What I Didn't Know at 17

11:13 PM

I didn't know that 9 years after graduating from high school, I would still reside in central Pennsylvania.

I didn't know that I would gain a passionate love for youth ministry.

I didn't know that worship would take its rightful, secondary place in the work of the kingdom of God, as a subtext to the preaching of the Word. And thus, a subtext in my life.

I didn't know that I would watch friends come and go, love Jesus and then leave Him, and destroy their lives through the consequences of their sin.

I didn't know that I would ever like coffee.

I didn't know that my passport would remain empty, save the lonesome stamp from the Philippines (and an imaginery stamp from Mexico).

I didn't know that my home decorating tastes would be dramatically altered. Black and silver? Modern? Ugh! Think British library look. Understated. Cozy, comfortable and a little antique-y. :)

I didn't know that I would be 26 years old and not married.

I didn't know that I would watch my sister get married and have children, while my dreams of motherhood and adoption lay dormant.

I didn't know that I would actually like portrait photography more than landscape photography.

I didn't know that the young siblings of my peers would become the youth group that I am leading.

I didn't know that my church would be meeting in a house.

I didn't know that I would be teaching/preaching weekly.

I didn't know that my hair would be long, long, long. And I would refuse to cut it short again. :)

I didn't know that I would prefer the solitude of my parents' mountaintop home to the hustle/bustle of a college town.

I didn't know that I would purchase my first house alone.

I didn't know that I would be thanking the Lord for NOT giving my soul what it desired in romantic relationships.

I didn't know that I would be more mystified about my future now than I was ever before.

I didn't know that it would take 5 years to finish Bible college.

I didn't know that I would gain close Christian friendships as a result of an Internet message board.

I didn't know that I would look back and shake my head in amazement that God used me in ministry when I was so immature.

I didn't know that "always & forever" friendships sometimes end quickly.

I didn't know that I would grow out of my obsession with music, and would go years without purchasing a CD. Wow.

I didn't know that I would possess an ever-increasing love for Christ, and an ever-increasing gratitude that He loved me enough to die for me--even die on a cross.

I didn't know that the weakness of the flesh, the tendencies towards laziness and desire for pleasure would not decrease or disappear when I became an adult/got a full-time job/etc. The consequences just became more serious.

I didn't know that I would esteem and respect my parents so much more (and that it was possible to do so).

I didn't know that I would survive being fired. And being laid off. And seeing a family member turn their back on God.

I didn't know that some reality would seem like a nightmare. But God's presence was always the supernatural peace that stayed my soul.


What I didn't know at 17... wasn't that important. Because I knew enough to follow whatever God told me to do. What kept me, held me, led me, protected me through these years has been the constant leading of the Holy Spirit. The reassurance that the Lord is directing my footsteps. And though I could see only the knotted parts of this tapestry-in-progress, the end of this work will be a thing of beauty!

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