Hey, high school grad:
Have you ever jumped out of a hot tub in winter to roll around in the snow?
One minute you’re soaking in nothing short of a multi-person bath, and the next, you’re assaulted with the sensation of pins and needles all over! I think there’s an analogy between this sensational shock and the shock of life after high school.
You go from soaking in the familiar comforts of life in high school, into the shock of post-secondary-life. As a youth pastor, my greatest challenge is how to prepare students for the seemingly inevitable drop-off that follows high school. It seems like the shock of post-secondary is leaving students abandoning their faith.
So how can you transition out of high school without transitioning out of your faith?
In John 17, we see Jesus preparing the disciples–present and future–for the transition of his return to heaven. He prays that not one of them will be lost. Do you fear that you will transition out of your faith in the years after high school? Maybe you fear that your propensity to sin will steer you off course from what God has planned for you? Look at what Jesus prays: “Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost…” It’s God who holds onto you.
What needs to change is the notion that the best days are behind us. Life in Jesus is progressive, not regressive. God uses every situation in his master plan for your life through the process of sanctification – making you as you ought to be in the lifelong pursuit of becoming more like Jesus.
With transition comes change, but when you walk with Jesus in the midst of change, he brings assurance. No matter the circumstances or the outlook, he really works all things for the good of those who love him. He has the power to take the painful, hard, uncertain aspects of life to transform them into blessings. He has it all planned out, and nothing you do can change the good or challenging things he has planned for you.
You will make mistakes in the years following high school––we all do––but never let your failure take your focus off of Jesus’ victory. What is going to matter most is what you do in the moments following failure: will you let guilt drive you away from what God says of you? Or will you believe that he’s holding onto you through it all? Jesus is patient in his process of making you more like him, and he won’t lose you. Turn back to him every day and pursue growing closer to him through reading your bible, prayer, and spending time in community. Believe him today and press into the beautiful future that he has for you.
This article was written as part of the Writing Mentorship with our P2C-Students Editorial team.