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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Confessions - Striving for the REAL.

Confessions. Confessions of what? Of things that I have left unspoken of, that I have left lie in the fathoms of my mind. Of things that I am going through, of things that I ache to write of but know I shouldn't. Is there an image I am trying to create throughout the Blogger world?

I'm not such a bubbly person, you know. Even when I wrote that "happy" post a few days ago...I wasn't all that happy. I was just trying to be happy - because I was desperate for happiness. When I clicked "Publish", it all crashed on me. I realized all at once that my blog is not an honest place. It's not a place of real-ness, of day-to-day struggles. It was a place for me to have an image - an image that is very unlike my self.

If I can't be REAL, why click over? Why take the time to read fakeness? If I can't share my life - in a REAL way, what is the point? Do I grow by writing fakeness? No. Do you grow by reading fakeness? No.

Being real means being vulnerable. Sharing what is most painful can never be easy. So I will be vulnerable today - I will share even when it means hurting.

Okay...

Well, as you probably know, I have been homeschooled all my life. I've been sheltered from the world, you could say. Ironically, the only time I am exposed to swearing and worse is at church. I have a large group of friends there. I'm not selective when it comes to friends. You want to be my friend? Go ahead. My church is like that too. They accept everyone for who they are. Which is super nice, but I have some weird friends. Some friends I don't hardly even like. Nevertheless, it is very easy for you to become one of my best friends. It's also kind of annoying to have a group of people following you around, especially when you just want to talk with two of your very best friends alone.

I had a best friend a long time ago. We did everything together. We told each other everything. You would never see one without the other. I saw her almost every day. Then one day, she decided she wanted to be best friends with another girl. She told this girl all my "secrets" (like I had any real ones at age ten) and passed everything I said on to this other girl.

You would think I would learn from this, wouldn't you? You would think that I would walk away from this overdramatic backstabbing between a few ten year olds, and I would remember it. Well, I didn't. And it's happened several times over again these last few years. And each time, I've just let it happen...I cried, sure. But what I really tried to do was forget, thus I didn't learn from my mistakes. I didn't guard my heart, my trust, my affection, though I should have, as I learned from these experiences.

I've been told that I'm too nice. That I care too much about what other people think, meaning that I will always try to make the other person feel better, even if that means lying. That I don't stand up for myself. That I let other people push me around, trample over me. That I'm impulsive.

I've also been told that I'm the best listener. That I laugh easily. That I carry conversation as naturally as I breathe. That I'm the most amazing person in the world, which I know is obviously not true. That I am sympathetic and feel deeply.

I guess I'm just a mixed bag. But why does this all bother me? Perhaps I should be asking why would this not bother me?

This fall, I'm going to public highschool. I don't understand crude jokes, I don't even know many swear words and I have next to no knowledge of mainstream artists. I only listen to Air1. I had no inkling as to who Beyonce is until a few months ago. One of my friends was literally gaping at me when I asked her who Beyonce is. "You don't know who Beyonce is? Do you live in a hole in the ground or something?"

Daddy told me once that I had to be careful who I made friends with at school. There's gotta be some pretty nasty people out there. But there has to be incredible people there too, right?

Life is a mixed bag. There are good things and there are bad things. People are a mixed bag. There are good people and there are bad people. Sometimes you can't tell if a person is a good person or a bad person unless you get to know them. I can usually tell, but sometimes I'm way off. I judge someone, and it turns out they're an amazing person. I accept someone, and it turns out they're not so amazing.

You know the saying, "One bad apple can spoil the lot"? When someone says that, they're not talking about apples. They're talking about people. They're saying one bad person can twist a good person.

I don't think that's true.

Yes, we need to be careful of who we hang out with, for the Bible says, "Bad company corrupts good character." But it works the other way around too, just as easily.

I had a friend, a long-time friend. Since fifth grade, I've known her and loved her. She had some issues, with life, with boys, with family, with God. God used to be something that went in one ear and went out the other for her. She swore, I didn't. She dated, I didn't. We didn't like any of the same things. And were very unlike each other. But still we remained friends.

In the last few months, I've noticed a change in this friend. She's searched for God - and she found Him recently. She stopped swearing and dating. She stopped zoning out during school and actually started focusing and trying to do better. She's told me her grades have improved. And I'm so happy.

