My dearest “sweet baby” Grace,
Today was your first day of high school!
….and simply nothing about today happened according to our long held expectations.
The year you were born was an amazing time in our lives. It was filled with both struggles and challenges as well as great joy and miracles. One of the reasons that we named you Grace was because that particular year – 1998 – we had experienced an abundant outpouring of God’s amazing grace in our lives. Of course, as you know the most significant event of that year was the miraculous beginning of Jim Elliot Christian High School. A Christian high school we had dreamed about for years, had worked tirelessly to get started and rejoiced greatly when they opened their doors. You were there that first day of school – September 2, 1998 – safely hidden in my womb as the board president handed us the Founders Plaque at the opening day chapel. Our dream had become a reality!
Several months later during the Founders Banquet you joined in the celebration proudly wearing a button I made you proclaiming – “Future Elliot Eagle Class of 2017”. It brought smiles to everyone who saw you as well as a few raised eyebrows from some who thought perhaps the school would never make it past its first year. And yet….it did!
Over the following years you watched as each of your big sisters began their season at Jim Elliot. You got up and had the traditional back to school breakfast with them on the first day of school and drove with them to take the traditional “first day of school” photos in front of the Jim Elliot sign . You laughed and listened to them groan with protest, yet knowing that mom would get that photo taken reminding them…”someday you’ll thank me for this”. You watched as they played sports as a Lady Eagle…being drug all over Northern California to cheer them on with gusto. You saw the excitement of spirit weeks, dress up days, homecoming, school camp and a host of other student activities that you looked forward to participating in when it was finally your turn to start high school. You admired their beauty as they dressed up for Winter Formals and Proms. You listened to the stories they would share about life at school, Dad being “dad” and both the blessings and challenges of being a “Lambdin” at the school your parents founded. You stayed up with them as they studied late into the night for exams and you cheered them on as they donned their hunter green cap & gown and walked across stage to receive their diploma’s and become JECHS alumni.
And yes, you expected that you would one day do exactly the same thing.
But those expectations did not come to pass.
…..there was no traditional back to school breakfast
…..there was no photo in front of the JECHS sign
….there was no Dad (aka: Mr. Lambdin) starting the school year with prayer at chapel
….there was no familiar faces or places
All that you had hoped for, dreamed of and expected to happen for years did not happen. Your expectations were crushed and shattered and you were forced to give up your hopes and dreams of attending JECHS.
We all have expectations in life from our very earliest memories. We universally expect to be nurtured, taken care of and loved by our parents. As children we expect to fed, clothed and have a roof over our head. (and in some families the children expect to receive an allowance, a car when they turn 16 and a fully funded college account…but alas you were not born into one of those families!) We all expect to be treated fairly. (or why else would every child I know at some point exclaim – “that’s not fair!”) As parents we expect that our children will behave a certain way, in our marriages we ex[pect that our spouses will treat and love us like we want to be treated & loved and we all expect friends, family members, leaders, teachers and pastors to be, do and act according to the way we believe is right. And of course we all have a different definition of what that “right” might be.
I have known many people who have let both unrealistic expectations as well has unfulfilled and unmet expectations destroy their lives and their relationships. I have seen them get deeply depressed, bitterly angry, allow important relationships to deteriorate and even turn their back on God all as a result of expectations not being met.
You have an opportunity in this moment to learn a great lesson in life…one that many believers have still not grabbed hold of after two, three or even four decades of life. The lesson is…while having expectations of life, people and even yourself is perfectly normal…at some point you will be faced with the potential reality of the depression, anger, bitterness, chaos, and damaged relationships due to unmet expectations. So what is the answer to this Grace?
Have expectations in your Lord Jesus Christ and in Him alone!
He alone is faithful and true! He alone can meet your every need! He alone can give you perfect peace in the midst of the storm! He alone loves you with a perfect unfailing love!
What does the Word of God say that you can expect?
- You can expect trials and tribulations in this life! (John 16:33 1 Peter 5:12)
- You can expect God to give you the power and strength to overcome everything you face (Philippians 4:13 Psalm 68:35 Isaiah 40:29)
- You can expect to be loved completely and fully by the Lord (Jeremiah 31:3 Romans 8:37-389 John 3:16)
- You can expect the Lord to do abundantly above and beyond all you can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)
- You can expect to receive eternal life through your trust and faith in Jesus Christ who shed his blood for your sins (1 John 5:13-14 Romans 6:23 1 John 5:13)
So as you start your first year of high school in a new school with new people and new events…remember to put your expectations only in the Lord. He will always come through every time and fulfill your greatest expectations.
And today give thanks for what you did have but perhaps did not expect…
…a big sister to be be your side as you together navigate this new experience at Capital Christian
….a lunch at Chick-fil-a to celebrate the first day
….and a Christian school where the administration all knew you by name this morning and are so excited to have the Lambdins as a part of the CCHS family. A school whose state of the art facilities, amazing fully developed programs, athletics and events; and whose solid academics are enhanced by staff who love the Lord as well as a school whose desire is to glorify God in everything….this is exactly what your Mom & Dad dreamed of all those years ago when we were blessed with you…our sweet baby Grace!
Have a year filled with great expectations in what the Lord is going to do in and through you!
I love you!