My twenty year high school reunion is next weekend. Twenty years! That’s three years longer than the age I was when I graduated. While my high school years seem like they happened to another person in another time (well, actually it was another time…two decades ago), at the same time it seems inconceivable that it’s been so long.
As part of the reunion planning, the committee in charge of said planning put together a website where alumni (or is it alumnus? Don’t know my Latin!) can register for the reunion, submit their pertinent info, see who’s still “lost” and who’s been “found.” It even plays the school fight song. We the alum’s have been invited to send in pictures to be posted on a gallery page. Some have sent in current pictures, but most of the pictures are from our high school adventures, or misadventures as the case may be. I have to admit I didn’t even recognize a lot of the people in the pictures, partly due to the fact it’s been awhile, like twenty years, and partly because I just didn’t get out much. As you have probably suspected, I was something of a nerd. I am featured in a couple of pictures though. My husband, who did not know me in high school, remarked on how young I looked. I did, and I was.
All of this reflection and remembering has prompted some of the strangest emotions in me. As I began to realize how little I really was a part of the “in” crowd, it began to bother me, now twenty years later. Isnt’ that silly? I mean, I knew I was more of a wall flower, certainly not the belle of any ball. Don’t get me wrong, I had friends and a boyfriend. I was happy. I just didn’t belong. And seeing it in living color so many years later was a surprise.
A friend from high school emailed me a few weeks ago. I haven’t heard from him nor “laid eyes on him” since the night we tossed our mortarboards in the air. We exchanged the usual “what have you been up to” kind of conversation that one would typically have with someone they haven’t heard from in ages. As I typed the words “I’ve been at home for twelve years” (nearly thirteen actually), I thought to myself, can it have been twelve years? (You can see I am having great trouble understanding time and its inevitable passage.) Twenty years have passed, and my accomplishments include getting my college degree, marrying a wonderful man, birthing four children, changing mounds of diapers and now fixing lunches and doing laundry and scrubbing toilets (only occasionally) and transporting children.
I know that I know that I know that THIS is God’s call on my life. Many of you will say to me “it’s the most important job you can do” and you are absolutely right. But, can I say that sometimes I feel the pressure of our culture that tells us our significance is found in our accomplishment? How easily we buy into the lie! As I reflected on the past twenty years, I admit I wondered if I was a waste of potential. I wondered if…maybe…perhaps…
As I peer into the eyes of the former me posted on the photo gallery, it feels sometimes like I am looking into the eyes of a stranger, or perhaps someone I used to know, but now the acquaintance has faded. I think of the hopes and dreams of that girl and wonder if she knew that this is how it turned out, would she be excited? Disappointed?
I do know this. Whether the high school me would be glad about becoming the current me or not, the current me would do it all over again exactly the same way. Actually that’s not entirely true. I don’t want to do it all over again. I want to be here in the now of my life. I know my God now in an intimacy I would have never known possible twenty years ago. I can say with Paul that by God’s grace I am what I am. Thus far the Lord has brought me. He has blessed me so, and I am grateful.