My other friends say this change is because of my influence in her life. Perhaps. But it wasn't me. God was the one who connected us early on, God was the one who strengthened our friendship into something more. And God was the one who finally found His way into her heart and transformed her.

I proudly call this girl one of my besties.

I'm rambling now. But this whole situation with school next year, and how I have some of those friends who aren't exactly on the right path...scratch that, I have quite a few friends like that. Frankly, I get discouraged when I think of them. Not so much discouraged perhaps...more like sad.

But God has a mysterious way of working through us as Christians - working through us and working in us. He stirred the previously calm waters of my life at the same time that he stirred that girl's. He brought us together through friend problems, life problems, school problems. And look what is the result of that. A friendship that will last forever. More importantly: A friendship based on Christ.

Being real is a day-to-day choice. It is so much more than merely being earnest and nodding your head. It is changing your previous way of life and molding it into a new pattern. It is deciding to stop agreeing with everything everyone says. It is acknowledging differences in people and learning to appreciate them. It is understanding who you yourself really are - and commiting to BEING that person, regardless of the company you're in. It is striving to rise above this world and grant your heart into His hands and allow Him to keep it.

This next year will be a journey. A journey to discover who I am - and to become REAL. I don't know where this decision will lead me, but I know that God wants me to go to school next year. I have been praying since square one with this whole thing - and God has given me, not a sense of dread, but a sense of hope. He gave me no red flags. He has given my parents no red flags. He has given those praying for me no red flags.

Will this whole school thing work out? Who knows? It might, it might not. But God is behind this decision. It is going to be a step of faith to walk into the school that first day - as a very young freshman, at least a year younger than even the youngest freshmen. Signing the school paper was a step of faith. Even consenting to think about this was a step of faith.

But I think my life has been continual steps of faith - every step I have taken, every time I have trusted in God, every time I have depended on Him to carry me through, every single time: I have grown. I have become a better person, step by step. Little hops of vulnerability, long leaps of trust without reserve - these things have shaped me. They have defined me.

I am in tears right now. This post has been healing for me to write. I don't feel empty now - I feel ready. Ready to begin the journey with an unknown ending. Ready to let go of the things that hold me down. Ready to sever those strings that pull me back from Jesus. Ready to become REAL.

16 replies:

Morgan said...

Dear, dear Bekah. I love your spirit and your heart. Thank you so, so much for being real. And thank you for challegeing ME to be real. I do the same thing. My blog is a place to put on a face, just like you said. I need to start being real.
You ARE a person of influence and a person of Godly passion. Don't let yourself doubt that. God has and will use you in incredible ways.
Beautiful Bekah, I am not going to lie. Going into public school is hard. I've done it. I want you to know 2 things. First, I WILL be here for you every step of it. You can email me any time of the day. If you feel comfortable, we can exchange cell numbers so you can text me or call me when you're having tough days at school.
Secondly, and more importantly: DO. NOT. LET. THEM. DEFINE. YOU.
This is the beginning of my 4th year away from public school, and I am STILL trying to peel off the layers that they put on me. STAY YOURSELF. You will be tempted to change yourself because of things that they say and ways that they act. Society puts layers on us and you can completely and absolutely loose yourselves under all their lies. Elohim loves you for WHO YOU ARE. So be that beautiful person.

Amber said...

Bekah, I don't know if you realize how much you are challenging me. You are a beautiful person--inside and out. And the decision you made is one the Lord will bless according to His perfect plan.

I went to public all my life (up until this year). I agree completely with Morgan--be who you are. No matter what. Because you are a light in the darkness. And although people may not act like it, the way YOU act affects them. They'll see such a difference in you. Let Jesus shine through you sister! I love you!

"Be strong and courageous; do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will BE WITH YOU WHEREVER YOU GO." ~Joshua 1:9~

Bekah, the Lord is going to use you in such an amazing & life changing way.
It's amazing that you will be graduating "early".
You are in my prayers!
Love,
Amber

P.S. Your comment made ME almost cry! (literally)

Jessica said...

Hi Bekah,
I've been following your blog for some time now, but I don't think I've ever left a comment.

