Today is my last day as a teenager.
It's hard to believe, even for me. I certainly don't feel like a twenty-year-old. I've often felt that I don't fit my age, starting way back when I was eleven years old. I realized then that in many ways, I was both older and younger than other kids I knew. Here's why:
I felt older because I read so much and was well-informed about a wide variety of subjects (I think a lot of it came from being home-schooled, but that's another topic altogether). Also, I wasn't swayed by most of the fickle notions of my generation.
But at the same time, I felt younger. I didn't feel the need to grow up fast and be burdened with the cares of adulthood. I spent hours climbing trees and exploring in the woods with my siblings and the neighbor kids. My brother and I played with our Beanie Babies and created a world for them to inhabit in our imaginations (we continued to do this even through most of our teenage years). I was content to be a kid and let the adults deal with logistics and issues that came up. Many of my friends were eager to grow up, find new acquaintances, get a job, start a family, etc, but for me, it was enough to read and play.
It was a precious time for me, and I'm glad that I had such a great family who encouraged me and loved me all through my childhood.
It's weird to think that I'm leaving that era behind me now, as I make the transition into adulthood at last. I still don't feel ready to step out on my own, but I need to trust Jesus to guide and protect me as I follow his call for my life.
God willing, I'll find a college that feels right to me and I'll start the next stage of my education surrounded by Christian peers and mentors. I'll always love my family --they're my best friends-- but I know that I'm destined to eventually follow a new path, perhaps I'll start my own family someday (although that's really hard to imagine right now!)
So, as I take a deep breath and step into another year of life and growth, I'm turning my thoughts to the future and how I can use these next years to glorify God with my life as an adult.
Soli Deo Gloria!