Ok y’all… my 20th high school reunion is this weekend. So I am in a mega “reflective” mood today, pondering some humorous and solemn things I’ve learned since 1994. If I could travel back in time (in a DeLorean of course) to the morning of my graduation, I would share the following revelations with 18 year old me:
1. You will be enthralled with rectangular devices. 20 years from now you will own rectangular devices named “laptop,” “cellphone,” and “iPad.” You will do most of your “work” and “reading” on these devices. You will feel compelled to share personal pictures and details of your life with people you know and with people you do not know on these devices.
2. In 20 years you will worry about germs. I know you do not think about them much now. But in 20 years, you will be using a clear gel called “sanitizer” to exterminate said germs from your hands and your children’s bodies.
3.You will not marry Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block. Your beloved NKOTB will leave the music scene, but will have a reunion tour when you are in your late 30s. You will not attend this because you will be over Jordan by then.
4. Wrinkles and grey hair are going to happen. Don’t erase, embrace. Marvel at the woman you are becoming.
5. You will part ways with most of your high school friends today. Do not fret your still-completely-brown-head over this, for something called “Facebook” will appear on the devices I mentioned above in revelation #1. “Facebook” will show you that most of your classmates end up prosperous and happy.
Sadly, two classmates you grew up with will have passed away by the time your 20th reunion happens. Be sure you give them an extra hug or take time to laugh at a funny memory with them before leaving the graduation ceremony today. 20 years from now as you reflect on who they were, you will wish you had done this. You will not get this opportunity with them again.
6. Love and love some more.
7. The world will continue to change. Some “things” that you believe are taboo or are illegal in 1994, will become culturally acceptable and legal in the next 20 years. You will grieve over these issues because they conflict with the values you hold dear. Many around you will enter into debates over these issues angry and full of hate. But you… you must pray for what you do not understand. Pray about what is beyond your control. When others misunderstand and call you “judgmental,” “close minded,” and slander you, remember revelation #6.
8. Do not lose hope- 13 years from now you will meet your husband. 16 years from now two little people will call you mommy. Until then, believe your season of singleness is a precious one. You are not “less than” because you are single. Embrace the freedom before you and chase your dreams. Your time at Kansas State, the Kappa House, and your season in Youth Ministry will produce lasting friendships and life-changing memories.
9. And this… this is the hardest to reveal, but it needs to be shared- Mom is not going to be around much longer. The week after your 37th birthday will be a rough one. You will be by mother’s side as she enters Heaven and achieves victory over her breast cancer. I know this is shocking since she is healthy now. You expect her to remain as she is helping you to figure out life. But this will not happen.
Take comfort in this- what the doctors said was impossible, God made possible. She will see your wedding day and meet your two babies.
You have NO idea how her story and your family’s suffering will influence and inspire the lives of others -but the impact will be evident after she passes. This will cause an incomprehensible joy to flood your heart- sustaining you on the days when you miss her greatly. You are going to be ok. And here is why…
10. You are not everything- Jesus IS your everything. Since you are stubborn and strong-willed, you will re-learn this over and over as the years pass. God will sustain you in your grief. He is patient, gracious, forgiving, and loves you with an everlasting love.
Life is not about money or the career that you will have in a couple of years. Life is not about the amazing (and super-hot) husband or the adorable children that are coming. You will achieve much and be given much. Your life is about Jesus. It is about loving those made in His image.
As you put on your red graduation cap and secure it with bobby pins, take a good look at your wrinkle free reflection in the mirror. 20 years from now you will gaze upon the same reflection with its wrinkles and random strands of grey. You will be content with you– eagerly anticipating what is to come.
If you could travel back in time and visit yourself on your graduation day, what revelation(s) would you share with yourself? Funny or serious- do share in the comment section below. I would love to hear from you!