By, Lexi K.
When the pandemic hit in the middle of my junior year of high school, I figured it would be over by the time I was a senior. I tried reassuring myself everyday in the hopes that I would be able to have the year I’ve wanted since I was 13 years old. To me, senior year meant I got to be the coolest in the school. To me, senior year meant finally sitting in the front row of football games, having my National Honor Society Induction Ceremony, and being with my friends for the last time. To me, these things were important, but I felt no one around me understood how disappointed I was to miss all of the traditional senior festivities when my senior year began.
I walked into a three person class on my first day of school and frowned behind the mask that hid my sadness. I was angry with God. Every time I walked into the school building I would ask Him, “Why did this pandemic have to happen now?” The classrooms were empty, the hallways were empty, and my heart was empty. I felt unappreciated by my teachers for the four years of hard work I had put in. Where was my drive-by? Where was my poster? Where was my gift basket? I pushed God away and let my worry build up inside of me, resulting in isolation out of fear of contracting Covid-19. While my friends' lives started to go back to normal, I selfishly wanted time to freeze again so I wouldn’t feel so alone, allowing the virus to be bigger than God. “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Mark 8:36. I was putting my worldly desires before God and permitting them to steer me away from Him. Who was I to fear a virus when I knew that God is greater than all?
On New Year’s Eve I decided that it was time to stop holding grudges because I realized that this year was God’s plan for me all along. I was so preoccupied with trying to fix the senior year that I had planned for, that I was blindsided to the fact that God had a different plan. I started praying again and opened my heart back up to God during this important part of my life, picking a college. I would have daily conversations with God, share my feelings, and pray for direction when I started hearing back from my schools. When I was waitlisted at my top choice school, I felt that Jesus made it clear that I wasn’t meant to go to that college because I wasn’t too upset to receive this news. I was accepted to another school that was always in the back of my mind, so I asked God for a month to show me which college to attend. I was overwhelmed and trusted Jesus on this journey, knowing that in the end, I will end up at the school I was meant to be at. I visited the college I couldn’t stop thinking about and was thrilled with the feeling I got from that trip. I prayed about my commitment and felt that I was making the right decision of spending the next four years of my life at the University of Florida.
After posting about my commitment, I prayed that God would help me find friends and a roommate easily. Sure enough, many girls reached out to me about living arrangements, meet-ups, and getting to know one another. I continued praying to God about a roommate I would feel comfortable with, preferably from New Jersey, so we could fly to Florida together. The first girl to reach out to me asked me to go to lunch because we only lived 20 minutes away from each other in New Jersey... We had so much in common and clicked right away! We even went to a dinner in New York to meet more girls going to the University of Florida. Everything felt right, and I knew that God had heard every single one of my prayers.
This year has taught me that I can’t live without God. Life without Him is dark and lonely. He has a plan for everyone, even when it may not be the one you had hoped for. "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 While my senior year had a bumpy start, trusting God and His plan was the right decision! And now, as the world slowly starts to reopen, I get the end of the year senior festivities I always wanted. God knew I would still get my senior prom, senior fashion show, and high school graduation. I will follow God’s path to college! Go Gators! Go God!
Was there ever a time where you didn’t understand the path God was leading you on? How did you react to this?
By, Carrington B.
Through my experience as a senior through such an unprecedented year, the main thing that God has shown me is to only trust in Him. When there were so many cancelled events in such a short amount of time, I realized that we absolutely could not rely on what could possibly happen in the future. Instead, the only thing that we could truly stand on is that God’s ways are better than ours. Throughout my time in high school, I always stood on the verse Jeremiah 29:11, to trust that God has good plans for us despite what our current circumstances may look like. As I make the transition to college, I hold onto the same values. The truth is, there is nothing that we can do on our own strength that will determine our future. I’ve found that the only way we will truly have peace is if we fully submit to the Lords will for our lives. He is working things out in a way better than we can ever imagine, Romans 8:28. If anyone is struggling with being anxious for the future or even with their next season, post Covid, I want to challenge you with this…take out your journal or piece of paper and write down those areas that you are unsure about. After you write down those areas, rip them up. Yes, I said rip them up. This is a prophetic act stating that despite your anxieties about what’s to come, above all else, you have faith that the Lord is making a way for all your hearts desires and more!