I AM NOT A STATISTIC. (November 12, 2014)

For as long as I can remember, the adults in my life have said to me, 

‘Gabbi, you are wise beyond your years.’

‘Gabbi, I wish I had learned those lessons as early as you did.’

‘Gabbi, I am so encouraged by your faith.’

but suddenly, these statements have changed. just a few months have passed, and they’ve exchanged their encouragement for negativity. 

‘Gabbi, I really hope that you can stay true yourself in college.’

‘Gabbi, I just don’t think you realize how tempting partying in college will be.’

‘Gabbi, I can’t believe you would even consider joining a sorority.’

Gabbi, you better have a plan or you’re going to be just another statistic.

correct me if I’m missing the point, but how in the world is any of this supposed to be encouraging? how is it supposed to be helpful?

honestly, these types of statements make me want to give up already. the people who have always told me that I’m to do great things are now suggesting that there’s little hope for me in college. that I’m just going to become another church girl gone wild. 

what if we stopped treating the youth of our churches like a statistic?
what if we stopped saying things like ‘you know, 2/3 of you guys will fall away from the church after you graduate. just saying!’?

I am WELL AWARE that it’s the truth, but I am also well aware that it’s common sense. I don’t think that it’s news to anyone who is hearing it, and I don’t think that it’s going to change anything.

so, what do I think will?
if the adults in my life, in every graduate’s life, stopped acting like there was no hope and started being the hope. 

if they started saying,
‘Gabbi, I believe that God has incredible plans for you in the next four years of your life.’

‘Gabbi, I’m committing to pray for you because I know it’s going to be challenging, BUT you can do it.’

by this point in our lives, we’ve seen it firsthand. I have watched as friend after friend has graduated and completely turned away from everything they once believed in.
don’t you think that’s terrifying? 

I don’t need your reminders, however well-meaning you may be. what I need is your encouragement and prayers. because I’m more than just a number. I’m a 17 year old girl who loves Jesus with her whole heart, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that with the Holy Spirit inside of me, NOTHING that college brings can prevent me from the incredible things He has in store for me. 

I hope you know that, too.