Saturday, March 5, 2011

Red Faces

After week of blogs about important issues, I felt like today should be a good day to share some lighter fare.

As a girl growing up, I seemed to find myself in some sticky spots sometimes. Sometimes due to my own stupid mouth that seemed to speak before I could think about it first. Sometimes, I acted first and thought about it later. I was a teenager, and I should have been named Anne Shirley. Okay granted I never turned my hair green, or got stuck in Barry's pond with only Gilbert Blythe to rescue me and I didn't hold a grudge quite like Anne, but I got into my fair share of scrapes. I think one of the things I struggled with most was comparing myself with others.

By the end of my Freshman year of high school I was in pretty bad shape. Middle school had been incredibly tough on me and Ninth grade hadn't proved any different - actually it probably was worse. It got so bad that my mom looked for teaching jobs out of state after finished her master's degree and she and her best friend had a plan in case she didn't get to move our family away from Oklahoma to send me to a private school. As God would have it, my mom was offered in job in Great Bend, Kansas. Where you ask is Great Bend, Kansas? Yeah, we asked that question too, it's two hours northwest of Wichita, KS and it's situated on the bend of the Arkansas River. That was about all we knew about it.

However, I had Driver's Education to finish and she needed to move a month or so ahead of time so I stayed with her friends, Ginny & Phil Schwarz. A week or so before I was supposed to leave and join Mom and our family in Kansas I went on one last youth group activity for our district. It was huge, all of the youth groups from our church district were there, and there was a choir there. What I didn't know was that some families that used to attend different churches had now moved their church homes to Calvary Church of the Nazarene. All I saw was my good friend Starla and it didn't occur to me that they all happened to be wearing the same clothing for a reason (remember act first, think later). So I went and sat with Starla and went through rehearsal with them as they prepared to sing for the service.

I am sitting up there, happy as a teen about to head into the unknown can be as they prepare to move from everything they've known (no matter how miserable they were it was still tough) when the speaker announces, "And after our time of prayer, Calvary Youth Choir with sing for us." WHAT!!!!!!! CALVARY YOUTH CHOIR!!!!!! OH NO! I ATTEND YUKON FIRST CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE!!!!!" How am I going to get down out of here? The answer? I couldn't. Acting first and thinking later I was sitting in the front row in a bright red shirt and a khaki shirt! There was no way to get out. I looked into the audience and my best friend Patty looked at me and we both had horror in our eyes. I am pretty sure she was looking at me wondering how on earth I got myself into these messes? Honestly, I used to wonder that as well. Then I looked at my friend Jeannie who is laughing her butt off and all I could do was close my eyes pray with the others and prepare to sing.

We performed the song, and the choir director even thanked me for joining them. I didn't have the courage to tell him that only I could get myself into something like this and discover what a doof I'd made of myself in the middle of the whole ordeal only to have to face it with what little shreds of dignity I had left. I thought I'd head to the bathroom and burst into tears, but as I got to the ladies room something inside me kicked in and instead of tears I started laughing uncontrollably. I sat in that bathroom and laughed for a good 15 minutes because it was laugh or cry. While I could think of better ways to end my time with my youth group, it happened, and there wasn't a lot I could do about it, except fasten my seat belt and go along for the ride.

I moved to Great Bend that week and joined my family. It was a new start for me, one in which no one could use my past against me. I was able to learn to blend in, watch my fellow classmates and discover things about people. While the time in Yukon made me who I am today and I wouldn't trade it for anything - I'm still not convinced that that experience was so much for growth as it was for my own personal embarrassment story.

Have a good weekend.

Love in Christ,

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