This is a little story (or ditty if you so please), about a girl who got kicked out of school at fourteen. Yep, that's me! Chaplain's wife. What?! You don't believe me?! Well, just ask my dad. Yep, I assure you that Ricky could tell you the story (as he remembers it from his perspective as the superintendent of that very same school). Ok, juicy recap: 14, expelled, superintendent's daughter, oh yah...pastor's daughter too (church attached to school) -- wow, that was sticky!! What was I doing at 14 that was so bad? Lets just say it was all illegal and involved substance(s)--and that just scratches the surface.
Yes, still the Chaplain's wife here. You were worried this was the wrong blog huh? Before getting too concerned, please note that I no longer intake illegal substances. Sometimes I have to remind myself of my roots because forgetting would be a travesty! I have to remember how the Lord protected me from being sexually assaulted at fourteen by a man ten years my senior at a random drug party. How he protected my virginity. How he kept me alive and allowed me the husband and child of my dreams. I'm here in Michigan now and every time I return, I'm reminded of the four years that changed my life. When my family packed up and moved from Oceanside, CA to Grand Rapids, MI....I was one lost girl. At the time, I thought the move was all about me or my fault because, lets be honest, at that age everything "was about me". I was mad, sad, guilty, angry, and totally heading down a really bad path. While I was all "caught up in myself", God was starting to put together my puzzle. I like to think of parts of my life as puzzle pieces that God moves into place. Some of those pieces he had to jam in because of my stubborn nature, but oh how he got them to fit!
Michigan. What can I say?! I attended Grand Rapids Baptist Academy (yes the name scared me). It was a small Christian academy full of students who had attended together since elementary school. I remember my mom telling me that the move was a "good thing" because I could reinvent myself as whomever I wanted to be, not just "the girl from CA who got expelled". Walking through those halls as a freshman was odd. I was still trying to figure Michigan out. Everyone was Dutch it seemed (I was too... come to find out later). Of course, there was the Michigan accent and use of the word "pop" (pronounced, "pap") meaning- soda. I was extremely outgoing and felt like I had to tone it down a bit just to fit in (who does that?!) :) I made some friends, found a boyfriend, started sports, and began my life heading in the EXACT same path I had just left. I found that there were drugs in every state. I don't know why I felt so inclined to go against the grain, it was like I was running in circles. The crazy part is that God was already working in my life through his Spirit. As long as I can remember, I have always had a crazy conscience. I would disobey God, and fall apart inside. This grew stronger and stronger and after a couple years of laying in bed (drunk or drugged out) and crying, I finally realized I was running from Him. Before moving forward, I must give credit to my parents for NEVER, EVER giving up on me. They always let me make my mistakes and prayed me through them. They always said "I love you" even when I was hurting them or myself. They were, to me, Christ exemplified.
My life started changing in small ways in high school. I began noticing girls who "had it together"...who were living for Christ (most of them probably have no idea that they were being "watched"). I slowly began realizing that I had been living for myself since birth. I began trying to be a "better person". You'd think, as a pastor's daughter, that I would just "know what to do" but I had never "known Christ" in a real and evident way. This process was slow and grueling. I would take two steps forward and five steps back. If you are reading this and went to high school with me, hello! I still love you all and wish now that I could have understood God's unwavering and merciful love then. Don't think I hated school--on the contrary, I love my high school memories and would not change them for the world!. The relationships I had then, make me who I am-- my memories are vibrant and terribly fond. I learned about love and heartbreak, friendship, and most important....about God. The things I regret are a direct result of my battle with God. The battle for my heart:)
Was I saved in high school? Hmmm....good question! Well, I prayed the prayer to accept Christ when I was about eight with my mom at my bedside. I believe my faith was one that had to be cultivated. I had to run in the EXACT opposite direction to find out where to go. I am the girl who has to learn by failing--it's just who I am:) I'm thankful for God allowing me this path because I feel that my faith is so real now. I see the depths to which he had to pull me from--the places so full of sin that He had to turn his face away at times. If I was not saved then, I know I am now. Once I reached college I rededicated my life to Him.
Wow, that was a good reminder of who I am. Are you surprised or horrified??? Doesn't matter--it's who I am and I am thankful! Oh and at LU, I let God know that my puzzle of life DID NOT involve marrying a pastor or anyone in the military. Wow, did He have other plans:)
Bonus Question: How on earth did I end up at the largest Christian college in the country? That's for another blog...this was already a novel and my fingers hurt.