Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 3: On High School Reunions

I am trying to valiantly to stay awake. I started with a cold glass of water. Then a hot cut of CAFFINATED tea. I’ve been getting up and walking around. I’ve had conversations with each person that has walked past my desk. I have been taking big breaths in and out. I have been making sure to find reasons to laugh. I have given up and have now moved on to an energy drink. I know, I know….evil right? But I hardly care if it means I can get through the day awake!

I have been having a great week, despite Paul being gone. But oh yay, Friday gets closer every day!

Last night after work I went to see Dr. Dan, my chiropractor (felt so great after, partially from having him work wonders on my back and partially because he told me I couldn’t do bootcamp anymore; though he did say to start aquafit and swimming). After that I skype’d with Paul for half an hour while eating healthy healthy veggie Zero point soup. Then I met up with a girl, Sheena, from my grad class to purchase 10 year reunion tickets and catch up. We hadn’t talked since graduating…so there was lots to catch up on!

After meeting up with Sheena I headed over to the Elephant Walk, a favorite pub of ours, to meet up with some friends from Life group for Music Bingo, Beer and Wings. It was a great way to end an evening.


   This whole 10 year reunion thing is interesting to me. It took me about a month to decide if I would actually attend mine. It was a big decision for me. Many, most, of the people I graduated are awesome. High School was a good time for me. I made some amazing friends (most of whom, I’ve sadly lost contact with) and had some very fun moments. Two of my friends from Junior High even came to my wedding; so cool to have dreamt with them about our futures and be walking them out together!

   Some of the people I graduated with are people I went to Junior High with, and some I even went to Elementary with. Most people would think, cool, you go way back. Except that Elementary to Junior High were terrible years for me. There are a handful of people that will be there who I would happily never see again. Even thinking about them, makes me feel like the awkard 8 year with no friends, constantly bullied, all over again. The decision at first, seemed to be, do I willingly want to subject myself to go to a place where there will be people who made my early school years horrible? Why would I choose to go see people who as kids and early teens were absolutely cruel to me? Especially since everything thinks that now that we’re adults we should all just move on. Except I don’t know how to act normally around people who have hurt me the way they have.

   I have chosen to forgive the classmates in my life who were so hurtful. I know that God has loved and forgiven me and the only response to that is to offer the same forgiveness. When classmates from that period have come to me since leaving school to apologize, I am always happy to start over. It’s the ones that aren’t sorry (or don’t act differently) that I don’t know how to trust or be around. Forgiveness doesn't mean I'd like to see them again. What does it look like to be hurt, forgive, and move forward when everything and nothing seems to change?

   After years of letting the words of classmates from my childhood and teenage years haunt me, I discovered who God had made me to be. I discovered that he made me on purpose. I discovered that he made me with a plan and a future. To learn that I am not loud, ADD and excitable by accident, but that God specifically made me that way, was a huge gift. God has shown me where he has put his gifts in my life. God has shown me how he has used past hurt and turned it in to strength. He has taught me to choose love and forgiveness, and given me the power to make that choice.

   The decision regarding my reunion ultimately became, not why would I go, but could this be an opportunity to be used by God? Each time I meet up with a former classmate and we talk, I feel healing in my heart. I know that God uses opportunities to heal us. What if I have an opportunity to help others experience that healing? What if Paul and I go to this reunion full of faith? What if we go, believing that God would use us? Believing that God would move in hearts that are hardened or wounded?

So we’re going. We’re in and, truth be told, I’m pretty excited.

1 comment:

LeAnna et David said...

Cousin, you're awesome. When you go back, think about the life you have now, which you love, and just enjoy your happiness. Rocky roads in the past brought you to where you are now.

I'm not going, as I don't feel like scrounging up the flight fare. I didn't mind the thought of going, because I'm in a good place in my life and have achieved what I want to. But at the same time, the only people I want to see there are people I'm still in contact with.


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