A Sermon for the First Sunday after Pentecost: Trinity Sunday

Sunday, June 12, 2022

By: Perrin Gilman, Graduating High School Senior, Class of 2022

Four years ago, I thought that I would follow the traditional school pathway in my area from Tuckahoe Elementary, to Tuckahoe Middle, and lastly, to Douglas Southall Freeman High School. As a shy eighth grader, I had to make the difficult decision between going to Trinity Episcopal School or going to Freeman. I was torn between the two because if I went to Freeman, I would be comfortable as I would be going to school with people I grew up with throughout my entire life. On the other hand, at Trinity, I would have been immersed in a smaller academic setting that would also allow me to branch out. It’s funny how it all played out because the last time I gave a sermon here at St. Mary’s, I noted that I officially made my decision to go to Trinity. And now I’m here, a Trinity alum, delivering yet another sermon about my future.

Now, why am I telling you this, you may ask? My decision between Freeman and Trinity was a difficult one. Going out of my comfort zone to go to Trinity was a big step for me. As I wrote in my sermon from 4 years ago, I stated, “God knows where we will end up, but we need to take the right path to get there.” Going to Trinity meant that I had to leave all of the people that I’ve gone to school with for the past 9 years. These people supported me, held me up, and shaped me as a young person. I couldn’t imagine leaving all of that behind, but I did. I knew that when I walked through the doors at Trinity on the first day of school, I was going to feel alone. Was I really alone, though? No I was not. God was right by my side, guiding me down this new and unexplored path that would ultimately impact my future. So, I am telling you this because I now know that God is with you as you make difficult decisions and will also be there for you as they unfold.

If I were to tell you that my high school experience was full of sunshine and rainbows, I would be lying. This big step out of my comfort zone was full of many new academic and social challenges, but I persevered. I discovered my passion for leadership, public speaking, and even enrolled and excelled in the International Baccalaureate Program. I realized that God led me to Trinity for a reason, and little did I know that this very reason would guide me to my next chapter in my life story.

In John chapter 16; verse 13, Jesus said to his disciples, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” Based on my unexpected yet exciting new path, I discovered my own truth while at Trinity: I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. Throughout my high school decision and journey, I learned that life is not just one straight path. It is made up of many twists, turns, and bumps along the way; but in the end, the truth is revealed that makes it all worth it. My “things that are to come” are starting a new chapter in Fort Worth, Texas in the Fall. I will be attending Texas Christian University while majoring in Strategic Communications. It’s safe to say that my passions that I discovered at Trinity led me to this point.

Now I have come to really believe that I was meant to go to TCU from the get-go. Everyone said that there is this “feeling” that you get when you find the right college, and what do you know: right when I stepped foot on TCU’s campus during my tour last May, I immediately knew that TCU was the place for me. I had never been so certain about something in my life, which was a new feeling for me since I previously struggled when choosing between two high schools. Fast forward to application deadlines… I applied early decision to TCU, and this past December, I officially became a Horned Frog!

I didn’t fully understand the significance of choosing Trinity as my high school until recently. Signs directing me to my path to TCU began appearing. I soon found out that the TRINITY River runs right through Fort Worth. If this wasn’t fate, I didn’t know what was. As the Trinity River flows through Fort Worth, I will always be reminded that Trinity Episocpal School led me to TCU. As the song “Texas” by George Strait says: “Fort Worth would never cross my mind” if it wasn’t for Trinity.

Once again, like my high school decision, I am taking a big step out of my comfort zone. I am going halfway across the country for college, but this time, I know how to handle being outside of my comfort zone. I know that breaking the “norm” and living outside of the box can only make me stronger and allow me to pursue my passions. I also realize that I will have many more opportunities to live outside of my comfort zone in college and well beyond. I am hoping that my story of breaking the norm inspires you to go out of your own comfort zone. No matter where you are in your life, I challenge you to spread your wings and go outside of the norm and make your impact on the world because God is with you, every step of the way.