We are the class of 2020. We thought that distinction would be something pretty special. What a great year to be graduating! 20’s themed dances, senior retreats, senior privileges, and traditions at school. We thought it would be a big celebration of the times that we’ve had.
Now this crazy thing called coronavirus has taken away a lot of what we were expecting and hoping for this year. These next few weeks will likely look way different than anyone expected. It’s left us feeling a little lost and isolated. In this situation, it’s hard to know what to do, especially now that most of us are stuck in quarantine. Which leads me to my first point:
It’s ok to grieve what’s you have lost.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
It’s a strange time. Each person was holding on to and looking forward to different aspects of these final months of senior year. As I type this, I’m beginning to tear up too about the things I lost. Having an awesome prom, seeing my friends in the hallway, laughing with my friends and teachers during class, sitting in chapel as a united student body, and so much more. As we reflect on these losses, it’s ok to mourn. It’s ok to cry about it and grieve the memories we may never have. It’s essential to experience these emotions and respect each other’s processes of grieving while recognizing your own.
Maybe you have felt angry. Perhaps you have felt sad or even feeling kind of numb. However you are feeling, I think we all recognize that coronavirus has taken things away from us. So let’s not let it steal our joy. Some of you may be confused at this point. How can we be sad about what’s happening and still hold on to our joy? These may seem like conflicting emotions, but really, they live at different levels of our hearts.
Sadness is an outer layer, something that we often feel about earthly things. But joy is found deep within us, intricately placed by God, designed for eternity. This joy is something to be protected and something that has strength beyond our circumstances. So while COVD-19 might cause some sadness or take surface-level things away from us, do we want to hand over one of the most profound qualities our soul? I think that’s something worth fighting to keep. One way to do that is to understand the next truth:
Senior year isn’t “it.”
“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
While we may be sad and experience the pain this situation brings, we cannot stay here. We weren’t created to live for senior year. Don’t forget what this year has brought. Let’s not define nine months of school by the final two months. We have had great times this year and have gotten to do a lot of awesome “senior things.”
And even if it hadn’t gone well, this isn’t all there is to it. Prom isn’t supposed to be the best night of your life. Senior year isn’t supposed to be the highlight of your life. We shouldn’t want it to be. Right? How disappointing would it be if our senior year was “it,” the best time of our lives and the rest is downhill? God has so much more in store. There is so much more to life than what was going to be our last couple months of high school. As stated above, it is healthy and necessary to mourn what is lost. But make sure things are in perspective on how much we have received through Him. And what have we received? The truth:
Nothing can stop an unstoppable God
“I know that you can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.” Job 42:2
I think we’ve all been touched or affected by this situation in ways we never expected. But as seniors, I think we have a choice to make. We can dwell in this fear and hysteria and craziness and let the things lost get the best of us. Or we can choose to defend something coronavirus can’t take: our faith in God. Like if state basketball and March Madness and spring break trips and whatever else may be affected by it, why hand over our trust in Jesus too? That’s what the enemy wants us to do. He is trying to shut down so much of the world and paralyze us in fear, but he can’t shut down our God. So let’s not pretend he can. I know it’s not easy. I don’t want to sound like I have it figured out. The song by Phil Wickham “You Cannot Be Stopped” has provided me a lot of encouragement. He sings, “mover of mountains, breaker of chains, Jesus has triumphed over the grave, sing hallelujah, the battle is won, nothing can stand against our God.”
Yes, sports may be stopped. Mission trips may be stopped. Schools and jobs may be stopped. Some of our senior year is stopped. But God cannot be stopped, and because of Him, we can’t either.
So, class of 2020, we are something special. What a year to be graduating, we can celebrate the times that we have had and move forward and embrace this time with the unstoppable force of an unstoppable God.
“For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7
Written By: Meghan Otte (17)