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My high school journal: Spotify edition

Music evokes nostalgia. As I was listening through old Spotify playlists recently, I remembered the seasons of high school. As the years have passed, I've created a new Spotify playlist for every year of high school. I found memories of life lessons, personal hardships, and great joys within each playlist. The music brought me back to specific seasons, reminding me of God's faithfulness throughout. Every playlist revealed a common theme related to the lessons He taught me.

REFINER- Maverick City Music

“I wanna be tried by fire, Purified, You take whatever you desire, Lord here's my life”

My freshman year was filled with lots of change. Coming off of COVID-19, school was different. People had changed during the pandemic, and as we reunited for high school, we re-evaluated our friendships. Many of my peer's relationships with the Lord had changed. I didn’t know who I was or what I wanted to do with my life, so I joined as many clubs as possible. I strived to be more like Jesus but didn’t have the guidance or wisdom to know the steps toward seeking and trusting Him.  

Looking back, I didn’t handle the transition to high school well. I lacked trust in the Lord’s plan. I had no peace. As I lost and gained friends, I wrestled with how to make new friends.


“Still all I want; You’re still my everything; No one ever cared for me like Jesus; His faithful hand has held me all this way”

My desire for approval led to a sophomore year filled with a lack of identity and a struggle with anxiety. I believed all the lies: I was alone, no one loved me, and I didn't deserve to be here. I let anxiety control me instead of taking captive my thoughts and leaning into what the Lord wanted to teach me through my struggle. 

As I wrestled with these trials, I had to believe there was a reason for the loneliness. There was a reason for the thoughts I was having. After realizing my genuine need for help and community, I let people into my struggle, being honest with myself and those around me; I found that Jesus cared for me like no one else. I discovered that even in my brokenness, Jesus still cared about me. My identity was rewritten in Jesus and what he did for me, not in my success.

GRATITUDE- Brandon Lake

“All my words fall short; I have nothing new; How could I express all my gratitude?; So I throw up my hands and praise You again and again; ‘Cause all that I have is a hallelujah, hallelujah”

As summer ended and junior year began, I started the athletic training program. And now, being able to drive meant I had much time to think and reflect. The song Gratitude played on repeat, and I began to reflect on how faithful the Lord was to provide in the most challenging time of my life. He provided me with a loving community and told me I wasn't alone. He showed me worldly friends fail, but with Jesus as my best friend, I had someone I could always count on. The lessons he taught me in my loneliness and anxiety created an attitude of gratitude that I could never forget. I learned I should choose the things I love and do them well instead of halfway participating in everything possible. 

HIGHS AND LOWS- Hillsong Young & Free

“Highs and lows; Lord, You're with me either way it goes;You're too good to let me go”

As junior year continued, I realized sophomore year was the lowest of lows in high school. I would also soon learn highs and lows are a part of life. If you face the lows with confidence in the Lord and trust in His promises, it is much easier to have peace amid the storms. I learned to trust the Lord in the lows and not walk away from God in the highs. I learned to make a consistent routine of reading my Bible and spending time with him because that was the best way to grow closer to him. All of junior year was a high for me—my friends were great, I loved school, and basketball was going exactly how I wanted it to, yet when I look back on it, the highest of highs was when I was walking with the Lord the closest. 


As I walk through the fire; Let it purify me; I know you're with me there; God you hold the victory; So who am I to fear?

Fast forward to senior year. Trusting the Lord’s plans terrified me, so I decided to make my own plans and pretend they were His. It took me taking the ACT three times, applying to eight colleges, and getting accepted to all of them to realize college is not where He wants me next year. His calling on my life for the next year was missions 10,403 miles away from home. He wanted me to see that sometimes it takes learning lessons the hard way to know He is sovereign. Sometimes, it takes fearfully walking through the fire to know he is in control. 


You don't want a surface relationship; You want more than this; Take me on a deep dive into Your heart; Show me every detail; unveil all that You are

So now, as I am about to graduate high school and move to a country where I don’t speak the language and I honestly don't like the food, I’m so excited to dive deep into the Word and know my Savior on an even deeper level. I want to study His Word and understand his heart. I’m praying for God to be exalted in everything I do for the rest of my life. Whether I move back to the States and go to college or pursue missions full-time, my yes is on the table, and my future is in His hands.


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