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Overcoming High School Hurts
by Tonja Taylor
1/09/2020 / Christian Living
I wasn’t glad to hear the voice on my answering machine, telling me to call and give my new address for the invitation to our 20-year class reunion. It was the voice of my antithesis, my former enemy, the girl with whom I’d been good friends until ninth grade, when we started a four-year-long competition to see who would be valedictorian—then wound up having to share the title. It was the voice of a woman whom the world considered extremely successful.
And, according to the world, I was not nearly as successful. Condemnation, guilt, anger, and shame hit me like a tidal wave as I wondered what I had accomplished in the past 20 years, through divorce, being a single mom for about 7 years, numerous job changes, addresses, and more.
“I’m not going, Daddy God,” I said, nearly whining. "I don't care if I ever see those people again, and I haven't missed them!" I was sure that everyone else was doing so much better than me. Although I had worked hard and graduated as co-valedictorian, I had met my daughter’s father right before graduation, and started dating him out of rebellion—even knowing he was bad news. And he sure was!
Still, the LORD had been faithful to me and my darling daughter, who had come at the end of that terrible 12-year relationship that was legal, but had been so destructive to who I really was supposed to be! God had helped me and my daughter break free of it when she was just 10 months old, and I’d never looked back.
The devil is called “the accuser of the brethren” in the Bible, for good reason. He constantly accuses us if we let him, reminding us of all our failures, and of what others have done to hurt us too. I had felt much hurt from various teachers and peers through the years, and had been pretty shocked and disappointed at some things I’d suffered at the hands of teachers, that had made me feel humiliated.
Even with all the leadership roles I’d had and the awards I’d won for various things in school, it was hard to enjoy those successes, because of the emotional turmoil I was constantly in, both at school and at home. But I had been a champion hurdler, even breaking my own records at the district level, and the LORD reminded me of that.
God is on our side, and always causes us to triumph in the end! We have to know and believe His love, and I had not been taught that. I had been raised, overall, in a “performance” mode and that was what my self-worth was tied to. However, that is NOT the plan nor the way of our loving Daddy God. He loves us no matter what and that love does not change. His love is NOT based on our performance, praise Him!
This was just another hurdle, and by His Grace, I could overcome it.
The LORD says in the Word to “be strong and of good courage.” So, I chose to overcome the past and focus on the better present and future. I finally accepted the invitation and took my fiance, to show him off. He is really the only reason I went! and although it was awkward seeing the others—and the same ones hit the bar as did 20 years ago—and the food was way too salty and really, a waste of good money, and the gathering place was cramped, we left early and went to the park.
I was so glad that I never had to see these former peers again, if I didn’t want to, and in fact, I hadn’t missed not seeing them at all. But I did pray for them to come closer to the LORD, and was so thankful that my fiance and I both loved God and had committed to growing in Him, and to raising my daughter to His glory.
Although we were dressed up, including me in heels and a skirt, my gallant/noble fiance suggested we take a walk around the park. Then we danced under the gazebo, and prayed out loud. A night walker said, “That’s so cool!”
We talked and laughed, and the evening turned out to be excellent after all. God put His Grace upon it, as He can always do, to work good out of evil, if we let Him.
Tonja K. Taylor is the author of many works, including THE ADVENTURES OF PRINCESS PEARL, P.O.W.E.R.* Girl! series. She and her husband Clayton minister the Word through teaching, preaching, and the arts, on River Rain Creative Arts (You Tube, God Tube), AnchorFM, their church, the region, and beyond
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