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A letter of encouragement to a graduate

As I sat in the audience of two different graduations this year, I was drawn back to last year at this time, when yours truly graduated. I started thinking of what I would say to myself if I could go back. I wrote it in letter form and would like to share it! Enjoy!!

Dear Mary Hannah,

                You’re graduating high school. That’s a big accomplishment. So what if it a year late. There is no age limit on life. There is no rush to get out of high school. The friends you’ve made during high school are not just acquaintances. Don’t let depression seep in, it will try, because “you left all your friends back in high school”. Those are the people you will need the most one day. The people who will make you laugh when you really want to cry. The people who will drop everything to come to your rescue.

                Remember everything you achieved during high school. All the awards and the gift.  The trials you have overcome to reach this goal are many. During this time of waiting on the Lord, don’t get depressed, God is not done working in and through you (John 7:15). Lives will be change because of how you live. You need to remember the accomplishment you have made and the things that make you uniquely you. The friends, who will carry through this dark time of waiting for the next right thing, will be some of the biggest blessings in your life. Remember blessings will come on the other side of this change.

                A chapter in your life is closing, but it is not the conclusion. God has big things in mind for you. Bigger than what we can ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). The next chapter is on the horizon and it’s terrifying. The next chapter is entitled your future. Even when we don’t know what’s over the next mountain, God is already there. Take heart, God has a plan and purpose for you (Jeremiah 29:11) in this next chapter and for the rest of your life. Don’t give up when the future scares you, God will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 5:13)

Sincerely,

“Adult” Mary Hannah

 

 

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Choosing to be content

“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have” ~Philippians 4:11

When I was ten, I got a crash course in being content. That year my father went back to school and we were without income. We had to live on less, but that time we lived on more than most. Yes, we had to make sacrifices, but we grew together as a family more closely. We learned to love spaghetti and waffles with peanut butter and syrup. Two of the sacrifices, we made were giving up Cable and Internet. We have not gotten it back since, and it has been almost eleven years now. I grew up fine; we played outside in the dirt.

I vividly remember that Christmas, when Mom gave my younger brother and I the JCPenny’s Christmas catalog and her instructions were,

‘You can look at this, but you can’t say ‘I want.’’

That time showed me, that I did not need the newest thing to survive.

In today’s time, I think it is rare to find someone content with what they have. We are so wrapped up in having the newest thing that we do not enjoy what we have at this moment. We live in an instant world, where we can get everything in a second and we lose the virtue of being content. According to the Webster Collegiate Dictionary, ‘content’ is, ‘satisfied with what one is or has; not wanting more or anything else.’ Staying satisfied is not something you learn overnight. It has taken me years of practice to be content and not wanting anything more than what I have right now. I am not a patient person; I like things to happen right now! However, being a Christ-follower means things will not happen right when I want them to. Everything happens in God’s timing and for a reason. There is a reason behind every detail of your life. In addition, during that waiting, you have to be content with what God has given you right now. I am thankful I learned to be content when I was ten so it makes the waiting a little less painful. Being content is not easy nor painless, but I think it is a requirement for life.

 

I chose at the beginning of the year to be content with whatever God threw at me. And this year God has thrown a lot at me (and it’s only May), but I know if I cannot stand up under the pressure, He is right there for me.

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”-1 Thessalonians 5:18