before we go.

I found myself back home, in a place that was so familiar. In the midst of all the lights and the music and the laughter, I was transported back to my days of high school. The days where I was surrounded by some of the best friends of the world, fearless and confident. None of us had any idea where the future was going to take us. But that didn’t scare us.

I look at all of those faces and those smiles, and I am surprised at how quickly two years have passed, and how time is just passing us by faster and faster. Some are engaged. Some are married. Some are living their dreams. Some are still figuring out life. Some are in college. Some are not.

It’s strange to think that just two years ago, all of us were in the same season of life. We were enjoying our senior year of high school, savoring the days before college and different directions would send us to different states and different places.

As I reflected on all of this, I realized how important those people were in my life the last eight years or so. From middle school to high school, many of them had important roles in my life. We walked through some difficult times together. We celebrated together. We cried together. We laughed together. We made memories together, memories that I’m certain I’ll never forget.

Without those people, I wouldn’t be who I am today. I wouldn’t know how to be a good friend. I wouldn’t be pursuing my dreams.  I wouldn’t be confident. I wouldn’t be me.

And the more I thought about that, the more I wondered if those people know. Do they know how important they are to me? It’s so easy to look back on our high school days with a smile, and to move on without a second thought. It’s so easy to lose touch, blaming it on the distance and the business of life and the fact that we are all pursuing very different futures. But how silly is that. How silly would it be for me to move on in life pretending as though these friendships didn’t impact me in a significant way.

I truly believe that God placed those people in my life for a specific reason. And I am beyond grateful that He did.

Even though life is taking us all in separate directions, and we are all forming our lives apart from each other, I believe that these friendships will stay intact. While we might not ever be as close as we once were, I know that we will always have each other. And I know that I will always be loved by these people, and that I will always love them. Some of my hardest days were faced with them by my side. And I will never forget each of their individual roles in my life, as I became the person that I am right now.

I understand that life is going to pull us in extremely different directions. But before it does, I hope that we all realize how significant our time in high school was. I hope we don’t discount how pivotal those memories we made were in our lives.

And perhaps my heart is too nostalgic. Perhaps I look back too often. But I am thankful that i can look back to a time full of smiles, laughter, adventures, and sweet times. I am thankful that I can look back and see beautiful, talented, Jesus-loving people smiling at me. I am thankful that I can look back and see that God put those wonderful people in my life for specific reasons. I am thankful that I can look back and see the beautiful path that brought me to where I am today.

And I hope we thank God for the people He has placed and will place in our lives for just the right moments, just the right purpose. Before we go, I hope we tell those people that we love them and are forever grateful for their lights in our lives.

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