Editor’s note: This piece, used with permission from North Cobb Christian School, was written by alumna McGee Nall (class of 2013), a University of Georgia graduate who works for HGTV stars Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia in Texas. Nall wrote this blog post for the North Cobb Christian School class of 2020.

My roommates and I were talking last night about how we would feel if our senior year of high school came to a screeching halt — just like it has for so many students of all ages all over the country and the world. My first reaction was that I would have been devastated. NCCS was my home for 13 years of my life. So many of my classmates and I grew up together. Those teachers gave me a lens to see the world, taught me how to be a woman of God. I was already an emotional mess senior year, so I can’t imagine how I would have reacted if all of those “lasts” were stripped out from under my feet.

♦ I know the cancellation affects everyone — faculty, staff, kids of all ages, parents, etc. — not just seniors. Recitals, sports seasons, chapels, spring term trips, are snapgone. Just like that. Everyone feels the weight of this.

But seniors, this one’s for you.

Even though my high school graduation is seven years behind me and a lot has happened since then, I can imagine how you must be feeling. And my heart breaks for you.

But know this: Nothing, and I mean nothing, can strip you of the work God has done in your heart. Nothing can wipe away the mark that has been left on you while inside those walls. And nothing can take away the legacy you are leaving behind.

It’s OK to grieve this. In fact, you should. Do this for me — take time this weekend (at least 10 minutes) to just sit. Do whatever you have to do: make your coffee, light a candle, queue your playlist, and just sit. Think. Reflect. Cry! Take time to write memories down, or verbally process them with someone you live with. Think about what you have learned in the year(s) you’ve been at NCCS. Write down what your classmates taught you. Talk about how a teacher pushed you harder and made you better. Laugh at that funny memory you shared with a student younger than you. A conversation in the locker room. A lesson in the classroom. The moment on the field or on the court or on the stage when you felt so alive and realized, this, THIS is something I was born to do.

And after you’ve done that, write a letter. Call. Email. Text. Whatever you want, reach out to some of those people and tell them thank you. You would’ve done it anyway, right? (Hello, yearbooks and end-of-the-year cry fests.) We all need each other right now. So let’s be there.

You’ve heard it a million times: NCCS is a family. And when times like this hit, that’s when we need family the most. Just because you’re not walking the hallways together anymore doesn’t mean you can’t love hard and lead well … even if no one sees it except the person on the other line.

And after all that, get on your knees before your Father and pray. Whatever you want to pray — that’s between you and Him. A cry of sorrow, a song of praise, or both in glorious harmony. Whether you like it or not, whether you feel it or not, God is with you in this. And He will redeem all that was lost.

Eagles, there is beauty in your NCCS story. And nothing, nothing can take that away from you.

This feature originally appeared on McGee Nall’s blog, Glance Through The Lens.

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