The Wonder Years

I just came back from visiting some friends from my home state. Part of the visit included a trip down memory lane to my old high school. I know after graduation a lot of my fellow classmates have returned from time to time to visit old teachers and check out the old stomping grounds, I was not one of those students. To be honest, I never really loved high school and haven’t had any desire to relive the old days. So this visit was nine-years in the making and I had no idea what to expect.

Walking onto our newly renovated campus, I wondered if any insecurities would resurface. I may have mentioned this before, but I was extremely shy in high school. I think I could even say, deathly shy. Insecurities can be reflected by a number of different ways: arrogance, sluttiness, sarcasm, rudeness, being quiet, being loud, etc. Mine was more of the I-want-everyone-to-like-me-but-I’m-afraid-of-speaking-in-public-spaces. So as I made away around old classrooms and lockers, I thought, last time I was here, I was a completely different person.

As I watched the current high school students make their way to their buses, make sarcastic jabs at each other and for some, just make-out, I couldn’t help but be thankful that I wasn’t still a teenager. One particular girl stuck out to me as she ran from the high school sobbing. I don’t know what caused her to be so sad, but I wanted to stop her and promise her that nine years from now, it won’t be a big deal at all. Which made me think about all the things I didn’t know that I know now, things I wished for then that I don’t anymore and so on and so forth. Even though I’m a different person now, I still remember that Sarah. I remember how discouraged and depressed she was and how it just seemed to get worse with every storm.

So, I decided to list five things that my high school self would never have thought would be possible in my lifetime. Things that I desperately hoped and prayed for but never imagined possible. And to continue on the idea of hope for the future, I’ve also listed five things that I currently think will never happen in nine years. Sometimes we consume our lives with so much worry that we overlook how incredibly faithful God is. He restores and He redeems. God can do anything.

“God can do anything you know, far more than you could ever guess or request or imagine in your wildest dreams. He does it not by pushing you around, but by working in your life, deeply and gently within you.” Ephesians 3:20

Things High School Sarah Would Never Believe About Twenty Something Sarah:

1. You are going to be extremely outgoing
Yes, Sarah, it’s true. People are actually going to complain that you talk too much. Don’t cry, it’s not going to be scary at all. In fact, you don’t cry very often anymore. Come to think of it, you may be dead inside. Okay, just kidding about that part. But seriously, you’re outgoing and independent and it’s completely liberating.

2. You don’t wish to be popular
I know that you just want to fit in and be part of the “cool” group right now, but trust me, you won’t care about that stuff in your twenty’s. Sometimes I worry you’re trying to be a little too weird just to make a point on being different. That’s great and all, but maybe tone it down on the Asian jokes. (Sometimes people don’t think it’s very funny.) Really, you don’t talk to many people you went to high school with. And the ones that are in your life, will surprise you. I won’t give you names, but as it turns out, they will be some of the greatest friendships of your life.

3. You get a pretty cool job
Music, events, talking – it’s all a significant part of your twentys. Trust me, you’ll have to experience it for yourself to believe it.

4. You’ll have great (girl) friends
I know you’re scared you won’t ever have a best friend. Rest assured, you will have several deeply impactful friendships. You have such a strong community of Godly girls that challenge you, encourage you, travel with you, laugh with you (and at you), and etc. etc. You have some pretty incredible guy friends as well. I’m telling you, totally worth the wait.

5. You’re going to be okay
Can you believe it? You survived high school and college and breakups (yes, you had a boyfriend) and moving and quitting and all the highs and lows of life. You seem like you’re doing pretty well – confident, funny (I mean let’s be honest, you’re hilarious) and optimistic. Believe this: The best is yet to come.

Things Twenty Something Sarah Can’t Imagine About Thirty Something Sarah:

1. You’ll meet FH and he’s AH-mazing
2. You’ll be more adventurous
3. You’ll move out of Nashville
4. You’ll write a book
5. You’ll do something significant with your life to impact teenagers

I encourage you to do the same lists for yourself. Then maybe nine years from now, we can sit down at a coffee shop and go through our lists and say out loud, “When I wrote these things, I was a completely different person.” And it’s not a bad thing, because I’m pretty sure it’ll be the happiest we’ve ever been.

Believe this: The best truly is, yet to come.


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