Photography by Matt Wyatt

To the Class of 2014

They say that high school can be the years that consist of your greatest memories. For me, high school is a dark blur that I have only recently tried to remember. In 2005 I was supposed to join my class in celebrating our achievements, walk across the stage near the end (I’m a Wyatt) and throw my cap into the air. It was a moment that I never saw because I chose a different path instead.

I always knew from the time I was barely a teenager myself that I was called to a special purpose by God, to work with teenagers. But being a teenager myself was one of the most difficult things I had ever done. It seemed like everyone around me made friends easier, was faster and stronger and most of them didn’t have the same health struggles. Don’t get me wrong, everyone struggles with their own things in their own way but my struggles felt overwhelming to me.

Dropping out of high school was a choice and one I’m not proud of. I was certainly smart enough to do the work. That wasn’t the issue. The problem is I lost sight of my purpose in life. Stocks would still rise and fall without me, babies would still be born and the planet would still keep spinning even if I remained idle. I wasn’t suicidal by any means, just lost. My parents asked everything. Is the work to hard? Is it too easy? And like a typical teenager I told them they just didn’t understand.

Purpose wasn’t anything they could give me, it was something I could only be given by my heavenly Father. In college He renewed my calling and I saw the light again. I graduated with a 3.77 which was only .3 away from honors (yea I’m still frustrated about it today). I can’t really explain the process and I don’t know what it will take for you to find your purpose either but I do know one thing; We need you to find it.

Class of 2014, we need you to actualize everything God created each and every one of you to be.

The truth is, stocks will still rise and fall, babies will still be born and the planet will still keep spinning even you remain idle. Families will still continue to be broken, fathers will still leave their children searching for a piece of their identity and our culture will become more and more numb to sinful behavior.

Do you see why we need you?

The bad news is that you can’t fix the world but the good news is that Jesus can and you can be a part of it. Paul said to the church (universal) that it was made up of many parts but was one body. In this same way, you each are a piece in the puzzle of your graduating class. You each have an individual purpose in representing God’s grace and truth to a broken world.

I’m sorry to say that college isn’t easier. In fact, most of life only gets more difficult from here. So we need YOU to get tougher. We need you to find your confidence, an intrinsic worth that nobody can instill in you, boyfriends can’t provide and alcohol can’t adequately maintain.

Class of 2014, we need you to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We need you to die to yourself, your insecurities and doubts and believe that God created you for something specific then pursue it with all you’ve got. I guess that’s how I would describe what I had to do. I had to fall in love with Jesus. It looked one way for me and it look a total different way for you.

We are a unique people, created by a unique God to do His unique works. The journey is the best part and yours has only just started. Congratulations on this part and all the best for the next. Remember each moment, even if they aren’t the happiest. You never know who might be impacted by your story.


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