I can see it in their eyes, the way they long for the future. The after this (this being high school and college decisions and that strange closeness to adulthood, yet still being a child).
I know it so well, because I lived it. I still live it sometimes. I let my mind drift to what it will be like when I'm done with school and married and successful and probably skinnier, if we are honest, and finally, finally fulfilled and happy and all the things that I want to be.
But then I went to Nicaragua, and the Lord tugged on my heart to be present. He did the same thing in Poland, and He continues to do so here at home. And I was listening to a podcast recently, and they talked about how that moment of joy that someone was experiencing, that was God loving them. That was how God was loving them. And God rocked me again, reminding me to be present, to get off my phone and savor each moment.
I want to tell them, this, this moment. This is God loving you. Right now. He is painting a sky to show you He loves you and He is building a fortress around you to protect you and even though it may not always feel like it, He is with you, right now.
My old spiritual director, Fr. Joe (God bless that man), once laughed as I relayed my prayer life to him, and said "Jesus is so cheesy-in-love with you, you know? He's like an awkward middle school boy just trying really hard to get your attention."
I want to tell them that this moment, this one right here, matters so much. It matters just as much as those moments will matter with your future family or when you walk across the stage to get your diploma. Why? Because, right now, in this moment, God is loving you into existence. And that is something so incredible and so beautiful and so life-giving.
Here's the thing. When I think about all the things I hope for, a family, a home, security, and ultimately, fulfillment, I can look around at my life and realize that I have them, even if they are different than the way I thought I would receive them.
And that's what makes this moment beautiful.
God is faithful.