A Letter to My Graduating Friends

 

Let me preface this by saying that I am a sentimental fool.

Graduations are one of those bittersweet moments in life. On the one hand, finishing a chapter in your life is super exciting! You’ve made it through to the next phase which is, let’s face it, pretty awesome. But then you reflect on all those exciting changes coming in your life and realize that life has handed you a double edged sword.

You aren’t simply starting a new chapter. You are simultaneously saying goodbye to the last chapter and all the places and people that made it special. It’s an experience comparable to staring at the ocean: both beautiful and terrifying in its sheer power.

I am not graduating and moving on for at least another year but some of my very dear friends are and this is dedicated to them.

As you enter the new stage of your life here are some quotes I have for you:

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” Mother Teresa.

In the theme of sappiness, thank you for the time I spent with you. I am indeed better and happier.

“Whatever you are, be a good.” Abraham Lincoln

Please, be the best elementary teacher, physician’s assistant, pr person, nurse, doctor, whatever that is out there. Shine and show your passion in the way that made me love you.

“People of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” Leonardo Divinci

This one is self explanatory but don’t limit yourself. Reach for the stars, the moon, or the top of the Empire State Building. Just reach and try.

Last, “Never hold onto anything tighter than you’re holding onto God.”

I hope you learned from me that there is a quote for everything and hats are always a good choice! I love you and will miss you! Congrats on graduating!

 

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Of Bitterness in Uncertainty OR My Everyday Struggles

Recently, I wrote about how my life in the past couple years hasn’t gone according to plan. And of course life decided to imitate art and go against my plan. Again.

Around a year ago, I said in a Bible study with some close friends that recently God had been teaching me to be ok with not knowing the future and having the answers to everything. Wonder what I would have said if I had realized I’d still be working on that same issue now. I’m done with everything in all my classes from the spring semester. Basically, it’s summer for me. But ask me what I’m doing this summer and you will get a response along the lines of, “I’m not sure yet. I might…

And you know what? I hate it. I want to be able to say, “I’m doing this awesome thing this summer. I’m working at this super great internship next year [said internship will guarantee me a fabulous job when I graduate] and I’ll be moving to x when I graduate.”

Y’all, I am struggling with uncertainty SO bad. And the repercussions have left me bitter and constantly worried.I have gotten so jealous of people who have (or appear to have) their lives together. I am bitter towards people who everything seems to be working out for effortlessly. I don’t want to be this person. I want to say, “I have learned to be content in all circumstances.” I haven’t mastered that quite yet, but I am learning. Regardless, I know that God is God in times of certainty and uncertainty.

So here I am. Midnight on May 11.

Boasting in my weaknesses and trying to remember that his grace is sufficient for me.

Ernest Hemingway said, “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” That’s what I’ve tried to do with this blog, with the exception of bragging on people I love.

Right now I am hurting and I wrote hard and clear about it *wink wink, so if you cared enough to read all the way to the end, can you do me a favor? Send a prayer for me- not for me to experience certainty but for me to be ok with uncertainty. for me to be surrounded by a cloud of God’s love.

Never Goes According to Plan

For the past 3 or so years, my one of my favorite quotes has been,

I may not have gone where I intended to go but I think I ended up where I needed to be.- Douglas Adams

I’ve officially had this blog for a year now and a lot has happened, not always what I intended but I think it was usually what I needed.

So much has happened. I have changed and grown in ways you never imagine until the growing up happens. I’m still in the stage in my life where a lot changes every year.

18 year old Jackie never would have believed that 20 year old Jackie would be happily single and not still in love with “The Boy.” 2 years, he was everything. My future. The thought of life without him was devastating to me. And life without him did devastate me — for a little while.

Looking back, I realize how young and stupid we were. I realize that our plans never would have worked. Even more than that, I am so thankful that they didn’t work.

It’s been nearly a year since I talk to the boy and that’s completely ok. I am happy without him. He is, I’m assuming and hoping, perfectly happy without me. Crazy how something that seems so integral to your happiness and future can disappear and life can go on in spite of you.

I suppose I could blame him for all the hurt I went through because there is blame to lay on him. But there is also blame to lay on me. Even though it didn’t end like either of us planned, I had a really sweet first love experience. For a few months, I was adored by the boy and it was nice. It helped make me who I am today.

If anything, I am now thankful for the devastation I went through at the end. It gave me a new perspective. It gave me a way to relate with others that I hadn’t before. It made me a stronger, wiser young woman and taught me to rely on Jesus for love and affection.

Maybe that’s what this life is about. Experiences that make you stronger, grow you. Experiences that show you the depth of Jesus’s love for you.

I remember lonely nights just asking Jesus to wrap me in his love- and he did. If anything can sum up how I felt, it’s this song. Thank you God that I have cried my last and you did indeed bring beauty from my pain.

After all this has passed, I still will remain
After I’ve cried my last, there’ll be beauty from pain
Though it won’t be today, someday I’ll hope again
And there’ll be beauty from pain
You will bring beauty from my pain

(In keeping with the opening quote, I never intended to write about my first heart break. I intended to quickly recap all the great experiences I’ve had and the wonderful people I’ve met over the past year… But I think I ended up what I needed to write 🙂 )