For those who know our family personally or who have followed this blog for awhile, you likely know of my daughter’s struggle with an eating disorder and depression that robbed her in many ways of her junior year. This Saturday she will graduate and today she can say in all honesty (as can I) that what God has done in and through her because of her trials was GOOD. I share with you by permission, her words, lifted off a Facebook post, because what she discovered is applicable to all of us, not just those who walk the halls of a high school.
—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————- This whole season of graduation and the year ending has me thinking/reflecting a lot on my past four years of high school. The other night every emotion hit me at once. I could not contain my tears.
This week is my last week of high school. My last sporting event was Monday night – winning soccer state – a WONDERFUL last game to be at. The past nine months have been filled with ‘lasts.’
While bawling in my dad’s arms after getting back home that night, I realized how beyond blessed I’ve been for these four years. Though I experienced some of the worst pain and suffering in this time, I needed those dark times to learn who I am, who God is and to enjoy every little blessing.
I regret nothing of high school because I believe every mistake, heartache and tear helped me grow into the person I am today. However, if I were to change something about my past four years it would be that I would have lived my whole high school career the way I have this year.
- I would have lived a life of intentionality instead of being so self focused.
- I would have smiled at every single person I passed in the hall instead of looking at my phone.
- I would have woken up and Chosen Joy every single day. Joy in the hard days. Joy in the fun moments. Joy in the simplest things.
- I would have spent my time getting to know the people in my classes and displayed the love of Christ better by showing them how loved and valued they are instead of focusing on myself only.
- I would have thanked my teachers after class every day because it’s due to them that I’ve made it this far.
- I would have been quicker to forgive, knowing that I am forever forgiven because of the cross.
- I would have not fretted over eating a cookie because they’re good and not worried about what it might do to my thighs.
- I would have spent more family time, making memories and laughing with them.
- I would have been fully present in every moment instead of wishing time away.
- I wouldn’t have wished for college to come sooner— I would have savored every moment with my friends before leaving.
But, I cannot look back on those mistakes with regret because it took experiencing the low to finally call out to God for rescue and support. And apart from the trials, my eyes would not have moved off of myself. I wouldn’t love the same way I do now. I wouldn’t laugh the same way, and I wouldn’t be as sad as I am today to be graduating.
These have been some of the greatest and worst years of my life. My life has been touched by every person who has entered it. As one friend told me, “Rebecca, this chapter isn’t closing, it’s just turning the page.”
I know full well this chapter prepared me for the next. Although I’m hesitant to turn the page, it’s time. The story will only get better as I keep moving forward— as I keep turning the pages. XOXO, Rebecca
Rebecca is ready to soar at the University of Arkansas in the fall. She plans to either study nutrition or pursue a path toward a counseling degree.
To read Rebecca’s past guest post, click on A Journey to Thankfulness.