I ran into an old friend from school this past weekend. We talked briefly and then went on our way. This was someone that I spent lots of time with during my Jr. High and High school years. We cheered together, played basketball together, went to track meets together, passed notes in class and laughed together, a lot, I looked up to her during school and I always thought that she had her life in order. After we talked for a few minutes and then parted ways a thought popped into my head...remember when you would get the new yearbooks in and everyone would pass them around to let everyone sign it, almost everyone ended their wishes with "stay cool" or "never change". This memory got me to thinking...
I started to think back to when I was in school and the kind of person I was and then I started thinking about my friends writing that to each other. Was it something we just wrote because it sounded good or was it that we really thought that person was so great that they really didn't need to change??? I think I wrote it to some people because I thought they really were that great but on the other hand maybe to someone else I just said it to say it.
I was fortunate enough to grow up in a very small school where everyone knew everyone, literally, and my kids now go to that same school with many of the same teachers that were there when I was there and some of the kids in their classes have parents that I went to school with. I consider this a huge blessing in many ways but many times it also is hard because I see the people that knew me when I was younger and honestly I was not always a nice kid growing up. I am guilty of letting the past come back and haunt me along with the shame and guilt and then I want to avoid them and then it comes off to some like I am still not a nice person. I am so thankful that God has taken me and changed me and shaped me into so much more than what I used to be. This is one time I will say CHANGE IS GOOD!!!
I have been wondering this week what if I "stayed cool" or "never changed" as so many put in my yearbook, year after year?! I have caught myself wandering back into my past and coming across those life changing points, some good and others not so good, some hard times and some even harder and some really great, really happy moments, they all play a part in who I have become. There have been stumbling blocks in my life and during those moments I questioned God as to why I have to be the one to go through this but when I look back now I see those stumbling blocks as more of changing blocks and yes I still think it was hard to get past it but since I made it to the other side and I can step back and see the whole map, I see that it was so that I could be one step closer to God 's finished product. I have to say if I was still the person I was in school, if I had not been through what I've been through then I do not believe I would have the relationship with God that I cherish today. I have learned because of change that I need God more and more each second of every day.
I am thankful for each person I have ever had in my life, good and bad, they have all played a role in my life story and also because they remind me of who I was, who I am and how far I have come. Even though some people still might not like me because of things I did or said when I was young and dumb that's ok, God loved me then and He loves me now, I am forgiven. He is still changing me and molding me into something beautiful and thankfully that will continue until the day that I will kneel at His feet as He sits on His throne in heaven!!