. He has a good plan, a plan of hope, upon each of our lives. He cares about your friendships, your school year, your summer. If you give Him the 30 days, you will come out on the other side seeing more clearly the good life he has planned for you. Joshua 1:5-9 continually commands us to take courage, be strong, and to not be afraid.

“5 No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you. 6 “Be strong and courageous, for you are the one whi will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you fo. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command -- be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:5-9 (NLT)

I know this is hard for you. I know that this sucks. The good news is, you're not in it alone. You have each other. You have a Father who is making a way for you, He is walking with you, and He is standing behind you. You have an opportunity now more than ever to be the hands and feet of Jesus. You have the choice to focus on something far greater, your relationship with Jesus. Shift your perspective, there's GOOD news even if all you’re hearing is the bad.

Lord, even when your path takes me through the valley of deepest darkness, fear will never conquer me, for you already have! You remain close to and lead me through it all the way. Your authority is my strength and my peace. The comfort of your love takes away my fear. I'll never be lonely, for you are near. 

Psalm 23:4 TPT