I remember being Fifteen and once again standing in front of a new classroom, full of teens. It was my thirteenth school and I had mastered the art of fitting in. I could stand at the front of the class and pin point exactly who I was going to be friends with. I guess I was drawn to the misfits or the quieter types who I knew would be more open to accepting a newbie.
So there I stood, bleach blonde hair with black roots showing through, second hand shoes and a uniform that had been retired two years before as the new upgrade had entered. I felt the weight of judgement unlike any previous school I had attended and my heart ached with loneliness.
As I looked around at the other kids, I felt jealous. They had spent years solidifying their friendship circles. They had real connections and I knew there was always going to be a part of me that never truly had that. I had learned to keep my secrets close, my real feelings locked away because I didn’t want to get attached. I knew it could be six months or year and then I’d be in tears again because we had to move.
That Fifteen year old me, standing in front of the class, even with the weight of judgement glaring at her… she plastered on a smile. She looked around as if she couldn’t care less if people were staring at her. She had learned to fake confidence and strike up conversations and show love for others. She may have been the loneliest girl in the world but she had a secret weapon. She had grown up knowing that God was always with her.
No matter the loneliness or the trauma she had endured. She believed with her whole being that she was never really alone. Because the Holy Spirit lived within her. Her constant companion and friend. Regardless of how many states, schools, churches or sporting activities she started. He walked beside her.
Sometimes I look back at all the storms I’ve been through, the trauma I spent my life trying to out run, thinking, 'If I just ignore it, then it will disappear.' The loneliness that still creeps in and tells me I will never outrun it. But then... I think of that girl standing in front of her class. I miss her. I’m so proud of her. I want to hug her and tell her to never forget that through everything that is to come, her God never left her side and it’s all going to be okay.
And it is. Better than okay actually. It’s wonderful! Is it perfect? Not by a long shot but I’ve grown to know that Jesus is always with me. He walked and is walking every experience that unfolds at every moment. He takes my questions, feels my hurts, celebrates my victories, listens to my sobs, catches my tears, offers me peace in the hard and hurting and lifts me up with delight as I take on the world always singing His praise.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing and when I think back and ask myself the question, was I ever really lonely? I can say I may have felt that way but I was never ever alone.
Love Sarah, xx.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” -Deuteronomy 31:6