Dear School-Bound Girl,
Here we are again. You’re heading back to school….Can you believe it? Neither can I!
You said you’re super-excited and stepping-on-egg-shells nervous all mixed together. I’ve got some good news: most heroines of adventures have the same mix of emotions as they start on their journeys!
Ok, so maybe you aren’t thinking of another school year as a book-worthy adventure. But the truth is, there are similarities. Like all adventures, this year is going to have its own calms, highs and lows. After all, it wouldn’t be much of an adventure if you just sailed through on glassy seas, would it? I mean, who would want to read a book like this: “It all started when Molly went to school. From the first day, everything went perfectly swell for her.” Not much thrill in that is there? But if it begins with, “It all started when Molly went to school. From the first day, everything went perfectly swell for her. Everything, that is, except…” Now you’re left wondering, aren’t you?
Don’t misunderstand; I want you to have those calm seas where you can take a deep breath, feel the gentle breezes and just draw in your journal because words aren’t needed. I also want you to have those mountaintop moments that put a smile on your face and a spring in your step and that you scribble about in your journal because you want to savor each sweet second forever! I pray you’ll have the very best of both tranquil and terrific times. May they be sprinkled over your school year like sprinkles on a sundae.
But you’re going to come across those low moments, too, dear girl. Those moments that make you reach for the Kleenex box, leave salty spots on your journal pages and that you might even want to erase from your life. As hard as it is to understand, you are given those moments just like a heroine in a book. Perhaps God will use them to grow you, to move your story forward or to give you a heart prepared to comfort other hurting hearts. While knowing that may not help when you’re swamped in a school-year-sadness, hang in there. Maybe it really will help to know that I’ve prayed that God will be closest to you in those tear-stained times. King David lived through dozens of dark days that drew him closer to God. Those days gave us the Psalms. Not a bad outcome of that story, right?
You mentioned that you’re dreading having to study again. First of all, I don’t blame you one little bit. This sure has been a lovely summer! I may seem old now, but I still remember my own school days pretty clearly. While it’s true that I usually loved to learn new things – writers are always having to be curious! – I did have my fair share of dread-bound days when the last thing I wanted to do was crack the cover of a school book. How should a girl handle severe summer-induced study-itis? A snippet from Anne Shirley of Green Gables comes to mind. After deciding to study to become a teacher, Anne tells Marilla,
“I shall take more interest than ever in my studies now…because I have a purpose in life. Mr. Allan [the minister at Anne’s church whose wife is a good friend of Anne’s} says that everybody should have a purpose in life and pursue it faithfully. Only he says we must first make sure that it is a worthy purpose….” 
I think Anne’s really on to something here. A well-grounded purpose gives us an extra push in the right direction. Perhaps you could consider a purpose for your studies this year. Not just “to get to the next grade”, but something that goes beyond yourself. Need an idea? You know I love to give ideas!
This year I’m going to really learn so that I can…
- Be on my way to becoming a (teacher, doctor, business owner, etc.)
- Help my parents someday when they are old.
- Give my younger siblings a hand in getting a good education. (That’s what Grandma Alice’s older siblings did.)
- Invent ______________.
- Teach my children someday.
- Be ready for whatever adventures God has ahead of me and listen to Proverbs 3:13-14 (ESV), “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.”
Of course, don’t forget Mr. Allan’s advice; make sure your purpose is a worthy one. Check in with God about it. Then, if you’re like me, coming up with a purpose isn’t enough because it’s so easy to forget good resolutions. Why not write down your purpose and post it in different places where you’ll see it often like by your desk or on your computer? Hmmm. I’m thinking I need to do this with a few of my goals. Practicing what I preach would be good, wouldn’t it?
So there you go, dear friend. I hope that’s an encouragement. Let me know how it goes, won’t you? The picture-worthy days, the smile-wearing days, the tear-wiping days…You know I’m always up for listening to a story. And as you sail into this new installment in the adventure series Of Your Life, don’t forget that somebody (yours truly!) has prayed for you.
Hugs & Blessings,
1 L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1995), 313-314. An Everyman’s Library children’s classic edition.