You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘high school’ tag.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and dreaming. For most people, this is a very exciting process. For me? It takes a minute. Everything is internal. If there’s something on my mind, I can guarantee you I’m playing out the scenario and every possible option/outcome that may or may not happen just to prepare myself before I’ll allow anyone else to be a part of the decision…and usually, at that point, the decision has already been made.

I do realize the problem in that is we were created to be relational. Part of relationships is allowing people to see the parts of yourself that aren’t perfect. I’m not saying that I want or need to broadcast every bit of my life to everyone, but I think it’s only healthy to allow people to walk through life with you in an intimate way. I’ve got a bad habit of allowing people in to my life who will say and do things to make me feel good, but won’t call me out when I need it. Clearly, I can handle the rest on my own. (That was sarcasm, just incase you missed it.) I’m so fortunate that God has plopped some pretty influential women (mostly northerners, go figure) in my life who not only encourage me, but push me to be the best version of myself possible – and in that, it’s time that I get back to what’s on my heart: high school students.

If you’ve read this blog at all, you’ve probably caught on to the fact that I was abused as a child. It’s not a secret, but for the longest time I lived like it was. That pain, that damage caused me to do things that I regret and created a skewed and septic self-image that sometimes still is hard not to believe. But God, with all of his humor, has given me influence over High School students for years. It’s so funny to me that while I was one of them, I knew no one could ever know who I truly was and what I’d been through because I would end up having to eat lunch in the bathroom because of the shame. Yet now, the pain, the hurt, the confusion are all tools to show that God can take the ugliest and most disgusting things about ourselves and use them to show others how He can restore, renew and revive a life! It wasn’t until opening up to my girls in my parents’ living room two Christmases ago that I was truly able to be free…and let them know that they are not alone or solely defined by what has happened to them.

Recently at Cross Point, we introduced a song to our congregation. These are the words that consistently echo in my head:

He lavishes such love upon us. He calls us now His sons and daughters. He’s reaching out…

We each have a story. We each have a history. I’m not going to say that I would have ever asked for mine, but I also can’t imagine where I’d be without it. To be able to be used for good despite what has happened to me is the most overwhelming gift I could have ever received. I am so grateful.

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You’re reading part fifteen of my 30 (ish) day blog challenge. Here’s what you’ve missed so far:

Day 1 — Your best friend – Rachel
Day 2 — Your vices – Just Read It
Day 3 — Your parents – Barry & Carla
Day 4 — Your siblings – Barry & Daryl
Day 5 — Your dreams – I’ve got lots
Day 6 — Someone that inspires you – Stacey
Day 7 — Your job – Work in progress
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend you’ve never met – Stephanie
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet – George W. Bush
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to – Alyson
Day 11 — A deceased person you wish you could talk to – Papa Jim
Day 12 — Your dream vacation – Italy
Day 13 — Something you look forward to – Sundays
Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from – Marci Marie

A lot of these posts have to do with other people. Today especially, with a theme of who you miss the most, it’s hard to pick just one. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized who this post had to be about. Allow me to introduce you to the girl who saved my life: Sarah Kelley.

On November 11, 2007, I moved from Nashville back home to Texas and my world fell apart. The move was my choice, but because things weren’t going my way, I blamed God. It was a rough patch for me. I wasn’t doing anything wrong or out of the ordinary, it was just a very bitter and dark season in my life. Fast forward to May of 2008 and I begin working for a church. How I got hired on when I wasn’t pursuing Christ is just a God thing. Over that summer, a lot of the youth group kids were coming in and out. (Sidenote: I have a soft spot in my heart for High School kids. I feel like they have so much pressure and so many expectations coming at them from every angle and I just want to be their friend and let them know it’s okay not to know all the answers.) So, in walks this group of teenagers – loud and laughing a lot – and they immediately ask me if I’m single. Cool. There’s only one girl in this group of boys. Instantly, I was drawn to her. For the rest of that summer, I’d get to know those kids and that one girl still stood out for me. Sometime around November of that year, she was forced into a public speaking gig – which may sound insignificant, but is something that literally cripples her in fear. I don’t know where it came from, but my inner mama bear came out. From that moment on, I was responsible for her.

