Dear Non-Star-Athlete, Not-in-Seven-Clubs, Not-a-4-Year-Varsity-Letter-Winner, Didn’t Get a Scholarship, Not-Going-to-a-Prestigious-University, Didn’t-Get-a-36-ACT, Non-tassel-wearing Students,

What I want to tell you may not be received well since I’m old and it’s certainly nothing you haven’t heard before, but I’m going to remind you anyway:

High school does not define you.
Test scores do not define you.
The success of others doesn’t define you.

I realized in high school I wasn’t as smart as my peers. My grades, ACT score, and inability to lip sync to “Ice, Ice Baby” (on account of my not-so-good memory) affirmed that. Although I wanted to go to pursue a writing career, I knew I couldn’t.

But one day an old person told me something.

Mr. Mortensen, my English teacher, was a serious, dry, and unanimated. He was intimidating and rarely looked up from his glasses when talking to us. But when I told him, via a journal entry that I had to write for his class, that I wasn’t going to pursue my dream profession, he said to me,

“Don’t sell yourself short.”

I didn’t know Mr. Mortensen well. I only knew him from a distance, but something in those four words sparked something in me. Knowing someone believed in me impacted me dramatically. So much so that it changed the trajectory of my life after high school.

Ephesians 2:10 says we are God’s workmanship. His handiwork.
His masterpiece.

It also says we’re created in Christ Jesus to do good work which God has already prepared for us, and none of it’s contingent on transcripts, trophies, or good looks. You are equipped and were crafted and designed by the God of the universe to do something…

amazing, fulfilling, and purposeful.

I hope, dear student, you won’t sell yourself short. I hope that even if you only know God from a distance, that being reminded you’re His masterpiece sparks something in you, impacts you dramatically, and maybe even

Changes the trajectory of your life.