“What grade are you in?” I asked the older girl in the girl’s rest room.
“I am a sophomore,” she replied.
“How did you make it this far?” I asked.
She looked at me a little funny and proceeded to turn and walk out the door.
It was 1960, my first year of high school. There was no middle school then and ninth graders were the bottom of the totem pole. I was apprehensive at the least, and outright scared to death at the most. I was not convinced that I could make it in this mysterious world of high school. One of the reasons for this fear was because my sister had found it difficult to the point that she quit school at the age of 16.
So, I studied hard, stayed close to my two friends, Mary and Sharon, and tried very hard to understand this new social world of clubs, cliques, cheer leaders, and popular groups.
My two friends were my lifeline, so when at the end of my freshman year I learned they would not be there the next I was devastated. My friend Sharon was moving to Nebraska, and Mary was dropping out of school to get married.
What would I do? When the new school year came I had no friends, and was not looking forward to this year. Then a wonderful thing happened. While waiting to go into the building on the first day of our sophomore year, I noticed a big ole ring on the finger of a classmate from the year before. I asked her about her steady, we started talking and became close friends.
We shared the best bologna sandwiches and wedding cookies after school at her house. We spent most Saturdays just talking about boys, going for walks, trying to play tennis at the local park, or learning how to bowl at the neighborhood bowling ally. When she didn’t have a date with her steady we would go to the skating rink, to a movie, or have hair-do sleepovers.
I would love to tell you all the many things Kathy and I went through during those three short years, but maybe another time or story. I can tell you, however, that she was the best friend anyone could hope for, and remains so even these 50 years later. I think present day vernacular is BFF.
The moral of this little story is that when God closes one door He will always open another. Also, just because those who go before may be dropouts, and just because those closest to you may also dropout, it doesn’t mean you will be one too. It is all in the heart and what you want for your life is what matters.
Everyone is different, and God had an individual plan for my life. I like to think He gave me a thing called “sticktuitiveness”, but actually my entire life is one big gift of grace. I want to give Him all the glory, for as I look back I can see how He has worked all things out for my good and to bring about His purposes. (Romans 8:28)
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