As my teenagers face scary life choices…
Dear Sara and Jack,
So, we’re looking at colleges. And whether you say it or not, I know it’s scary. I know I’m old and such, but I seriously literally remember walking around all of the campuses that I’ve taken you to for my own college visits 26-plus years ago. I remember the excitement, but I remember the fear.
And my biggest fear was this:
What if I choose the wrong school?
Back then, my faith was a bit smaller. I liked everything I believed about God to be able to fit into my pocket, so I could pull it out and easily explain him to someone else. But God is so much bigger than I thought back then, and he’s so much bigger than I even know now.
And so here is what I know now that I didn’t know then.
There isn’t just one school for you.
Just like there isn’t just one person in the entire universe that you can marry. Just like there isn’t just one major or just one career or just one life path, and if you choose “wrong,” you’re cosmically screwed (pardon my French, sweet children of mine) for the rest of your life.
If I’ve learned anything over the past few decades—and I have learned quite a lot—it’s that God is somehow mysteriously sovereign and in control, and yet we are somehow mysteriously given free will.
And think through.
And talk to people.
And make pros and cons lists (Sara).
And then, you know what? You get to just plain ol’ decide.
If you are walking with God, if your heart wants to be obedient, just pick which you think is best, which you like the most, where you think you’ll feel the most home, be able to best learn. There is no right or wrong with this one. There is no verse in the Bible that will tell you where to go.
You both are smart kids. You both love Jesus. You both want to do the right thing.
You both have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of you.
You both have been given a spirit of power and of a sound mind and not of timidity or fear.
You both have the mind of Christ.
You both just get to make a choice.
And you won’t be wrong. And God already somehow knows, which is pretty cool and should make you sigh a big sigh of relief.
And the worst case scenario is that it doesn’t feel right (but even then, you’ll need to think and pray and push through those first few days and weeks and maybe even couple months of homesickness to try to determine if it’s more than that) … but the worst case scenario is that you come home and you pick again. No harm done. This is not life or death.
And as Miss Charlotte says in all her wisdom, “God always plays the ball where it lands.” When you’re trying to walk with God, there are no real mistakes, sweet ones whom I love so much.
So pray. And then choose. And then walk in it. And be brave. And go live your precious gift of a life.
And no matter what happens, I will always be your home and God will always be with you, and he and I will always, always, always love you. No matter what.