When I was 8 years old I started attending a new school. My mom and I had moved that summer, leaving old friends and neighbors behind.
I remember being very nervous as I walked into the strange classroom. Nothing was like my old school. The desks were arranged differently, the windows looked out over a parking lot instead of a field with trees, I didn’t have a locker —
I missed my friends, I missed my old school, I missed my teachers.
The first week at the new school was trying. I remember crying daily to my mom. I begged her to move back to our old house so that I could go back to my old life, familiar surroundings.
Then out of the blue I made contact with a classmate who lived in my new neighborhood. It was by accident; neither of us planned it. We walked the same route to school, I literally ran into her as she walked by my house. Yes, I remember well the morning my now oldest and dearest friend had walked with me to school for the first of many times.
That morning we even made plans to eat lunch together at noon. I was beginning to feel more comfortable about the new school. I had a friend. That day was Sept. 11, 2001.
I am told that people will always remember what they were doing on that date. I’ve remembered it at the beginning of every school year since.
This year has not been an exception. It might not feel as monumental as last year — my first year of college and all of the changes that came with it — but it is still very much on my mind.
I am reminded that life is fleeting and that all things will pass away. What is here today may very well disappear tomorrow.
Sure, starting a new school year still makes me feel anxious. I think any change will do that. But I need to remember that the only thing that stays the same is Jesus and the hope that he brings for the future. For “heaven and earth will pass away, but the words of the Lord will not pass away” (Luke 21: 33).
For the more permanent changes I need to also remember, “And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).