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by Trever Carter

A first, last.

Senior year is characterized by a lot of different things for a lot of different people. Stereotypically, it’s the easiest, most fun, care free year of high school. I, however, have found it to be one of the most stressful. College applications, scholarships, letters of recommendation flood you like the Des Plaines river in May; a lot of stress comes along with it. Add to it an eagerness to move on to something bigger and better that wages constant battle with the desire to stay in the comfortable. Finally, top it off with a series of “lasts,” and you get a pretty stressful, emotional, sentimental and nostalgic senior year. Sometimes I have a hard time wondering where God is in all of it; what role is God playing in my future and how is He taking care of my hopes and dreams?

I’ve had plenty of lasts so far this year: last first day of school, last homecoming week, last set of high school finals. But as I sat in my room last Sunday, eyes heavy and clothes and snow gear thrown all over the floor, I realized that I had just had a “first last.” This last wasn’t school related though; I had just returned from my last Winter Extreme retreat as a high schooler, and it was the first last I’ve had for a church-related thing. I won’t stop at Walgreens on the way home from school and spend $20 on junk food again; I won’t bubble with excitement on the drive up to camp Timberlee; I won’t fight to win a broomball championship, and I won’t raise my hands in worship in that chapel again for probably quite some time, if ever again.

I think the most nostalgic part is that this weekend was the catalyst for beginning my relationship with Christ five years ago, and give years later it’s incredible to look at the role He has played in my life. He has shown His ultimate provision for me by bringing me an incredible church I call home and friends and leaders I call family. He has grown me as a person, and most importantly, as a man of God.

I laughed so hard last weekend. I enjoyed every minute with my friends and with God because it was the last time I would be in that setting with those people. I smiled until the corners of my mouth hit my cheeks and laughed until my abs hurt. And now I sit and pray and wonder how God will influence my next couple of lasts, and more importantly how He will influence my next couple of years in college.

I’m praying for His guidance, and know that He will provide. I’m confident that if my heart is right, He will lead me to where I am meant to be and give me the place and people that I need. I have a hard time believing that it will even come close to comparing to my family at Immanuel, but I am so eager to experience God in a bigger way so that I can grow and mature even more.

God provides. Through the firsts and the lasts, God’s grace and provision are bountiful enough, and my first last has taught me just that.

TrevernewheadshotTrever Carter is a senior at Grayslake North High School. He enjoys running, playing lacrosse, and photography. He also likes to write, serve with the church, and spend time with his friends.

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