Eighteen

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what it was like to be 18.  Six years ago, I still felt like I was 18 and even though I had finished college and was living in a foreign country on my own, I would panic when I realized I was the adult chaperoning 20 kindergarteners on field trips around the city.  I was a kid – 23 years old – and didn’t know what the hell I was doing.  This I can remember, but 18?

A pensieve would be really helpful in moments like these when I’m looking for some perspective.  At 18, I was in my senior year of high school, feeling the mounting pressure and excitement of everything that was waiting for me after May 11, 2000.  I had completely given up on the present, assuming that as soon as I was emancipated from high school, from my parents, from the mundane, freedom and adventure and certainty would be my best and life long friends, and I longed for them.  Oh the things I longed for when I was 18.  I had perpetual spring fever – where you have heartache because you want something really badly, but you just can’t really put your finger on what it is you want – yep, 18.  It’s all coming back to me now.

Tonight, ten years later, I found myself eating dinner with four kids who are in almost that same spot.  They are searching and longing and hopeful.  And I’m excited for them because if God is faithful (and I know for sure He is) then He’s going to intersect their search for identity, their longings for adventure and freedom and their hope for certainty and He’s going to prove that He is enough.

Hang in there, kids.  It will happen and sooner than you think, you’ll be racking your brain trying to remember what it was like in there ten years ago.  “Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act.  Travel steadily along His path.  He will honor you, giving you the land.” Psalm 37:34.

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