As my oldest child ends her middle school years in the next couple weeks and begins the journey to high school I have some words of Wisdom for her. For all you mothers, aunts, sisters and cousins out there, please remember that your actions speak louder than words. Even though I say these words to my daughter on a pretty consistent basis, I must live them out to the fullest. We all have HUGE impacts on those around us – which is why God calls us to be Christ-like in everything we do and say.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
Megan, please know that if you just trust that the Lord will help you, your life will be so much easier. When you are faced with difficult decisions or choosing friendships, ask for God’s guidance. Look for ways that God is speaking to you through scripture and other people. He will help you make it through even the worst of struggles and choices. Please know I am always a phone call away.
James 1:12 Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.
I have watched you run many races and compete in many meets. You always push yourself a little further each time. Take that perseverance one step further and find that spirit during the race of life. There will be moments that you just want to give up. There will be times that your life seems so lonely. There will be times that you make such bad choices that you think there is no way out. Don’t let these things get you down. Persevere through it. Pray for God’s mercy and grace!
Matthew 18:7-9 Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes! “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell.
Alright, so this seems a bit harsh of a scripture, but listen to it while you read it aloud. Your friendships in life should lift you up. Your friends should inspire you to be a better person. Your best friends will be there for you when life gets hard. When your friends start leading you down a pathway that you are not comfortable with, then cut off the friendship. Life will be so much easier if you choose good friends that can enjoy it with you. Your dad and I are best friends. He makes me a better person. I like to think that your dad is clearing a pathway to heaven for me because he inspires me to follow God. All of your friendships and boyfriends should treat you with respect and honor your choices. You are a great person, but you will be better if you surround yourself with friends that inspire you to follow God.
As Mother Teresa says, “God doesn’t require us to succeed, but only to try.”
Okay, so this isn’t a bible verse, but it is from one of my favorite women, Mother Teresa. What she says is perhaps the wisest words I have ever heard. God’s success looks nothing like earthly success. You don’t have to be the best. You don’t have to be the smartest. You don’t have to be labeled a “professional.” In fact, God’s success is when you just try to do something that is out-of-the-box. When you place your trust in God, and just try to do something for Him; the blessings will flow into your life. This may be a ministry at the church. It might be inviting a friend to Mass with you. It might be leading a bible study. It might be acting kindly to someone who is hard to love. Whatever it is, God will give you the tools, if you ask. And the success is when you try.
James 3:14-15 But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. Wisdom of this kind does not come down from above but is earthly.
You are so great at humbly accepting your gifts. What I mean is – you do not just rejoice when you finish strong in a race, but you rejoice when all finish the race. You know the importance of trust, perseverance and strength. You know that everyone deserves credit for trying. I love that quality in you. NEVER LOSE THAT QUALITY. Becoming jealous or hurt by other’s success will bring you down. You are wise beyond your years, so don’t let yourself slip into ambitious desires; always ask God what He needs from you. Turn your back on selfish rewards.
Phillipians 2:14-15 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky
Do your best to find joy in everything. When I find myself falling into the trap of gossip, complaints and arguing, I turn into a person I do not like. Always try to find the joy of everything – even struggles. Struggles are a gift from God. God will teach all of us very valuable lessons in the midst of struggle. Trust me on this one. I have learned many lessons during times of extreme pain and sorrow.
To all those teenagers out there that are struggling to figure out life, please know that you are loved by God. You are His child. He will care for you. Even when times are tough, God is there. Pray for His strength. Pray for His hope. Pray for Him to show you the plan in your struggles. Most of all remember, you are all unique and special. We all have very different gifts that God gives us. He wants us to use those gifts. Sometimes when we are not quite using them the way He needs, life can get hard. Try a new path if that seems to be happening to you.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
The most important lesson in life is that Jesus suffered, died, was buried and rose again for our sins. We never deserved eternal life, but God gave it to us anyway. Make choices in your life based on the fact that Jesus Christ died for you. Your main goal here on earth is to get yourself and those you love to heaven.
Congratulations to my daughter, Megan, for passing through the struggles of middle school with grace and humility. I can only pray that your high school years will give you the same joy and happiness. Just remember that God is right next to you the entire way!