For those of you who know my Jesus story you know that my senior year was hard. To really comply with all of the convictions I held I was forced to stand out in the crowd I'd always wanted to blend in to. I consistently carried my Bible with me to class, my music choices changed drastically (they had to at that time, the other "stuff" had crept into my heart), I did not frequent the same places anymore, and, as a result, many of my friendships began to fade.
I can't totally say that I blame them. There was a lot of change going on in my life and in my heart all at one time. It would have to be a lot to take in. Afterall, it was in the matter of a week or so that my life made a complete flip/flop. Many said I had "went off the deep end", others made fun of me and called me Jesus (I cried, but realize now how unworthy I am of that title, but what a compliment it was), and others would not join in with the mocking but would not stand next to me either. Do I blame them? No. I hold no grudges, I harbor no bitterness, and I point no fingers. But do I make any apologies for my change of heart or direction? Absolutely not.
All of that is said to say this, when it came around for the voting of the senior "favorites" at the end of senior year, I would have put $1,000 on the fact that I would have been voted for nothing. Definitely not most popular, definitely not prettiest eyes, or smile, or class clown. I was smart, but knew many others who were more likely to succeed than me. What does book smarts have to do with success anyway? I'm learning, not a lot. So, I took a ballot, turned in my two cents, and went on with life.
And then the results came in. Not only did I receive votes in a specific catagory, I would have lost my $1,000 because I won that category for the girls... most likely to......................................... change after high school. Yep, you heard me right. At the moment of hearing this news I didn't know what to think, but it only took me a minute or so to feel the pain well up inside of me again. Please understand, I may have been a Christian, and God is enough for me, but I really needed a friend that year. I really needed a pat on the back. I really needed someone to say, "Whether I agree with what you are doing or not, I commend your passion, and I am your friend and I will stand next to you." And what I got was being voted most likely to change after high school. It felt like the ultimate blow. It felt like people thought I was fake, like I couldn't perservere, like I'd go to college and go nuts. Maybe they thought I might finally be fun again. Maybe they thought I'd turn my back on my faith. To be really honest, I don't know how else I could have taken it. What IS that category anyway? I had been voted "friendliest" in 8th grade, and now this? I couldn't believe it. I was just ready... for high school... to .... be .... over.
So here I am... 6 1/2 years after graduating High School. Every so often I think about that title I was given by my classmates. It has often been a challenge to me. Scripture talks about those who leave the faith. There have, of course, been times that I've questioned and backslid, as is with most believers, but I have not wavered. I have stood firm on Jesus as my foundation.
Have I been tempted? Sure. Have I had opportunities to wander? Absolutely. Do I feel like I've missed out on anything? Never. (Believe it or not, not even senior prom.)
On the other hand though, they are right, I have changed. I am no longer the timid senior who stood firm, but sometimes ashamadely on her Jesus, I am now a confident young woman who finds her confidance in Jesus alone. I am proud of my faith, I am proud of what makes me different, and I am proud of who I have become. It is my success. (I'm learning that being "most likely to succeed" is not a fair category. What may be success for one person may not be for another.) I believe I have become more loving and less condemning. I believe my confidence change has changed many of my classmates views of me. Confidence, (not arrogance), can do a lot for a person's character. I don't listen to just "Christian" music anymore, but I don't fill my heart with junk or language that is going to give me a false idea of love or happiness. In day to day life, I'm just like anyone... I love my family, a good laugh, a good time out, and my favorite tv shows.
So that being said, have I changed after high school? Absolutely! Was it in the way that was predicted? Probably not. But I believe I have changed for the better... but that I have a ways to go. God is still doing a work in me, and I am still making myself available to that.
Would I have done anything differenly in high school? Sure, lots of little decisions I'd guess, but the biggest, I would have loved myself more and loved people better.
One way or another, I couldn't be happier with how my life is currently unfolding, and my race is not yet finished. I have more perservering to do and more changing... hopefully for the better.
GraceAnne's Grand Entry!
4 years ago