My first two years of high school has played a significant role in my testimony.
High school has brought a lot of emotions – Anxiety, joy, confusion, and sadness. I’ve experienced anxiety because of fear that not making a high enough GPA or an ACT score would keep me from going to the school I really wanted. I’ve experienced sadness because I lost friends that I thought were going to be my bridesmaids one day. I’ve been prideful when I thought I had the cutest clothes in school because of the compliments I got on them, but ended up hurting people because I let my looks and clothes define me. But, by the grace of God I realized some of the most important lessons during this season.
Your looks are not everything –
When I first began high school, I thought I had to be the best dressed. This meant I dressed in cute clothes everyday and was ‘rewarded’ by the compliments my friends and teachers would give me. I sacrificed my mornings to begin the day at 6am getting ready and doing my hair, instead of sleeping in. I didn’t realize it at first, but I was becoming prideful about the way I dressed and I put others down who didn’t dress like me.
But in Proverbs 31:10 and 16:7, God tells us something about beauty and looks:
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Proverbs 31:1.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7
These verses highlight some important aspects of beauty I wish I would have known before being prideful about the way I dressed and waking up at 6am:
First, beauty is fleeting. This means eventually our beauty will fade away. God warns us that our identity shouldn’t be rooted in the way we look because eventually it will flee. Instead, we should put our identity in Him because he will always be with us.
Lastly, God cares about what is inside our heart. God doesn’t care if you come to school looking like a model or if you come to school in sweats and a t-shirt. While the world will look at what you look like on the outside, God looks at what is on the inside.
Friends will leave you but God never will –
When I lost my friends, I was hurt. I spent the first few days trying to figure out what I did wrong and when I couldn’t find any reasons, I was confused. I was angry at God for taking out good people in my life. However, you will lose friends. We live in a sinful world, which means we are going to be hurt and betrayed by people we trusted and loved. But imagine how much more a perfect God will offer? He will never leave. He doesn’t even leave when we sin and turn our backs against him.
The Bible tells us this in Deuteronomy 31,
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed. Deuteronomy 31:8
Your grades do not determine if you make it to Heaven –
I wish someone would have slapped me across the face during my freshman year of high school to tell me this. There were so many times I put studying and school before God. I believed if I was a 4.0 student or if I got a 5 on the AP test, then I would be worthy and accepted. God does call us to learn and work hard in honor of who He is, but if our accomplishments in school and grades become our idols, that is a sin. We can’t take our achievements into Heaven and so in the end, your accomplishments don’t mean anything.
Without the Grace of God teaching me these thing during the last two years of high school, I wouldn’t have found my happiness.
I still dress cute, but I stopped being prideful because I know God doesn’t care about what you and I look like, so why should I? I want to have a good heart, not a good style.
I still lose friends that I thought would be at my wedding one day. But, I am remembered that Jesus never leaves. I remember that he always has a hand out telling me “Kaitlyn, I love you. Friends may leave you, but I never will.”
I don’t always get A’s on my test or A’s in my classes. But I am reminded that an A- does not determine whether I’m ‘qualified’ to make it into Heaven. I have already made it into Heaven because I know I am saved by Jesus Christ and no A- could ruin that.