me at 16, and yes..I'm a brunette in "real life"
In 2003 I left most of my Elementary School friends behind and ventured on to a new phase in my life: High School. I had been accepted into the Arts High School in my area, and spent four-years studying Dramatic Art.
Grade 9 was a wonderful year for me. I played on the Field Hockey Team and even received the Most Improved Player Award (kind of a hilarious award – but I’ll take it). I was on Student Council as a Class Representative. Most of my marks were in the high 80’s and 90’s. I made lots of new friends, and loved the challenge of the Dramatic Arts.
Slowly, my faith took a backseat. My Bible was somewhere under my bed, growing a lot of dust. I wasn’t as bold in sharing my faith at this new school. The fire that blazed so strongly within me slowly dwindled.
The summer before Grade 10 I volunteered to help at the week-long camp my church ran in Parry Sound, ON. It felt really good to be back with my church friends and to be growing and learning through God’s word. Sometime during that week I started to develop a friendship with another Counselor who was a bit older than me. I was drawn to his extroverted personality, admired that he was a Christian and wanted to serve the Lord, and felt that I could relate better to him because of his age.
I had hoped to bring back from camp a renewed fire for the Lord. Instead, I brought back a new boyfriend, my first boyfriend. My mom wasn’t impressed with the age of my new boyfriend (he was going off to college and I was going into the tenth grade). This is the first time that I remember directly disobeying my mother over such an important decision, but it was certainly not the last. Other friends from church warned me not to become too involved, to guard my heart and my purity.
I dated my first boyfriend for 2-years. We broke up multiple times, but we always seemed to get back together. In my mind, I told myself that I was doing the right thing by being with a Christian man. We both clearly longed to worship the Lord with our lives, but in the end our immaturity and lack of faith caused us to worship one another.
I was so blinded by “love” during this time that I didn’t listen to the pleas of my mother, or the pleas of my friends. By the end of our relationship we had become tangled into such a web of emotion, lust, and time that I just didn’t know how to move on. I had committed myself so fully to someone, and I simply didn’t know how to uncommitt ,or even if that was the right thing to do.
In the end, our relationship finally ended permanently after a lot of bitterness and immature mistakes. After our relationship ended I was 16-years-old, and I had a wonderful opportunity to completely free myself from the snare of romantic relationships and draw myself closer to the Lord. My heart desired to do this, and I tried on my own efforts to come to the Lord. But, in the end, my world was completely changed, and so I moved on to the next man who had eyes for me. And the next. And the next. And the next.
The decision I made in dating this man, when I was still not yet 15-years-old, had irreparable damage to the remainder of my high school and most of my university years. It was this first decision, to ignore the stirring of the Lord in my heart, and to worship man over God, that led to such a destructive pattern in my life. If I could only shake that young girl who was so blind and urge her to run the other way. If I could only show her a glimpse of herself at the age of 18: utterly lost and in a tangle of impurity. But, I can’t. I share this story as a glimpse to other young women. This is only the beginning of the story, and I’ll continue to pray about what parts to share and what can remain the past.
To be continued...