Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Person I've Become

I am amazed lately by the fact that I graduated high school nearly 20 years ago. And even though I live right where I always have, I never run into people from school. Which leads me to believe that everyone moved away except me. The only person I can honestly say I've kept up with over the years is Derek. And that doesn't count because he's S's cousin.

I didn't even attend my 10 year reunion. I know. I know. You're supposed to go to those things--kind of like prom, right? But our 10 year reunion found me 9 months pregnant with Sweetheart. Plus the tickets were like $60 each. I couldn't see spending $120 to go see folks I was fairly sure I could live without seeing only to go into labor and waste our money.

So not only have I not kept up with people, but I also don't know that I've aged. Well, I mean, I'VE aged, but everyone else I still picture the same way they looked last time I saw them. One day when Sweetheart was about 2 years old I was shopping at Academy. She was sitting in the basket while I wheeled around the clothing section. This man kept staring at me. I was starting to get uncomfortable thinking he was a perv or something. Then he walked up to me and asked, "Are you Brenda (my maiden name)?" OH MY WORD! That MAN who was staring at me was John, and we had gone to school together since Kindergarten. How did he get to be 30 years old?

So it's amazed me to locate old school friends on Facebook recently. It's interesting to get caught up with someone's life over the last 20 years in a few messages. I tell them the basics---who I married and how we have 2 kids and I used to be a teacher, yada yada yada. But I'm not sure they would believe the person I have become. I was a Christian in high school, but I was a weak one. All too often I kept my mouth shut and laughed along with jokes and talking that I shouldn't have even been listening to. My witness? Not so good now that I reflect on it.

Still, how do I explain to someone who I have become? Who God has made me to be? And I'm saddened by more than one life story that I've heard from old friends. Oh, how people need the Lord. Wishing now I had been more of a witness to them. Would that have even been possible? Should I have been in public high school just to witness to my friends? Was I ready for that? Or should I have been in an environment where I could have grown into a stronger Christian? I know how I feel about it when I think about my own children...but it seems different looking back at my high school experience.

I don't think my strength as a Christian would have persuaded any of them to live their life differently. How many people come to know the Lord because some girl in their 6th period class is a Christian? Aren't the adults in their life more important of an influence?

All I know is this: children in public school need our prayers.
I'm not planning to send my daughters off to high school as missionaries.
The number of lost people is staggering to me.

And God can do amazing things in a person's life. He certainly has in mine. It makes me look forward to what else He has in store!


  1. So many thoughts as I read this!

    Couple of things: My 14 year old is much more vocal about her faith and her strong sense of right and wrong, black and white, around her friends (opinionated like her mommy!). You're right. it doesn't make much difference in their lives as far as she can see right now. They call her a nerd or a goody two shoes, but for some reason she's still popular. Go figure! My other girls are probably, if I had to venture a guess, much like you were in high school. I agree with you that it's probably not the best thing to send our kids off to "play missionaries" without a direct revelation from the Lord. Interestingly enough, the one homeschool family I have had the pleasure of making acquaintance with is sending their daughter to public high school in the upcoming school year. Frankly, I was speechless. If I had to do over, mine certainly wouldn't be there!

    I, too, live in my home town, and I, too rarely run into anyone I went to high school with. When I do, my life now is usually met with confused politeness. Every one always assumed I'd be doing "so much more" as my brother put it. After all, I was so smart.

    Finally, you are right in your assessment of the staggering number of lost people. People are in such need of our witnes, even if it's just in the kind way you dealt with Ms. Smith at the clinic. I pray each day that the Lord will help me to be a blessing to everyone who crosses my path.

    More importantly, they need to hear the good news that freedom is available from the sin and ugliness we battle in this life. Not freedom from problems, but freedom from being a slave to the problems that threaten to steal our peace and make us unable to love in ways that really matter.

    Thanks for making me think this morning, Brenda.

  2. So, when did you get this third child of yours? Just wondering... :)

  3. Oh my word Kathy. I obviously need more than spell check!!!!

    Terry didn't notice either---or else she was just breathing grace for me! :)

  4. Maybe that third child is prophetic? ;-o)

    Actually, that got by me!

  5. Seriously though, you have written another similar post before, where you are a pretty harsh critic of your past self. I remember you being a good example in high school. You can't look back now and expect adult maturity from yourself as a teen.

  6. I hear you Kathy, but you knew me at church. I was really thinking of how I was in school. It was a bit different, sad to say. Not that I was a wild child...but I think I was not very bold and I wanted to be liked. So I laughed along with a lot of stuff that I should have spoken up about. Does that makes sense?

    Or maybe I should have been in that environment at all!

  7. I have also become re-acquainted with people on Facebook. Some of them sadden me too, but one of my old friends is now Pastor!

    God places us where He wants us in His time. Maybe those H.S. years were to encourage you to walk a stronger, bolder path in the years to come.

    Don't be to hard on the girl you left back there when you became a woman.

  8. I often think I wasn't a good enough example in high school. I think we are both to hard on ourselves. I definitely wasn't prepared for what I encountered.

  9. Then ladies, if I wasn't *supposed* to expect to be a better witness to my friends in high school then why do so many people say that Christians can't all pull their kiddos out of school/salt and light...that whole argument?

  10. Personally, I believe you SHOULD have been a better witness. I tell my children all the time that while I know they don't understand everything, I fully expect them to act on what they DO know.

    That said, I am still not convinced of the whole salt and light argument, partly because we, as a culture, don't expect much from our teenagers (isn't that the very definition of the word: Don't expect too much? so we're not surprised when they don't rise to the level that they could.

    For this reason I say don't be so hard on yourself!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)