a letter to my high school friends

A letter to those who I went to high school with:

Dear Friends,

Hi it's me Momma ASay. Do you remember me? I think of you all the time. I want you to know that I love and miss you more than you'll ever know. I am excited to see what college has in store for you. What majors and friends and fun you all are going to have. I hope you find some great new friends that make lasting impressions on you. 

I know that you probably think that I don't want to be your friend. Or maybe you feel like I judge you. (Or you possibly feel both). This could not be further from the truth. I want more than anything to be there for you. I want be there for whatever life throws your way. I have never once had an inkling of judgment toward you. I just want you all to be happy and keep those smiles on your faces. Im just a text or phone call away.

This is a screen shot of the desktop of my laptop. I find it to be absolutely adorable. However, it means something more to me. I am very much so in a season of transition and change and that seemed to begin the day I graduated high school. If you would have asked me months ago if I would be where I am now, I would have laughed saying that's not going to happen. God definitely has His hand on me & my life. What I am going to be writing about is a tricky subject but it has been on my heart a lot lately. Maybe someone, other than myself, will get something out of this.

In high school I found myself to be surrounded constantly by the same people that I had grown up all my life with. I would like to have thought that we were pretty popular. Everyone kind of knew who my group of friends were. That was good and bad. It seemed like everyone was constantly watching you. Judgement is big in high school- obviously. I judged people so harshly and expected none in return. I am sorry for those who were affected by any criticism that came from me (or will come). 

As much as I wanted to follow the Lord wholeheartedly in high school it seemed like I was holding onto something. That group of friends. I did not want to do something different than what they were doing and risk them not being there for me in the process. I cannot put the blame on anyone but myself for this. Its not OUR relationship with God, it MY relationship. I knew that if I was going to chase after Jesus with everything I had my life would look completely different. So why was I letting myself hang on to those people who influenced me so heavily? I wish I knew. If you were to look up the definition of 'lukewarm Christian' my face would be right there next to it. I, just like everyone else in high school, fell victim to peer pressure and following the ways of the world. It was like I was trying to be in the world and follow God at the same time. You cannot do both. It's not about who you are on Sunday's or Wednesday's, it's about who you are on every other day of the week. I learned this the hard way. 

I heard an analogy once that described exactly how I was feeling. 
"If you are standing on top of the building 100 stories above someone and you are trying to pull them closer to where you are; it is going to be much easier for them to pull you down then for you to pull them up."
I constantly let myself get pulled down by the environment I surrounded myself in. I tried to put on everyone else's oxygen masks before my own. (Thank you Bridget for this saying/ you're kind of awesome).

Sometimes you just have to take a step back and take a look at the big picture. When I was trying to be more of the world, it was harder to see how harmful everything I was doing was for my spiritual health. Please friends if you are trying to follow the Lord by yourself, it is going to be harder than anything you have done. You have got to surround yourself with a community of those who are going to build you up & pour Jesus into you like no other. This doesn't mean that you shouldn't be friends with everyone. God calls us to LOVE everyone just like He loves us. But to be friends with someone does not mean that you have to have the same lifestyle as them. Any relationship has to have communication and effort put in by both people. A lot of times there has to be a compromise- so don't forget that.

So, back to why BE STILL speaks to me. As I feel sometimes that I have lost everyone and only have a handful of friends my Lord calls out to me:

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

"He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'" Psalm 46:10

Thank you Lord for your Grace. You are more sufficient than 1000 friends. You sustain me and make me whole. I hope and pray one day everyone will understand Your love for them.

As Always,

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