It's pretty easy to see by the frequency of my postings lately that school is back in session, and I'm back in the classroom. Each day, I experience or think about things that I would like to share here, but there are very few free moments to sit down and compose my thoughts enough to write anything that would be of benefit to anyone, myself included. Life flies by at breakneck speed, sure enough!
Today, I traveled down to Madera Ranchos/Fresno to vist with an old friend from high school. Angela was a foreign exchange student during my senior year, and we made many (often crazy) memories together. She is from Australia, so I haven't seen her in years, but she happened to be here visiting her former host-family that now lives in the Madera Ranchos. We had a great time catching up over dinner at Chevy's and strolling the mall, but I really had to work hard to catch everything she was saying; her accent is strong enough that I sometimes had to ask her to repeat herself! Sorry Ang, you know it's true! :-) We were able to spend about five hours together, and we chatted the entire time. Amazingly enough, she has four children the ages of my four children, and we both have sons named Peter. When two moms each with four children get together, there is never a shortage of things to talk about! I found it interesting to hear what life is like for her in Australia, and the issues she and her children face compared to the issues I face with my children here in the States.
She remembered things I had long forgotten, and brought up names/situations that I'd tucked away in the far recesses of my mind. Some of the memories were great ones, and others were ones I was glad to have put aside. Her recollections reminded me that I am not the same person I was in high school, and that is only because of the healing and saving power of Jesus Christ in my life. I always tell people that it's a good thing Dave and I didn't meet in high school because he would have never dated me (and I probably wouldn't have dated him). Dave and I would have moved in completely different circles, and we wouldn't have crossed paths very often in a positive way.
Anyway, I noticed that Angela seemed uncomfortable around me at first, and I thought it was simply because we hadn't seen each other in such a long time, but then she said she didn't know what to talk to me about because she's never been friends with a minister or his wife. She asked about our church and our lives, and then she said, "I could never be perfect enough to be a minister's wife." I just had to laugh, and I told her to join the club because I'm not perfect enough either. And guess what? Neither my husband nor my children are perfect enough; we're all just one big perfectly imperfect mess! :-)
I think Angela's view of, and experience with, Christianity led her to believe that I would be judgmental or "Holier than Thou" and somehow "different." Well, I am different because I have met God and been freed from my sin and bondage, but the God I have met is a gracious God who respects, values, and LOVES people. I pray that I show those same qualities to those I am in relationship with, and I pray that Angela saw that in me tonight because that is the truth of how I feel about her.