When I was in High School I referred to the building as a prison.
I really hated it a lot. I felt torn between trying to fit in and loving the ones who were never going to. I would sometimes feel fine, and other times I would go into the bathroom to avoid having to face the choice. The choice of choosing to not care what people thought, even though I always did, or doing everything in my power to get a cool kid to let me sit by them. I just met up with my friend from High School and we talked about what it was like and how stupid those 4 years really were. And the regrets we have. For caring about what they thought. And allowing those people to go through 4 years of hell just because no one was willing to show them some kindness. It makes me sick to my stomach. Yeah, I would sit by them and reach out sometimes. But my heart wasn't with them, it wasn't loving them completely, i was doing it because I was supposed to. I resented that. Because it made me uncool. Or maybe Jesus made me uncool. I said that was ok, but my heart sure didn't mirror that. I was bitter.

For many, life hasn't changed. They go through the motions waiting to get some approval to make them feel better about themselves and give them the energy to keep up the competition for approval. I don't want my kids to feel like I did in High School. I don't want anyone to ever feel the way I felt. But most do. So what's the point?
Those 4 years kinda blur together. I can't really remember one year from the next, but I remember the way I felt. I remember the good moments of belonging. And the ones of utter rejection. The moments of hypocrisy. And the moments I spoke out. The days I had to run the mile and hated it. And the days I did awesome in musical practice.
So why did I get out of that? Why did God bless me and give me and awesome family and fiance who point me to Jesus, while others got married, divorced, and had 3 kids before we graduated? We were in the same classes. We sat by each other every day for 4 years. And what did I do to help them? Not much. No one did much for them.

It's heartbreaking. Those 4 years gave me a chance to speak love and life to so many people. And more often than not, I was too concerned about what other people thought about me to see the hurt and longing in their eyes. I was too wrapped up in myself to love like Jesus did. I hope that never happens again. I hope my kids don't do that. Thank goodness for a new day and a new chance to love like He does. A new morning full of compassion.
Thank you, Jesus, I don't deserve it.

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