Friday, August 31, 2012

Chapter 6: The Valley of the Shadow of Death

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
The title of this chapter is making me laugh because I’m totally talking about high school.  It sounds so dramatic to call it that, but seriously… high school sucks.  For the most part.  I think 9th grade would qualify as the worst year of my life.  My sister and I were 4 years apart in school, so she left for college as soon as I started high school.  I didn’t realize that she was such a huge part of my comfort zone.  When she left, it broke my heart.  I was really lonely without her there, and this is how I felt on my first day of school.  My school was huge, and I instantly felt lost.  Some of my friends were there, but I hardly ever saw them due to the amount of people and classes.  I also decided to quit band so I could focus on ballet, so I never saw those friends after that.  And for some reason, my 9th grade classes were impossibly hard.  I always made good grades, but now my grades were suffering.  Each day felt like a fight for survival.  My lunch period was straight out of a high school movie where I literally tried to hide to get away from the mean kids.  I just wanted to melt into the walls and disappear. 
At that time, I had a pet parakeet.  I’d had him for about 4 years and trained him to talk and do tricks.  Seriously, coolest bird ever.  I started noticing that my parents were having some trouble, so between that and school, this little guy was becoming the bright spot in most of my dark days that first semester.  Then on Christmas Eve, after being sick for a couple of weeks, he died.  This was the lowest point I had reached thus far in my life.  I felt like I had no one, no joy, no purpose for living.  I don’t remember much about that Christmas or the couple days after.  Then my birthday came, and two of my best friends came over to celebrate with me.  They just sat there with me and were just, well, there.  I don’t think they ever knew how much that meant.  
I felt like I  finally started to wake up that day.  The light at the end of the tunnel began to shine as I've learned it always does after a low point like that.  The next semester I met one of my best friends who began to go to church with me and actually found and helped me rescue a kitten, who became my next pet:)  It seems like things gradually went up hill from there.  High school was still hard, but I began to develop an amazing group of life-long friends. 
I also began to find my place in ballet and became more and more involved at my dance studio. 
But most importantly, I began to really pursue a future in missions…

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