Last weekend I went to a christian music festival in Worthing, South Dakota. It was so amazing… over 60 bands, 5 stages, in 3 days- and completely free! Some of the favorites were Tenth Avenue North, Rend Collective, Tedashii, Princeton Marcellis (whom I would like to marry), Moriah Peters, and Colton Dixon.
One month and one day ago I ended a long and sometimes frightful journey out of the teens and into the twenties. Sitting at the festival alone (no one would come with me, believe it or not!), I had some time to observe and think about what I wish I would have known when I was a teen, and what I wish the teens would know right now. So here is some of my musings…
You don’t have to care about what people think of you.
Hear me on this: You do not need to look a certain way, dress a certain way, or act a certain way to fit in. Just be you! People will like you for you, not for who you think they want you to be. And that goes the other way too, where we need to be the kind of people who accept others as they are.
Friends don’t need to be your age.
Something you will find after high school is suddenly your friends will be all ages! I have friends that are more than twice my age and also way younger than me. It’s cool!
You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend.
I had a slightly uncomfortable experience at the festival with a fifteen-year old couple and a lot of PDA. I was standing right next to them at the Moriah Peters’ concert, and it made me ponder how glad I am that I never got into the trap of feeling like I needed a guy to complete me. I’m not saying it’s wrong to date in high school, but personally I don’t think that I was mature enough. And, in my observation, most teenage relationships don’t work out anyways.
Life isn’t about you.
Ok, this is one that everyone needs to learn. And then have constant reminders and road signs and make mental notes, because it goes so totally against everything in us.
Christian festivals are cool in the sense that they give us so many opportunities to live for something more than us. There are booths where you can support widows and orphans, such as Compassion or Gospel for Asia. There are fair trade clothes and coffee to buy, and mission trips to sign up for.
I looked around at the thousands of teens walking by, all wearing the latest fashions and with all the latest technology. I look at my own life, and I realize I often live for the likes on an instagram photo, or the next episode of Sherlock, or the desire to wear the outfit that will get good comments. I know Jesus is calling me to something more!
Are we truly living for God? When we wake up in the morning, is our first thoughts about facebook or about our Father? When we have spare time, do we entertain ourselves with Netflix or do we energize and encourage ourselves through the Bible? I am so convicted about this right now. If I believe that my life is about God, then I need to change some things in my life.
Speaking of change.. I WILL BE IN EUROPE IN 5 DAYS!!!!!!!!!
This is so crazy mind blowing, and for those of you who didn’t know… Surprise! I’m backpacking Europe with my best friend!
We are flying out of Regina, Saskatchewan, and have layovers in Edmonton and Iceland. After a lot of hours we end up in Zurich, Switzerland. From there we will stay with some of Becca’s relatives and then travel around Germany, France, and Italy, all in one month!
Both Becca and I are so excited to try some new things, see new sights, and eat new foods. We are going because we love traveling and adventures, but we also want to experience Jesus in a new culture. So if you would pray for us, that would be splendid.
It turns out I will be staying an extra month because Becca needs to come back earlier. I will be staying at a mission called L’Abri. I had never heard of this place before 2 weeks ago, when my dad recommended it to me. It turns out it is a place where people “have the opportunity to seek answers to honest questions about God and the significance of human life.” From the sound of the website and my correspondence with them, there it is a small community that studies the Bible for part of the day and does chores for the other part. A new learning experience, I am sure.
I’m SO stoked! Please pray for me. I will try to be posting some updates and pictures when it is possible.
Ta-ta for now!