Dear freshman Sarah,
I know this year has been hard. I know it has not been what you wanted, and I know that you aren’t where you thought you would be. I wish I could tell you just how wonderful your college experience is going to shape up to be. You can’t see it now, but you’re on an uphill climb that is taking you to some pretty great places and people. Don’t get discouraged just yet.
If I could give you one piece of advice, it would be to engage. I know that it’s easy for you to check out or to numb out the feelings that you’re having. I know that it seems like it’s making things better for you, because it’s self-protecting in a way. I’m here to tell you that it’s incredibly important to check IN to what is going on around you. You are surrounded by people who love you and want to know you. They value your friendship, and they are trustworthy. Your life will be more fun when you decide to show up with your friends. I challenge you to engage with the feelings you have when things are hard too. Contrary to what you know, it’s actually not good to sweep all your feelings under the rug. I know that it is hard to break that habit, but the sooner you do the sooner your life will move from being muted to being really colorful. Talk to people about what’s going on, because they’re more willing to listen than you think. I can also tell you with absolute certainty that the best thing you could do right now would be to engage with God. If I was sitting next to you, I might give you a loving shake and tell you that. He is so kind and loving, and He longs for you to talk to Him. He is not intimidated by all the stuff you have hidden under the rug. He will meet you where you are. He will cry with you and laugh with you and take you by the hand and lead you to better places. You can trust Him.
You’re gonna figure most of this stuff out on your own, because you’re smart and scrappy, but that doesn’t mean that you have to do it on your own. You’re about to spend your first full summer working at Glisson. It will be the best, and you will make lifelong friends. They’re the real deal, so invest in those relationships. You will meet the most amazing children. They will show you what it looks like to be hungry for God, to ask questions, and to encounter the Holy Spirit in the funniest things. Take it all in. You’re equipped to care for them and to lead them. You don’t know it yet, but next spring you’ll be at UGA. It will be very different from UNG and CSU. You’re gonna go to this thing called Wesley. It’s weird at first, because it’s loud and crowded and not like camp in the slightest. Give it a chance, because God isn’t confined to campfires and mountains (although he shows up there for sure). You’re about to get rocked - it’s gonna be wild, it’s gonna be great.
Alexa, play Farther Along by Josh Garrels.
Sarah, age 24