Yeap that's me.   Look at the red and white look I have going on.  You would have thought I took this on the Fourth of July!  This is actually taken on the first day of school of my 9th grade year.  I have four years of high school staring at me in the face and I have no idea what's in front of me.  I was not prepared for high school one bit.

No one prepared me for the pressure to do stuff with guys.

No one prepared me for the gossip that could tear friends apart.

No one prepared me for the fight of being on a good athletic team.

No one prepared me for the thoughts of wondering if you fit in.

No one prepared me for the drama that can occur at the drop of a hat.

High School is a hard time in a girls life and I don't feel as though I knew that going into it.  If I had known these things my high school years might have turned out differently.  You see I wasn't chasing after Jesus.  In fact I'm not even sure I knew Jesus then.  I surely didn't act like it.  I surely didn't hurt by things that hurt God.  I surely didn't care about anyone but myself.

I wasn't even a bad kid.  I was a good kid.  I got good grades, I did good in sports, and had lots of friends.  I even served on leadership in FCA and on the outside had it all going on.

But the inside was a different story.  I was desiring attention and love from places that would ultimately only let me down.  For some reason I felt more loved  and secure when I had a boyfriend.  This meant that my entire high school career I always had a boyfriend.  I didn't date around, I had a boyfriend that I was serious with and when that didn't work out I had another one.  I was looking for something to fill me and at the time didn't have a clue what would do that.

I quickly learned what kept a guy around and for that I am so regretful.  Those decisions made in high school ultimately effect your entire life and no one tells you this.  I could only see my life as a 16 year old and not as a 31 year old with 4 kids and a husband.  Life is hard to see when you are only focused on yourself.

When I look at that picture above, I wish that I could sit next to that girl on the couch and share my heart with her.  I wish I could fill her in on what lies ahead, and share with her what to watch out for in life.  I wish I could tell her that she is worth more than any whispers a guy might tell her to get what he wants.  I wish I could tell her to cherish friendships and truly love your girl friends in high school.  I wish I could tell her to listen more.  To care more.  To love more.  True love, not self-centered love.  I wish I could tell her to meet more people and be friends with everyone.  I would tell her that life is meant to be lived in abundance.  I wish I could tell her to serve more.  To get out of her box and do something.  I have so much I would tell that girl sitting on that couch.

But would that girl listen?

Jamie Ivey