So you are starting middle school…
I wrote the following letter for a very specific, special girl who is a friend of mine as she starts middle school. I started thinking about all of the friends I have with little girls (and boys!) starting that same journey so I thought I would share it here. As I wrote it I realized that my oldest will be here before I know it and I think this letter might help ME more than HER!
Welp, here you go, sweet girl! Out into the big “out yonder” world! Middle school marks a transition like no other. You leave the smallish world of grade school and your world seems to MULTIPLY! Your friends, your interests, your choices…even your school work…will grow! And, it isn’t all bad. Nope. Don’t let anyone tell you that it is. You are about to enter a very exciting time. It is a time of carving, a time of shaping, a time of molding…of YOU! All of those choices, all of those interests, all of those friends…and in the midst of all that is growing and multiplying you will find that you, friend, are growing in strength, growing in heart and multiplying in your understanding of this world and what the Lord has for YOU in it.
So, here’s the thing, friend. It isn’t all bad. That’s for sure. I promise. BUT…and I can promise you this, too… you are going to have some terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. That’s for sure, too. There is no way around it. Middle school and high school are a crash course in relationships and things of this world. Some days the CRASH will feel more damaging than others.
I said you will grow in strength. Well, if you have ever lifted weights or know someone who has you know that how muscle gets stronger is by pushing AGAINST RESISTANCE. In fact, muscle gets broken down in the fight against the weights in order to grow back stronger.
You will face resistance. You will have bad days. You will feel broken down at times.
AND here is what I want you to remember, sweet, strong, smart friend.
Everyone has these days.
No matter WHAT IT FEELS LIKE these days are not forever. Middle school and high school will be over in the blink of an eye. These feelings are TEMPORARY.
YOU. YOUR LOVE FOR YOUR SAVIOR. YOUR CHURCH FAMILY. YOUR JOY.
THESE ARE NOT (temporary).
Romans 8:28 tells us very clearly a promise:
“And we know that in ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
There is purpose and work He is doing in the thrilling, exciting, can’t-wait-to-wake-up-in-the-morning days AND there is purpose and work He is doing in the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days. Trust that. That is HIS promise…not mine.
So, middle school and high schoolers tend to be a little dramatic. I don’t know how many times I have heard them say: “This is the worst possible day EVER!” only to hear the next day: “This is the BEST possible day ever!” That high drama is part of what makes these days so incredibly delightful. You are about to get on a roller coaster of sorts.
Just remember, never forget…those valleys don’t last long. Just like on a roller coaster, the next turn inevitably brings another hill top experience.
Lift up your hands. Enjoy the ride. Trust that your Savior, Jesus Christ, has laid the tracks for you. He knows all about the path He has for you.
“He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” Psalm 40:2
“He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights.” Psalm 18:33
Oh, sweet friend, enjoy the ride, will you?! I will be cheering for you from down below watching as you go up and down and taking a few flips along the way. I can’t wait to see you on the other side when you get off. I can only imagine how beautiful you will be walking across that stage to graduate. It will be here before we know it.
Love ya, sweetheart.