As a youth leader, I follow many of my students on social media such as twitter, instagram, or vine. Consequently, I regularly scroll down my news feed and see tons and tons of hash-tags. Thirteen-year-old girls have made “hash-tagging” into an art. They will post a picture and come up with at least fifty words to individually hash-tag in the caption of said picture. I have seen a lot of reoccurring hash-tags the past few weeks such as “#goodbye”, “#summer”, “#IMissYouSummer”, etc. There is one hash-tag in particular that I have seen a few times recently and that is “#EndOfAnEra”; this one hit home with me.
I have done a lot of things this summer that I have never done before. I worked as a youth leader, lived a summer at home without my brother, visited friends from college, worked several jobs, and did many more things that were new to me along with many things particular to summer. As I look back on all of that, it is sad to see those things come to an end. I’ll miss my youth group kids, I’ll miss living at home with my parents, and I’ll especially miss getting several pay-checks every week; but what happens when something ends? Something new always begins.
At first, I thought to myself, “Going to college isn’t new. I’m just headed back to the life I lived last September-May”. But, it is new. There will be new people to meet, new classes to go to, and more places to visit in Nyack. On top of all that, however, the day-to-day college life will be different because this summer transformed me into a more mature and godly person than I was last September, or even last May. I hope that the run-of-the-mill dorm life and interactions with other students are different for me this school year– not because anything around me has changed– but because I have.
So, as summer ends, remember that new things are beginning. Closure, departure, and separation make way for opening, coming, and re-uniting. God has plans bigger than you could ever imagine, and you get to be a part of it. Last week, I heard a pastor say, “God has His story written and He’s invited you to be a part of it”. As summer ends and fall semester begins, embrace God’s plan, get on your knees and thank Him for letting you be a part of it. And, while you’re at it, thank Him for beginnings.