Congratulations Class of 2021! Graduating from high school or higher education is always a huge achievement! This year you have not only completed your coursework, but you have done so in spite of incredible obstacles both externally and internally. Take a deep breath. You made it. You are stronger than you know. You can do hard things. We are SO proud of you!

As you prepare to close this chapter and step into the next one, I want to encourage you that God not only knows where you are coming from, but He knows where you are going, and He knows how to get you there.

At times of transition or uncertainty in my own life, I have found so much comfort and confidence in recognizing that I have a Good Shepherd who is committed to leading me, providing for me, protecting me and even blessing me. I am not alone, and neither are you!

Psalm 23
The Lord is my shepherd;
I have all that I need.
He lets me rest in green meadows;
he leads me beside peaceful streams.
    He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
bringing honor to his name.
Even when I walk
through the darkest valley,[a]
I will not be afraid,
for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
protect and comfort me.
You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.
Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord
forever.


He knows where you are coming from.

Ps. 23: 2-3 tells us that the Good Shepherd gives us rest, renews our strength and guides us along right paths. Some translations say, “He restores my soul.” How is your soul doing? How has this year been uniquely challenging for you? What have you lost? Where have you drifted from God’s best? There may be some things from this past season that you need to grieve. Give yourself the space to do that and then choose to move forward as God guides you along the right path.

Having faith in God is not just trusting the promise that He has a plan – but putting all of our trust in the ONE who has the plan.

 

He knows where you are going.

You may have your life planned out or you may be staring blankly into the future wondering what is next. The good news is God has a plan!

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 In those days when you pray, I will listen. 13 If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. 14 I will be found by you,” says the Lord.  Jeremiah 29:11-14

Of course, we have to use this passage in a graduation encouragement! Having faith in God is not just trusting the promise that He has a plan – but putting all of our trust in the ONE who has the plan. We can trust that not only does God have a good plan for our lives, but that He WANTS to lead us in it.

Whether you have a good idea of what is next, or you’re still trying to figure that out, take this opportunity to look for God with your whole heart. He promises you will find Him! And when you have the Promiser, you get all of the promises!


He knows how to get you there.

“Within your heart you can make plans for your future, but the Lord chooses the steps you take to get there.” Proverbs 16:9 TPT

I love this Scripture because it shows us that we have a part to play, and God has a part to play in fulfilling the plans He has for us.

Our part is to make plans. We can’t just sit around waiting for something to happen. We should be diligent and do our best to prepare, knock on doors, and make the most of the opportunities in front of us.

God’s part is to direct our steps. It is easier to steer a moving vehicle than one that is still! As we step out in faith, we can trust that God will open doors and shut doors. When the road gets bumpy or takes a turn we didn’t see coming, we can trust that God is good and finishes what He starts.

“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” I Thessalonians 5:24 ESV

By Pastor Jenny Baird

Pastor Jenny is the Youth Central Director and pastors our Winchester Campus alongside her husband Shawn. She loves anything Magnolia (Chip & Joanna Gaines) related, bird-themed, Hallmark, coffee (obviously), and Truffle infused popcorn. Youth is her passion and she absolutely loves growing her leaders to impact the next generation.

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