Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What Would You Tell Your 18-Year-Old Self?

"She walks in step with God, her path blazed by God, she’s happy. If she stumbles, she’s not down for long; God has a grip on her hand." – Psalm 37:23-24 (MSG) (pronoun changed from he to she)

Aren’t you thankful the month of May is almost over and we’ve fallen into summer? Are you like me and your body, mind, and soul has been shouting at you for weeks now to slow down and relax more? (I totally resonated with last week's Flatirons Women's Blog.)

I used to think that December leading up to Christmas was the most hectic time of the year. But no more. It seems that the month of May has become even crazier than Christmas. As daylight lengthens, so does our “To Do” lists: spring cleaning, yard work, planning for summer, wrapping up the school year, and of course, graduations.

Standing in Target, looking through graduation cards, I imagined what I would write if I could design one of my own. 

Better yet…what would I say, if I could be the commencement speaker at a high school graduation.

This past May, my daughter Abby graduated from high school. If I could’ve taken the stage at the ceremony and spoken a blessing over all the graduates I’d say, “I hope and pray you live out Psalm 37. For this is what I want for you: walk in step with God, let Him blaze your path, be happy with Him, and remember when you stumble God’s got you in His powerful hand. He will always lift you up.”

Unfortunately, I don’t think my words would resonate with many graduates. 

The world around them is screaming just the opposite… walk independently, not with God. Blaze your own path because you know what makes you happy. And when you fall, pull yourself up. Don’t ask for help, but trust in your own strength, and take the world by storm.

This pep talk might be inspirational for many youths, but eventually, they’ll smack into the reality that, as Khalid, the rapper tells them, they’re really just “young, dumb, and broke.”

But weren’t we there once upon a time? Didn’t we think we were smarter than our parents, destined to do amazing things with our lives? Nothing and no one could stop us from living out our dreams. Maybe you’re still like the graduates, full of skyrocketing high hopes. Or perhaps you’re like me, and you wish to dream big again.

Just imagine, if you could step back in time to when you were 18 years-old, what would you tell yourself? 

Can you count on one hand five key truths you’d cling to?

Me, I’d tell myself:

  • Give God thanks every day, because each one is a gift from Him.
  • Love God and others on purpose, because love lasts forever.
  • Commit to long-lasting friendships. Hold on to the ones who knew when…
  • Trust God every step of the way, in good times and bad.
  • Follow Jesus, because His plans are even better than your biggest dreams
I may not be speaking from a stage, but I will speak these truths to the one 18-year-old dearest to my heart, my daughter Abby. Who can you share your treasured, timeless truths with this week?

Laura Busse lives in Boulder, CO with her husband and three non-stop teenagers. As the founder of The 3 O'Clock Wake Up Call, she envisions a world where everyone in every nation gives thanks to God, every day at 3 pm. If you want to start getting daily 3 O’Clock Wake Up Call messages, you can either download the free mobile app (be sure to say “yes” to getting push notifications), or get text messages by texting 3PM to 313131.

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