It’s been a long time since those sparkle-shoe-wearing, save-the-world as every hero and dreamed-of career kind of days. Since the times where you wandered through worlds of imagination, endless possibilities and sky wide dreams at your fingertips. Where home was all about the cozy glow and stories coming alive read aloud. Since those days where faith was like a child; all encompassing, wonderfilled, simple, deepening trust.
Since the palm tree lined days dreaming of being spies. Living out stories in decorated cardboard boxes, starting to grasp the lines of hymns that “My life is hid with Christ on high, with Christ my Savior and my God.” Donuts, orange juice, and spaghetti Sundays with board games. Gymnast dreams, somersaults underwater, and the start of scribbled pages of carefully copied notes, the beginning of your note taking, forever-writing obsession.
Since the middle school days of hiding in the fort and trying to be cool. Of fighting for friendships, always with a baby in your arms, through wrestling through theology in Sunday School discussions. Through the Disney days singing along in perfect unison, of poster boards filled with pieces of what you love and who you are.
Since the late high school nights where you thought it was all on the line and stayed up for hours, future hopes vivid, sinking into the couch overwhelmed with it all. Of testing out the waters, giving up the gymnastics dreams, finding out what you actually love. When senior year drove you into bookstores to try on crazy hats and tell all the stories. Through departures and arrivals and intense transitions.
And yet, those moments come rushing back. As you walk down the sidewalk. As you dream into the distance. Replaying like scenes of a favorite movie, senses sharpened to each place, motion, and emotion. You are not that kid, yet you are so shaped by those days.
I know, to this college years me, your heart is confused by how much has changed and the ways your journey has been shaped since then.
But you’re here, reliving memories of Switchfoot concerts and roadtrips and one too many rides to Chick-Fil-A. Talking about careers and life plans and goals like they’re actually real things coming up fast. Navigating twenty something life. Dreaming of changing the world but learning how to start small and love really well. Surviving on community, conversations, way too much caffeine, and a dash of creativity.
And you now love Twenty One Pilots and will find yourself screaming out at a hometown show in your new favorite city with these lyrics
BUT I KNOW WE’VE MADE IT THIS FAR, KID
And so you find yourself here. But your story does not end here. It isn’t fulfilled in this surface touching moment, only a fragment of the whole story. Instead, it is found tangled intricately in with the threads of ocean deep forever and the hope of something better.
I know there are days right now where it feels like the world feels broken, inside out and upside down. So for those days when you just can’t do it anymore, but you have to anyways. Somehow you shake things off and keep moving.
Just like those somersaults in pools when you were seven years old days. Head underwater,
everything distorted, but holding on to the exhilirating flashes in the confusion.
But, there are the little things, which are actually the big things.
There is hope that is our reality. These news spinning in circles dazing red eyes experiences are not forever. They only disguise the lasting joy we’re living for.
The baristas at the campus coffee shop, a handful of them anyways, know your name now. Yes, that is a sign that you might (definitely DO) have a coffee problem. But it is a really cool thing that they know to ask about the hyphenation in your name. Because it’s the little things.
Messages glowing across a screen sending hope at the perfect moment.
Community where in a sea of faces you pass many you know. And you are known, from conversations, to inside jokes, to the messy vulnerable moments.
So you love others well and dig into community, because life is short and time with these people is a gift. Your journey has been changed by the impact of others walking with you. Be that other person for them. Remember that we’re all in this together for something much bigger than our scenes-flashing by and fading away.
Doing the things you have loved all these years.
Dreaming so many possibilities and celebrating long treasured dreams that have turned to color.
Creating, disappearing into stories crafted, capturing the details and beauty, words flying onto pages.
Listening to favorite song lines and feeling more alive. Let the lyrics spill into your soul and out of your pen and brain. Choosing to intentionally carry the melodies of hope and certainty despite the mystery.
Wandering. Giving yourself grace to have space, explore, and breathe in it all. It’s okay to not always know what to do.
And still believe, faith growing even as you wrestle with the massive questions. That He is good and beyond comprehension. That eternity is both mind blowing and the best of dreams. More of the beauty, the lovely, the exploring, the creating, the filled soul in every shade forever. Lost in the wonder. That he’s still writing this story with your best part in the bigger one at heart. That these words of truth memorized since younger years are even more rich now.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
So hold the piles of well-loved photographs and treasured memories tight, watching the scenes play out again in your mind. Look at the stories you’ve lived out in color, some previously black and white. Watch what’s been unfolding inbetween the lines, the narrative within the narrative. Your story one part of the one written into the very fabric of time and space and expanding beyond.
We have to appreciate the road we’ve walked down, the seasons that have wrapped around us, so that we can walk through this next one. Head a little higher, steps coming a little more alive with the rhythm, diving in to the adventure ahead.
Take joy in the simple things, feel the sunshine and breeze dance across your skin and flow through your hair, find hope.