It's graduation season here. Ever since May, my Facebook newsfeed has been filled with friends' graduation pictures. I see them with their caps and gowns, and all the medals or honor cords they received. I've seen their statuses about finally being done with high school, being free from classes, and also nostalgia about leaving things behind. And lately, I've been feeling a bit of nostalgia and regret too. What if I hadn't taken the homeschool route? What if I'd gone through school (either public or private school) and graduated with my friends? What opportunities have I missed because I didn't do that?
I can go on to say that I've missed being around friends every day; sharing classes and study time with them. I've missed school dances, prom, the festivities of spirit week, the greater potential to have gone on a date, knowing more young men (and women) because of school. I could say I've missed the class trips, year books, cameraderie during finals week, having that set number of 180 days in class. I've missed the chance of being closer to the friends I do have if I'd gone to school with them. Yes, reflecting back, I can come up with lots of things I've "missed." But these are all preconceived notions of what school-life is really about.
I think I'm unique because I haven't really liked my "high school experience." I've made bad choices, and these haven't been "the best four years of my life." I kind of wish I was there, walking across the stage with my cap and gown, with my friends. But now, I'm thinking....God put me here for a reason, and if I'm to be content, what is He trying to show me with all this?
Then I like to look at the blessings. I've been able to start my blog and write here. I've found three of my best friends through my online school, and many other friends through blogging. I didn't have to switch schools when we moved two years ago. I've learned to savor face-to-face contact with people. I've grown much much deeper in my faith -- on my own, maybe because I did school at home.
There's really no way to predict how different my life would have been because of the countless circumstances. God didn't give me the "perfect" home-school route, but none of His plans or creations are ever imperfect. They only seem like they are.
The other day, I received a dear comment on my blog from another writer here at CYW, Lauren, that I wanted to share because it so drives in the point I'm coming to realize:
Keep hoping and trusting Him, and good luck and good job. Don't be afraid of what's coming, or spend the precious moments of your life regretting what's happened. I promise you--take it from someone who has been in your shoes--things will turn out, always, according to His plan. And His plans are always better and more beautiful than ours, more than we can imagine or anticipate.
My experiences haven't been perfect and you don't know how many regrets I have. If I could do the last four years over, I totally would. But I've learned so much about myself, about life, priorities, and God. God is allowing me to feel regret so that I only draw closer to Him. He is breaking my Heart so that I will turn to Him for comfort. He is separating me from the past, and taking me away from the comforts I love for change -- so I can start fresh with Him.
It's still hard. It's hard to be leaving everything I know behind, everyone I know. I don't want to lose the friendships I've made; I wish I could've cultivated stronger friendships before leaving people behind. I have moments where I'm sad about things that are ending, but then I also think about all the exciting experiences that I have coming up. I'm on the doorstep of the first big change in my life, and I'm so glad I have Jesus to make that step with me. I'm content with that.