Sarah and I bonded real fast after that. We were inseparable. And the more I learned about her, the more I realized that she was me…in High School. I had to watch her go through all of the same things that I went through and could only offer up the “here’s what I did’s” and let her make her own choices or mistakes. It was painful. It opened up a lot of wounds that I had chosen to ignore for years and years. Don’t get me wrong – High School was SO much fun, but there was a lot of pain and broken-heartedness and just all around insecurity…which I’m sure everyone can attest to. Reliving my teenage years certainly was not the plan I had for myself in moving home. But don’t be fooled. We had our fun.

I knew that I would be mentoring Sarah, but I had no idea just how much walking through life with her was going to change me. She calls me her sister. Though I have a sister of my own, this is a sister that chose me…and that’s something special. Her family took me in as one of their own and have gone above and beyond to make me feel like I matter to them. I’ve traveled with them, spent birthdays with them…really invested my heart with this family. It was in the broken places of my heart that God used Sarah to wake me up. She showed me just what it’s like to have child-like faith, even as we go through the tough stuff. She showed me what it means to truly love God and love people. She showed me just how strong you have to be to turn the other cheek. Through her weaknesses, God broke me. He showed me myself – all of my stubborn arrogance – and just how selfish I had been acting. Slowly, the walls on my heart began to fall…and now, though there’s still a few bricks stacked up, I’m finally open to all that God has for me.

I don’t know how I’ll ever be able to repay her, but I’m so thankful that God sent Sarah to me. She truly has saved my life.


Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country
Day 17 — The place you wish you were from
Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be
Day 19 — Something that makes you different
Day 20 — Your favorite television shows
Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression
Day 22 — Your pet peeves
Day 23 — The last person you kissed
Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory
Day 25 — A life changing moment
Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to
Day 27 — The thing you most enjoy doing
Day 28 — Someone that changed your life
Day 29 — Your talent
Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror

You’re reading part five of my 30 day blog challenge. Here’s what you’ve missed so far:

Day 1 — Your best friend – Rachel
Day 2 — Your vices – Just Read It
Day 3 — Your parents – Barry & Carla
Day 4 — Your siblings – Barry & Daryl

I have started, deleted, started, deleted, stared at my screen so many times in the past hour because I honestly don’t know where to start. Do I talk about my actual dreams? Do I talk about being a chronic day-dreamer who envisions everything like a movie? Do I talk about how the Lord speaks to me through my dreams? Do I talk about all of that…or none of that?

Any time I talk to my dad, he tells me to not lose sight of my goal. What he means is for Tennessee…don’t give up. The problem is, which I always remind him, is that I don’t know what I want to be or do “when I grow up”. It changes on a daily basis: Interior Designer, Artist Manager, Tour Manager, Fashion Stylist, and on and on and on. However, there has been one constant in my life. High School students. My heart belongs to them. I tried to run from it, but they always come into my life. So, I’ve decided to stop fighting it. And if I were being honest about my dreams, I’d say that I have all the normal ones a young girl has: I want to be successful, I want to fall in love, I want a nice house and a range rover (okay, that’s a little excessive, i know. But it’s my dreams!), the jury is still out on kids…but I want the opportunity to change my mind, I want long-lasting friendships, I want my family to be happy, and so on. But with my heart belonging to my girls, my dreams are mostly for them.

I dream that they’ll be brave. I dream that they’ll experience all that life has to offer…at least the good parts of it. I dream that they’ll see themselves the way that I do: beautiful, talented, and with no limit to what they can accomplish. But more than anything, I dream that they’ll know the Father in a way that can completely change their lives and that they’ll pursue after Him daily.

My dreams will never stop. I see myself doing amazing things with amazing people. And every day that I wake up is a dream come true. In this life, there are so many times that I have to pinch myself to see if I’m awake or not. This town has given me so much to look forward to and every opportunity to make my dreams come true, both for myself and for others. We’ll just have to wait and see how this crazy ride continues…

“We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter’s evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true.” — Woodrow Wilson


Day 6 — Someone that inspires you
Day 7 — Your job
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend that you’ve never met
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to
Day 11 — A deceased person you wish you could talk to
Day 12 — Your dream vacation
Day 13 — Something you’re looking forward to
Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from
Day 15 — The person you miss the most
Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country
Day 17 — The place you wish you were from
Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be
Day 19 — Something that makes you different
Day 20 — Your favorite television shows
Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression
Day 22 — Your pet peeves
Day 23 — The last person you kissed
Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory
Day 25 — A life changing moment
Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to
Day 27 — The thing you most enjoy doing
Day 28 — Someone that changed your life
Day 29 — Your talent
Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror

little birdy told me…

Recurring Thoughts

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