Six high schools in four years means meeting a lot of amazing people and experiencing so much diversity in such a short amount of time. I feel it was nothing short of divine. I’ve met, honestly, some of the most incredible people on the planet:
Adventurous, compassionate, driven, vibrant, fun, passionate, hilarious, generous, unrelenting individuals.
But still there are times where it makes me sad…. because I had to say goodbye too often, too soon… and many, if not most, of these faces I have not seen or even heard from in years. Again, six high schools in four years: two in California, two in Virginia, and two in Texas. Add to that college and different ministry involvements…
Sometimes, it all feels like a dream. Another life… A fading memory.
And yet, I don’t want it to fade… for what does my life consist of but places and faces… souls. Beautiful, wonderful souls full of potential and life, and joys and struggles, pain and heartaches, and victories and triumphs and tears and … memories themselves…
There are times when I feel alone because after building so many relationships and having spent time bonding with them… I don’t get to have that same thing with them any more… But this is simply to say, that if I have known you briefly or deeply… casually or well…. I want to thank you for being you… for being alive..
For being here… for existing… for loving, as best as you can… for speaking… for breathing… Simply… for being an image-bearer of the God who created you. Who knit you in your mother’s womb… Who loves you… and I love you too.
I feel God’s love towards me that He would allow me the pleasure and privilege of getting to know you in this lifetime…
I feel God’s love for you as He looks at you, so longing, so loving, admiring the life that He created. First in His mind… in His heart, and then willed you into tangible existence.
And He loves you so deeply and sees all your struggles and longs for you to turn to Him. To run to Him. Because He knows you. He has always known you. He knew you before your mother or father knew about you and He longs for you to know Him back…
That’s why He made you -to love you and be loved by you.
He smiles when you catch glimpses of Him. When you know that -in that moment- you were fully aware of your Creator… like a child ceasing all his squirming, looking away from all the petty distractions, to pause and turn to look straight into The Father’s Eyes…
…making direct contact.
He longs for you to be with Him for eternity. So much so that He went as far as to send His Only Son, Jesus, so that whoever believes in Him will not be separated from Him for eternity in hell, but instead, be saved. Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man all at the same time (God Himself, in skin and bones), took the punishment for our sins upon Himself on the Cross, taking our place and dying for our sins.
Because He is the Only One who has never sinned, He was innocent and could take our place for us. Thats why if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9).
Jesus would rather suffer excruciating torment temporarily to give you a chance to be completely forgiven and reconciled to Him for all eternity. Because He willed you into existence for relationship…
And I pray for you, weep for you. I carry an ounce of God’s Love for you in my heart but even that ounce is heavy, real and heart-breaking. Will you respond to His Love? Will you trust God and love Him back?
… I want to thank you for being in my life. Those years would not have been what they were without you there. You are treasured, appreciated and missed. Thank you for gracing my life with your presence. I pray I will see you again. And if not in this lifetime, more importantly, in the one to come. Eternity makes all the difference. Jesus made the way.
With all my love and sincerity,
-Bernadine (BB) ♥️
A slideshow photos I’ve taken over the years, I recently unearthed in my hard drive. If you are not in it, it’s because I don’t have a picture of/with you, but you know who you are.