I love your realness and when I read this post I felt I could relate. Recently I've been thinking a lot about my identity and being real-- not just on my blog necessarily but in real life. Actually, coincidentally I just wrote a long post on my own blog- I debated about writing it, and it was painful to write, but in the end, I agree that it was healing. (Blogger's having problems and won't let me publish though =/)

I've been to public school my whole life. Although I'm not so good with mainstream artists, and I'm not a fan of swearing or crude jokes... But that's alright. You're still free to be yourself :) and it doesn't make a difference where you are. Our Lord gave us different gifts, talents, and personalities-- and so your school needs someone like you. I'm sure God will plant many seeds at school through you, like how you did in this post.

Thanks for a thoughtful post.

With peace in Christ,
Jessica =)

Twinkle Toes/Floppy said...

Bekah,

Your posts are stunning. This post really just opened my eyes. It's filled with inspiring, truthful, meaningful words. What you've said is so true, and you've made me realize it that much more.

What God has done through your friend is outstanding. And how you've kept your friendship tight with her even though you were completely different was incredible. I wish you and your friend great happiness throughout the years of your friendship.

Your love for the Lord is beyond belief, and I hope you stay like that and grow stronger. You've helped me realize to be real to myself, God, and others, as well.

Hugs & Blessings,
Twinkle Toes

Siriana said...

Thank you so much Bekah...really...it points me to where I need to be...edifying, you know?

Me, I grew up going to public school. Pre-school all the way through most of 5th grade...I left for various reasons but sometimes I wonder if I'm supposed to go back. I left for so many different reasons...

I'll pray for you, this school year...high school...well...its tough and like nothing else...or really, like life is I guess.

I don't know if I'm making much sense, considering I'm rambling...

But thank you, for the reminder, for the honesty, and being real. Its a reminder to me, to be real...which is something I continually strive for, fail at, but need reminded about being. To give up and surrender the image I have created and led the people around me to believe is me...it needs an every moment decision, to be true.

many blessings and prayers
~Siriana

Marissa said...

Dearest Bekah,
You are truly an amazing person. I love how you are choosing to be real. I something fall under that face of
"every things fine." when its not. And that is NOT okay. Thanks for this reminder to be REAL.
I cant say I know how it is going to public school, because I've never been. But girl, you got the right mindset for going in. I'd like to think if I ever did, I'd have the same mind set as you. I agree with Morgan. Don't let them tell you how to act, dress, or what to listen too. BE. YOURSELF. I had a close and dear friend a few years ago, who went to public school starting her freshman year. Within just 6 month she had changed so much. She dressed differently, talked differently and listened to junk. Public School had changed her. Scratch that. She LET it change her. She gave in the peer-pressure. Bekah dear, don't let them. I'm seriously almost crying. I remember the day that friend decided I, was no "cool" because I was a homeschooler and didn't listen or dress right. I still pray for her.

You know, I didn't know who Beyonce was until a year or so ago. I don't listen to her music and I don't want to. Air1 is all I listen to too. Along with a few other groups. But I don't care if all my friends are telling me I'm missing out. I don't agree with what she sings and the message she is giving. So I don't listen to her. I tell THEM they are missing out one some great uplifting music by not listing to these AMAZING christian groups.

And It taken me and long to time to be able to say that. To say "Yes I know who they are but I don't listen to them because I don't agree with them" or so say "nope. never heard of them" Camp is the place this is brought out the most, I as surrounded by public schoolers. Its hard because they do probably think I'm weird and crazy and sheltered. But I'm am and even still trying, to just blow them off and say hey, this is me. Except me or not.

Gorgeous girl. Stay strong for the Lord. Show them what love really is and how you won't change because they say too. Defeat the normality of teens and go against the flow. You have such a great heart. I admire you girlie.

Last thing, I want you to now I am here for you. E-mail me ANY time, even if its 3 in the morning. I'll answer right away.

ha. Sorry for the novel of a comment. Kinda rambled some too......

LOVE YOU!!!!! <3 <3 <3
--Marissa

Marissa said...

PS I'll be praying for you always. =)

Anna Gray said...

You are SUCH an inspiration, Bekah. After I read this post, I was like, wow.

I look up to a lot of my blogger friends. All of them are older than I am.

But now, I also look up to you. And you are younger than I am.

I think, Bekah, anyone who reads this post, will think of you as a mature 'young adult'. Not a mature '12' year old.

I mean, I already think that. Actually, I've thought that since I started reading your blog (and that's not a lie, I promise.)

