Jun30TueMy last year of high school looked much different than I expected, but I've grown spiritually. June 30, 2020 by Jenna Reid
(Above) “I started my senior year believing it would be the best year yet,” says Jenna Reid. “As the weeks progressed and cancellations grew, I realized that everything I had planned was not going to happen the way I had pictured. Instead, we were quarantined at home”
As a class of 2020 high school graduate, I think most students would agree that this year was the opposite of what we anticipated. I started my senior year believing it would be the best year yet. I love to plan, and I’m extremely goal oriented. As I envisioned the year ahead, there was so much to look forward to: starting a new job, attending the VOIT/SEE Territorial Youth Congress in Montreal in May, a family vacation, working out of province at summer camp, applying to university and, of course, prom! However, these were all pieces of my plan, and I didn’t leave much room for God’s.
My faith is of utmost importance in my life, and I try to remain spiritually grounded and display a Christlike attitude. One spiritual discipline that I find helpful is to write out my prayers. I recently found a prayer I wrote on March 8, five days before schools in my province shut down and the uncertainties of the pandemic hit. During that time, I was in a much different space spiritually, in comparison to where I am now. I couldn’t imagine what the days ahead would look like, for me, our church or the world in general, as we all dealt with a global pandemic. In my prayer, I asked God to encourage me to read my Bible and pray more. I thought it would result in something simple, such as reading the daily verse that my Bible app sends out each day. However, God answered that request with a greater plan in mind.
Before the pandemic, I was focused on finding a prom date and what colour I’d get my nails done. As the weeks progressed and cancellations grew, I realized that everything I had planned was not going to happen the way I had pictured. Instead, we were quarantined at home. All of this came with great disappointment as I am someone who likes to be in control and know what’s coming next. Learning to “let go and let God” has been a significant learning curve over the past few months. If it wasn’t for this pandemic, I don’t think I would be where I am spiritually right now. In conversation with family and friends, I’ve shared that I feel as if I’ve been forced to re-evaluate my priorities. God has opened my heart to a deep desire to dive into his Word.
Hours of Bible journaling have reminded me that Jesus’ love and mercy is found in weakness, that our hardships are temporary as we are promised a perfect eternity in Christ and that God can bring good out of all circumstances.
Scripture speaks about the importance of honouring God with our bodies (see 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 10:31). Exercising, something I’ve come to love during this pandemic, can be an act of worship with the right intention. In Newfoundland and Labrador, there are numerous hiking trails with captivating scenery. Over the past few months, I’ve come to love hiking, not only because it’s a good source of cardio, but it’s an opportunity for me to appreciate God’s creation.
God has also spoken to me through the Psalms, which contain a lot about worship and praising God through music and singing. I believe it’s a powerful outlet to experience spiritual growth. I’ve grown up playing in brass bands, as a member of the singing company, songsters and chorus, and attending music camps. Music has been an important part of my spiritual life. I listen to worship music because it’s an easy way for me to feel close to God. I even bought a guitar during this pandemic (via curbside pickup). It felt like something God wanted me to do, so I responded. Learning this new skill and singing worship songs is one way I have felt God’s Spirit.
As a 2020 graduate, both my senior year and prom day looked much different than I had anticipated. My plan for the summer is also different than what I had hoped for. I started university before I officially graduated from high school, and the fall semester will take place online rather than on campus. However, I wouldn’t change a thing because of the personal and spiritual growth I’ve experience as I have learned the importance of “letting go and letting God.” He has a much greater plan than what I could ever try and create for myself. My senior yearbook quote was “and she got through with Jesus and coffee.” Turns out that carries a lot of truth, even in a pandemic.
Jenna Reid attends St. John’s Temple, N.L