Graduation 2008: Starting a New Chapter

by Rosalynn Santos

A chapter of my life is coming to an end. For some people, graduation is just this sigh of relief. It’s over, it’s done with, great. For some, it’s this huge fear just pounded on them of “Oh no, what am I going to do with my life now that high school is over?!” And for the rest, they feel both emotions. I consider myself to be in the “in-crowd” of the people who have both emotions. I definitely feel that sigh of relief. As I look back through the years of my grade school career, starting from a small, dependent, lost feeling child who was attached to the hip of her mother, to now, as a grown, mature, and somewhat independent young lady, I can see how much I have changed and how much I’ve been blessed. But then, I look towards the future, and I can’t help but feel fear. I don’t know what the future holds, I don’t know what to expect, and to be honest, I don’t know where to even start to be able to launch off my future. But one thing’s for sure, whether it be my past, present, or future, I know it was and will always be in the hands of God. God walked me through that wonderful journey that helped mold me into who I am today, and I know he will also walk with me hand in hand towards my future.

I’m sure most of you know what it’s like to grow up. When people think of the stresses of high school, they automatically think grades. And yes, it’s true; grades are probably the number one thing that a student worries about. But there are so many other stresses as well that comes those years. You know … the puberty that makes you feel a little off, the new friends, taking your driving tests, the first significant other, your first job, the transitions from elementary to middle school, to high school, and of course, the unfortunate temptations that strike you as a teen. There can be plenty of times where you can feel different as a person, tired physically, and sometimes even lost spiritually. But always, always know, that there is only one thing in this world that can find you, give you strength, and never leave you. And that is the grace of God. I know that for a fact because I went through all this “teen struggle” stuff myself. The thing I thank the Lord for while growing up is for never leaving my side. I know that He was the one that helped me get through those struggles and was the one that walked me through my high school career. For me, my high school struggles weren’t grades. I mean, yes I did worry about them because I wasn’t the daughter who made all A’s. I was horrified every week I knew progress or report cards were coming home. I would check the mailbox everyday until I could snatch it with my own hands before my mom could find it and give me the eye. I still had that struggle, but my struggle that stood out the most, the struggle that I felt really struck me through these years was not knowing myself and distancing myself from God.

I guess we really don’t really weigh out our blessings and realize how much the Lord has showered us with them. When I think about high school, I just think about how much God helped me get through things. My struggles came my sophomore year of high school. And this can sound so cliché, but the Lord helped me get through it. I guess growing up was just hard for me that year. I remember one night I sat on my bathroom floor. I felt out of breath and tears just kept flowing down my face. It was a night that honestly nothing happened to me. I just felt so lost, I felt like I didn’t have anyone to talk to, and worst of all, I felt that I wasn’t worthy enough to pray to God to comfort me. I called a close friend of mine and just let everything out, especially the feeling of not being able to find comfort in God. And I remember she told me, “Rosalynn, you need to remember, that He is the only one that will never leave you. He is the only one that will never judge you, He is the one that will always listen, and He is the only one that can forgive.”

And after she said those true statements, I really felt relieved! I could feel the tears stopping, and me being able to calm down. “This is true!” I thought. It says in I Corinthians 13: 4-8:

“Love is patient, love is kind …It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

…and in I John 4:16, it says, “God is love”. Therefore, if God is love, then God also, is patient, kind, not rude, not easily angered, keeps no record of wrong, always protects, and most of all, love NEVER fails. We are all worthy to turn to Christ, at anytime. No matter how wrong we can be, or how lost we feel, God will always be there. He will be there to help us all go through these struggles of school and work. He’ll help us make the right decisions about our friends, he’ll mend our hearts when we go through our first heart break, and still love us when we fall in the trap of temptation. Ill never forget the advice my sister gave to me. After our conversation, I hung up the phone and found myself in a twenty minute prayer, asking for forgiveness, thanking Him for all the blessings, for the comfort to help me find myself, make the right decisions, and most of all, build a strong relationship with Him. And honestly, with no exaggeration, I felt better. I began to read my Bible more, try to go to church early enough for Sabbath School, and pray more than I intended on. From then, everything felt right. School wasn’t such a drag, I learned how to have patience, my relationship with my parents was great, just everything was great. I think it’s helped me mature into the person I am now.

I think the Lord has brought me a long way. And to be honest, I am ready to go into the “real world”. I do have my fears, yes. I was at first stuck between two schools: Houston Baptist University and Southwestern Adventist University. I wanted to go to an Adventist school to have that atmosphere to become closer to Him. However, my parents would give me puppy dog eyes asking me to stay in Houston, and I had the Met SDA youth who I knew I’d be crushed if I left them. After going months being stuck between the two, I thought to myself, “Forget it! I know the Lord has a path for me, I just need to pray that I make the right one.” So I prayed for about two weeks to make a decision whether to move to Keene, Texas, or stay in Houston. Well, after many prayers, visiting one of the campuses, getting different results financial wise, and weighing out my true feelings about leaving or staying, I came to a conclusion to stay in Houston. I felt the Lord sent me enough signs to say, “Hey, I should really stay.” And I can say I’m confident about this decision, mainly because I pray about it. I know God does have a plan for me. I know that Him having me stay is just part of the path that he’s planned out for me even before I even thought about college.

I can have my fears about meeting new people, having hard school work, and so forth. But to be honest, they’re not fears that I’ll dwell on because I know He’ll be with me. Just like how He helped me get myself together in high school and walked with me everyday, I know He’ll do the same for me when I’m in college. I just need to remember not to fear, I’m in his path.


5 Responses to “Graduation 2008: Starting a New Chapter”

  1. Jillian on April 28th, 2008 2:34 pm

    Beautifully written, Rosalynn! Definitely describes something that goes through every high school student’s mind… God bless!

  2. on April 28th, 2008 10:14 pm

    Graduation 2008: Starting a New Chapter : The Youth @theMet…

    This blog post accurately depicts what goes on when a young Christian graduates from high school– what goes through their heads, what sort of doubts and worries they bring to Christ’s feet. Great read!…

  3. Elinor on April 28th, 2008 11:33 pm

    I’m so proud of you! You’re a beautiful young lady–in so many ways. God has blessed me with such an amazing sister. Even I have learned many things from seeing your relationship with Christ.

  4. Shalyn on April 29th, 2008 12:54 am

    hi Rosalynn!
    your testimony reminded me of that verse in Jeremiah 29:11–”For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
    i’m kinda going through some tough obstacles right now and sometimes i get discourage, whether to keep going or just stop.. but stopping is just a dead end… so every time i get discourage, i just read that verse bc i know God has a plan for me.. He gives me hope and strength every day so when all of these obstacles pass, i can see what He has in store for me… all i need is prayer and more faith in God… just wanted to share..

    well, Rosalynn, good to hear from you… i hope to hear more of your testimonies and your walk with the Lord… i’ll definitely put you in my prayers… so, keep trusting the Lord and pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you all the way..

    miss you guys there!.. hope to see all of you soon!..

  5. Jennye on April 30th, 2008 6:37 pm

    Inspiring and encouraging! Simple, yet awesome testimony. And I’m so glad you’ve decided to stay home! We need you here in Houston!

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