I have been described as a writer, a creative mind, a friendly person, and a follower of God. Most importantly, however, I am a combination of all of the above. Those of you who knew me from school, did not ever really see who I truly am, because I could not be myself in that environment. Those of you who knew me from Mission55 youth group knew me much better because I knew I could be myself around you. You may have figured some of this out while you knew me, but I wanted to state it one last time.
A lot of you may not know that the reason I planned to graduate high school early was because I have a passion to make a difference in this world. One of the things that I believe is wrong with the world is the fact that people no longer value human life, which is the only thing ever created that cannot be replaced. A human life begins at the moment of conception, but our society has gotten to the point where if the mother and father of the child do not wish to have the baby, they will simply “take care of it” - meaning abort it. What is wrong with our society? Dr. Seuss got it right - “A person’s a person, no matter how small.” The child who was conceived fifteen minutes ago, is a person who could be the man or woman to grow up and cure cancer, be the next J.R.R. Tolkien, or be a future president. The summer after our fifth grade year, one of my best friends, Kassie, died in a tragic semi accident. Her dream was to work as a zoo veterinarian and help to find ways to save animals in captivity from being treated cruelly, and she was never able to realize that dream because of her untimely death. She could have revolutionized the way animals are treated when they cannot live in the wild, but her life ended. She had no more opportunities to live and make a difference, because she was no longer on earth. When you take a person’s life, you take all of their opportunities to become who they were meant to be. This should be the crime no person could ever commit - yet over 100,000 abortions take place each day. Wake up, people! The children you are killing could have been the ones that saved your life one day. We need to stop killing off the future.
One of the most important things I ever learned was the importance of forgiveness. When I was in sixth grade, I was assaulted physically and verbally on the bus on the way home from school; I was yelling and screaming, but the attackers didn’t leave me alone and the bus driver didn’t do anything. I ended up having to leave the school and transfer because of those other students. I found out that the other kids on my bus had a celebration when they found out I wouldn’t be back. I never knew why they hated me so much. For years after that November day, I was terrified of seeing the main perpetrator in public. I was afraid first of all that she would try to do something to me again, and secondly I thought I might punch her in the face. I saw her at the library once, in eighth grade, and the first thing I thought was, “I’m going to go punch her.” I didn’t, but I wanted to. I had a very hard time forgiving this person, and it ate away at me for years, keeping me a prisoner to my past. Time went on, and the summer before my tenth grade year, I saw her working at a local thrift store - doing community service, actually. My mom politely asked her if she was doing community service, meaning for National Honor Society, and the other person working with her responded in a way that informed us that she was doing community service as a punishment. We had run in to some friends in the thrift store, and when they realized who the girl was one of them asked me, “Can I go punch her?” I knew I had forgiven her though when I said, “No, I don’t think that’s necessary.” Forgiving that girl was one of the most freeing things I have ever done, as I no longer felt that we didn’t do enough to have her face consequences, and I was terrified of her. After I realized I had forgiven her, I could talk about what happened, help others going through similar things, and I no longer was afraid of her. Before that, I could not even hear her name without breaking down crying, much less tell anyone anything about the day she and her friend attacked me. Forgiving can be hard - trust me, I know - but when you learn to forgive someone, you free yourself.
The most important thing in my life is Jesus Christ. He taught me the most important life lesson of all - how to live your life. Nothing else is important, and I want to make sure that everyone knows that. You see, this world is not all there is. There are two destinations after a person leaves this world - heaven and hell, and the default destination is hell. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but I have to tell you this. I have to tell you the truth - because it’s my last chance to do so. Every single one of us has made mistakes. No, not just made mistakes. We’ve screwed up, royally. Most people think that the way to get to heaven is to live a “good” life, or be a “good” person. But that just doesn’t cut it. God is perfect, and he cannot allow anyone imperfect to be in close proximity to himself. No one can reach that perfect standard alone, but God provided a way for us to be in fellowship with him for eternity - he sent His Son, His only Son, to die in the most brutal way possible as a payment for our sins. You see - His Son, Jesus Christ, was perfect, and He took our punishment, which was death, and gave us His perfection. That is the greatest gift anyone could ever give or receive. If we accept that, we can have the fellowship with God that He provides. The punishment for our sins, was death, and eternal agony, but Christ gave us a way to avoid that, by dying. He didn’t stay dead, though. He defeated death and rose from the grave in three days. How do you live your life? Do you live your life for eternity, or do you live your life for pleasure now? Nothing is more important than the way you live your life, and Jesus is the One who taught me how to live my life.
This might be the last time I see any of you. We all know that. I want you to remember three things. First of all, “A person’s a person, no matter how small;” no one has the right to kill any person. Secondly, forgiveness is one of the most important things you will ever learn, and it frees you. And last, and most important, there is One God, who is perfect and has the right to punish you for every thing you do that makes you imperfect, but He has provided you with a way to be forgiven - you just have to accept that offer, the most perfect gift anyone has ever given. I know you might miss me, but I hope to see you in heaven someday. Don’t miss me too much though - I’ll be with the One who made me.