i went to the park yesterday. it was a nice park. the weather was good and i got to spend some quality time alone. the only thing different about this park is that it was situated right behind my old high school.
i was there at around 5ish. from where i was sitting, i could see the chairs set up for the graduation that evening. no one was there quite yet, just empty chairs and an empty stage...exactly the way it looked three years ago, when i got to sit in my yellow robe. well, i guess technically it was supposed to be gold, but anyone with less than average vision could see that it was definitely yellow. but we're getting off subject here.
i spent most of my time there, on the bench in the shade, reminiscing. i couldn't help it. as much as i wanted to think of other things, my mind kept going back to the six years of my life spent at that school. my first thought was holy crap. six years. the rest of my thoughts weren't quite as pleasant.
i don't think about whitney high much. i spent more than a fourth of my life there, but most of the time, those years stay out of my head. (for those who don't know, my high school was really a middle school and a high school put together. a small one, at that.)
i don't mean to put anyone down---classmates or teachers. in fact, there were some that i really loved.
but on the whole, i hated it. i know it's a strong word,and i am fully aware of its implication. but it's the best word i can think of.
i hated feeling judged. whether it was true or not, it's what i felt every second i stepped into that place. i never looked good enough, i never said the right thing, i wasn't smart enough, i wasn't funny enough, i was invisible and yet everyone could see my every flaw.
nobody knew me. and i was fully convinced that that's the way everyone liked it.
when i hear people say that high school was the best time of their life, or watch them get excited about going back home and getting to see their best friends from then, i can't relate. i'm pretty sure that no one from high school would recognize me today. i'm not that person anymore.
as all these random flashbacks kept coming, i had to stop and remember that the person sitting on the bench, looking back at her school, was not the same. and for that, God gets all the glory.
i know that in those six years, God was there. i talked to Him a lot. cried and yelled at Him too. and He was faithful. He knew my pain better than i did. and He saw me, even then, sitting on that bench.
maybe sometimes it's good to look back--to recognize that GOD alone has brought us this far, but mostly i think about what Paul says in phillipians: "Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." (v.13-14)
brothers and sisters, there's no way that i could have gotten here without God. but i will do this: forget about the past and what lies behind me, and look forward to what God has yet in store for me. I continue to move toward the goal for the greatest prize of all: the upward call of God in Christ Jesus my SAVIOR.