Praying for you!

Lizzy Bennet said...

I don't think I can sum up my thoughts as well as the previous commenters did. All I can say is that was AMAZING, Bekah. Really amazing. And I'm so glad you are letting God work in your life so that you influence your friends in the ways you just described. I only wish I could do the same. You ARE amazing, Bekah, and I am sure it took a lot of courage to write this post. But the fact that you DID write it, that you did not hold back, that you told us how you REALLY feel: that was amazing.

(And now I think I have used the word "amazing" a little too much!)

I will be praying for you, Bekah. God bless!

In Christ,
Lizzy

Melody said...

Thank-you for this post, Bekah. It is so easy not to be real on a blog; yet all most of us need is one person to step out and say, "I'm being real." And you've done that. And I'm committed to doing the same.

I'm praying for you about going to public highschool. I've been homeschooled all my life and probably more sheltered than you have, but I know the pull peer pressure has on all of us.

Remember, dear sister, that you are made complete in Christ - no one can take your identity away as God's daughter. Your worth is found in Him alone, not in the opinions of your peers. (And don't think I'm preaching at you - this is something I struggle with a whole lot as well!)

Hugs & prayers,

~Melody

carissa @ lowercase letters said...

i'm always impressed by you... you are far wiser than your years. be real, sweet gal, the Lord will use your testimony for His glory!

Jenna said...

OHh Bekahh! I love youu best friend! You have always been such an insparation to me. I always look up to you and your Godlyness. I know things get rough but God will always be with you. I love this posttt soo much!
I love you!
Jennaa

s. olivia said...

I hardly ever read your blog, but for some reason, I ran across this post. I want to thank you for sharing these experiences. They have encouraged me to make a commitment to be real wherever I am. I feel like wherever I am, I act like the people I'm with. I'm not a firm, unchanging example of God's love.

My relationship with God has become much stronger recently. I want that to shine through me. God's love is soo amazing, and I need to be an example of that to others. I am nothing without God, so why should I pretend that I am? I need to be real about my commitment with following Him and make it known to others. I need to be real.

This post has also encouraged me to reach out to others. I always thought that I should not associate with non-believers. Hearing about that girl that came to Christ, possibly through your life and example, made me want to be like that. To reach out.

So, thank you for posting this. I believe that God wanted me to read this. It has encouraged me to grow closer to Him spiritually.
To be real with everyone. to be a light of love. To be a beacon of hope to all I come in contact with. To reach out to non-believers.

Now, I'm going out into the world. Striving to be real.

Thanks again for posting this!!

{I'll definitely read your blog more often!!}

God has obviously given you a great gift in writing.

It encourages me to see that I"m not the only 12 year old girl out there, trying not to "go with the flow"!

-s. olivia

Kayla said...

Bekah,

I just stumbled upon your blog. You are very inspiring.

I have been home-schooled for one year now. There are so many reasons why I left public school. But, I've been having these feelings that maybe I want to go back. I would be returning as a sophomore. I just don't know if I want to put myself into the situations that public school puts you in. As a fellow Christian, you have inspired me to ask God.

Just remember when you are in high school to be yourself and don't let anyone sway you. High schools are rough nowadays...there's so much bad. But there's also good. You just have to find the good and avert your eyes (and ears!) from the bad.

The main reason I didn't like public school was nobody else shared my high standards and values. All my friends swore, had multiple piercings, talked of having boyfriends and kissing. Stuff I'm not into at all.

Don't forget yourself in public school. Don't let them sway you.

Love,
Kayla

Awel P. said...

Dear Bekah, this was the first opertunity I had to read this post. w.o.w. I've been homeschooled my entire life--I couldn't imagine going to public school. Our pastor's daughter goes to our local high school and its hard on her. they pressure her to curse, they're bad influences. and every night she comes home and she has to be "debriefed" on things she heard. It'll be very hard in the beginning, to have sudden peer pessure on you. But God will keep you strong if you keep chasing ater Him. When you're tempted, remember "I've chosen God's path. Here I stand...I can do no other. God help me."

I love you,
~Awel P.

Emma said...

Why are you going to public school? (if that's ok to ask) I was in public school up till 5th grade. Wait if you're twelve, how would you be in high school? Sorry this comment isn't very encouraging as the others are. I will be praying for you :)

~Emma

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