// lessons from high school. //

…because as of this past Friday, I have officially walked the halls of my school for the last time, and as of this upcoming Friday, I shall be a high school graduate.

So, to celebrate, here are a few things I’ve learned over the past four years…


// Growing up really isn’t all that terrifying. Really. It’s crazy and beautiful, and occasionally stressful, and requires trusting God more and realizing that you can’t do this on your own (and that you’re not supposed to). But it’s so incredibly worth it.

// Your parents are absolutely amazing human beings. You already know this, but right now you’re at a weird age and get frustrated with them on occasion, so I just wanted to reiterate that. They’re epic, and show Christ in all they do, and you’re incredibly blessed to be their daughter.

// You’ve been given a gift in wordsmithery. Embrace it. Fly with it. The words you write can create worlds and share your heart in ways that speaking out loud can’t. Isn’t that amazing?

// You love fiction, and you know what? That’s such a huge part of who you are. Don’t hide that. It’s perfectly wonderful to love the stories that have made an impact on your life. And there’s so many other people who feel the same way; allow me to introduce you, younger-Em, to this thing called “fandom”…

// You’re not crazy, just an INFJ. 😉 It’s beautiful to have someone finally put the way your brain works into words. And also, psychology and personality typing is amazing. (Spoiler alert: Psych is what you’re going to major in someday, because it makes your heart happy even more than English does)

// On the “you’re not crazy” note– it’s perfectly okay to be different than those around you at school, because different is authentically you. Don’t hide parts of yourself to try and fit in, because you know what? Breaking the mold and embracing who you are in Christ is so much more fun and freeing.

// The books you read and the movies/shows you watch in high school? They’re some of the best ever, and they’ll leave their mark on your heart. Notably: Mere Christianity {you MUST read your C.S. Lewis, girl}, One Thousand Gifts, The Wingfeather Saga, Les Miserables, The Book Thief, Star Wars, Marvel movies {yes, someday you will love SW and Marvel– perhaps even more than Matt}, Big Hero Six, and Downton Abbey. Just you wait. It’s so epic.

// Don’t be so against change. Now, this is a lesson that I’m still in the process of learning. Maybe I’ll always be learning it. But dear, sweet girl– change is coming. I’m walking towards the biggest season of change myself right now, the most life-change I’ve ever faced before. And, from moving to a different church freshman year and other related events, I’ve learned that God will give you a crazy peace when you’re turning down the right path, even if it’s the unpopular one, even when it’s full of unknowns. Trust Him, and walk with Him, and have the grace to– perhaps not anticipate always, because every now and then change is saddening, but to accept the right changes when they come. He will give you the strength you need.

// This season of loneliness doesn’t last forever. (I just want to give you a hug and let you know that in person, younger-Em. Guys, I want a time machine.) Fix your eyes on Christ dear girl, always. He is the only one who can truly satisfy your soul and heal your heart. And then, when your security is in Him and you’re content with His company, then you’ll find that there are people who do think like you– kindred spirits. And you’ll make some amazing friendships, ones that’ll last for life, and deepen those that you already have. But finding joy in the Lord comes first.

// You are not defined by a letter grade. (Can I get an amen?) Or by how well you can sing, or write, or take tests, or do any of the things you enjoy doing. This life isn’t about how well you can perform. It’s about how you can show Jesus, follow Him. There will be so many times over the next few years that you struggle with this, but always remember that however well or poorly you do– that doesn’t create or destroy you. You’re still Emily even if you fail a test or mess up a song or write an awful sentence. Surrender it all to the One who has given you these gifts, and you’ll find that He’ll use them for “abundantly more than you could ever ask or imagine”. (Just trust me on this one.)

// You’re still single. And still very much content in the singleness. You do you, and reflect Christ in purity of heart, thoughts, and actions, and all will be well. ^_^ (And also: a couple of your friends will sometimes be just as boy-crazy as they were in middle school. Only it’s more annoying in high school, as you decidedly are not and frankly don’t care. Just smile and wave, and give honest advice when asked. And save the rolling of eyes for later.)

// As a fourteen-year-old, I know you’ve always got your head in the clouds or your nose in a book. Which is great sometimes (“reality is a lovely place, but I wouldn’t want to live there”), but you need to start paying attention to the world around you. You need to be more observant of where you’re going when your parents drive you places; this will come in handy in a couple of years (and I really wish you had done that, in hindsight). You also need to start paying attention to social and political issues; you’re going to be voting by your senior year, and you need to be informed. This world is so broken, so I wouldn’t advise reading the news for lengthy periods of time or you’ll get too heartbroken, but it’s so important to know what’s going on. These kinds of things can have a huge impact on your life, as an American citizen, a young woman, and especially as an unashamed Christian.

// And also– begin studying the Word and learning how to defend your faith. You’ll need it, that unshakable foundation to stand upon when the rest of the world tries to get you to move. And it’s never too early to start.

// You, dear heart, “are a splendid work of God” (to be spoken in an overly fancy British accent). So be confident, and let the Light shine through your eyes and smile, because you are beautiful and valued and loved by your Creator. Hold this truth close to your heart, always.

// “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” -C.S. Lewis


So, that apparently turned into a quasi-letter to my fourteen-year-old self? That wasn’t the original plan, but I just sort of went with it. (It’s easier to write lessons to someone, I’ve found, rather than just listing them objectively.)

Life is beautifully insane right now, as you can probably gather from my being caught in the week between finishing high school and officially graduating, but I’m sure I’ll be back afterwards to give the blog a few life updates and random musings. It’s summertime for me now, even though I wore a sweater today because it’s rather cold (comfortably cold, I love it), and I do hope to be writing more, both on here and on my stories-in-progress. Because in the fall? Well, that’s a season of a different kind of craziness that’s on the horizon, and I have no idea when I’ll find the time to write. But today, I’ll focus on the here and now– which is that it is well with my soul and I’m glad to be alive. (And I also need to go work on crafting decorations for my open house next Sunday. That too.)

{love always, Em}

(who has learned much, but is so thrilled to keep learning more and more every day)


2 Replies to “// lessons from high school. //”

  1. This is so wonderful Em. You’ve been blooming so beautifully and I know you will continue to grow and bloom. I love you dear one!!

    *gives an amen*

    Liked by 1 person

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