Heavy on my heart this week has been high school seniors. Last week, three of our church’s seniors gave their “senior sermons” on Youth Sunday. Each mentioned the heartbreak of knowing their senior year was cut short, and they would not be returning to campus to see their friends, say good bye to their teachers, have a senior skip day, play a prank, and most likely not hold a graduation ceremony.
I remember my senior year of high school being one of the best times of my life. I loved the last month of being in school, just soaking up all that I had achieved over the years and all that the community of my high school had given me. Although I was so ready for college, I needed the closure of saying goodbye to my teachers, counselors, coaches, teammates, and feeling like I left my legacy at my school. I can’t imagine how our seniors are feeling without their final sports seasons, getting to celebrate their accomplishments, or getting to spend time with their friends before many will leave for college.
And for the most part, I have heard so much maturity from these seniors. I have heard acceptance of their reality and compassion for people who have it so much worse than them. I have seen them lean into people telling them the best is yet to come, and that it won’t matter that much in a few years that they didn’t get this chance to finish. I have watched them accept heartbreak with so much grace and strength, and pour out compassion for others.
But I know, that deep in their hearts, this is really hard. And for many it is probably one of the hardest things they’ve been through at a young age. At a time when they want to grieve what is being lost, they are being told they shouldn’t. It can be so confusing to know what to feel. To not want to be selfish and be upset. I know many are probably feeling both heartbreak and thankfulness, sadness and joy, afraid and excited.
So seniors, this post is for you. I want you know that God sees you. I know many of you are feeling unseen – glazed over by our world for more important matters. Just as He saw the woman at the well and knew her story. Just as He saw Zacchaeus in the tree. Just as he saw Leah feeling unloved by her husband. And Adam and Eve naked in the garden. He sees each of us and knows how we are feeling. God hears you. Just like he heard the Israelites in exile. And King David’s prayers. And Paul in prison. And Jesus in the garden.
The bible says in Psalm 34:18 that “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit,” and “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
God is here during this time for you. You can rely on Him for comfort and hope in knowing that He will be right here with you. He will show you how to heal your heart if you let Him. It’s okay to cry and to be sad. Cry out to the Lord; He wants you to bring you burdens to Him. He wants to carry them and to heal them in His time.
This time of loss and time of stillness in quarantine can be a time of revived strength in the Lord if you let it be. You can walk away knowing that the Lord has a “plan to give you a hope and a future” (Jer 29:11). He hasn’t abandoned you. The bible says He “keeps track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book.” Psalm 56:8. The Lord is mourning with you and all of us who are hurting during these unprecedented times. The Lord sees our tears, hears the cries of our heart. I know that for me, He has used this to give me a longing for Heaven. For seeing him come back and take us to a place where there will be no more tears and no more sorrow. To have Him wipe the tears away from my eyes.
I hope that you will feel seen and loved by the Lord. I hope you will find hope in the sadness and peace in the stillness. I hope you will learn to look to Him to supply all your needs and heal your brokenness. I hope you look back on this time in the future and see how the Lord was with you, and use it as an altar in your life where you learned to lean into the Lord.
Mary Klepzig | SHPC Youth Intern