Erica Schmitz

Dear Class of 2018...

Erica Schmitz
Dear Class of 2018...

Dear Incoming Senior, 

As I see pictures pop up on Facebook and Instagram of you guys getting your cap and gown portraits done, I can't help but think of the thoughts that were running through my mind last year. Excitement and nervousness for what's going to fill the next chapter. Prayers are and have been coming your way, lean into God. 

I'm sure everyone along the way has told you what advice you need to know going into this huge life change. Some, incredibly helpful and some, not so much. You will always get the typical advice of going to all of the sporting events, all of the plays/musicals and make memories with your friends, and that advice is awesome! But there is something more to it. 

Every year at camp we try to do something to give back to the class below us, and this year we had ice cream and had a Q&A time. A question that was asked was,

"How do you keep your faith during the school year?"

Without thinking my immediate response was, "Make it a priority". I'm not sure how much this impacted the individual that the response was for, but this was something I needed to hear. 

Making it a priority is the core of it, but there is more to it. It includes rooting yourself in a firm foundation and truth of the Gospel, so when things get difficult, you can still see the light. It means when schedules get crazy, finding time to worship and spending time with God. It means finding accountability and fellowship. It means gathering.

One of the most impactful things that got me through senior year was looking forward to Wednesday night youth group, Sunday morning services or Sunday evening community groups. Although the following August, we would all be parting our separate ways on a new adventure, the ability to gather, share prayer requests, learn about who God is, and prepare ourselves to be able to stand strong in the midst of differences was something I wouldn't trade for the world. 

Going into and throughout your senior year (or any school year), there will be a lot things pulling you in different directions. It becomes very easy to sway when you are overwhelmed with grades and other obligations, but make your faith a priority. Don't neglect you school responsibilities, but your homework will still be there when you get back. Make an effort to be a part of biblical community consistently, but most of all spend time with God daily

Have a great year! There is an army of people praying for you guys.