November 24, 2009

high school....shudder...blech...

The other day I was on Facebook. I came across this batch of photos that I hadn't seen before. Photos like this. (yes, my eyes are closed. laugh all you want.)

After about 5 photos, I realized that was completely tense. My breathing had almost all but stopped. My brain seemed to shut down. It wasn't because I was re-living the glory days as some people say. No, I was panicked because it was almost like being forced to go back and re-live a stage in my life that I did NOT enjoy. Truthfully, it kinda freaked me out that just looking at those old photos could still stir up those emotions.

High school was not the happiest of times for me. I don't think I could ever be payed enough to go back and do it again. It just wasn't the experience that some people had in school.

I escaped as often as I could to my friends in youth group at my church. With them, I was happy. With them, I felt connected and loved. With them, I grew in my relationship with God and went to camp and had Bible studies.

I'm sure most of those bad feelings were because I was so insecure. I was incredibly, ridiculously shy. And that was in a school that only had 50 kids in the jr/high school. This photo was of my ENTIRE graduating class. Seriously. You would think being insecure would be a non-issue in a school where I had known my everyone in my class since the 6th grade.

But as I look back (and shudder), I see why I was so happy on graduation night. I didn't have all those sad, wistful moments with long hugs goodbye. I was giddy excited about college. It was a fresh start. It was a whole new batch of friends. I couldn't wait to head off to the next phase of life.

I know God had a reason for that time of my life. Maybe it was to show me the poison of legalistic religion. Maybe it was to have me lean on Him.

I do know that I am thankful that that time of my life is over. I'm thankful it's all a distant memory. I'm thankful for the safe haven my church was. My youth pastor. My friends there. It wasn't perfect by any means, but it was happy. Now, those memories, I would go back and re-live in a heartbeat.

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