This lady here. I dont think she even knows how God used her friendship with me all the way back in high school to set my on a path of healing, boldness, and having the confidence to talk about my story without shame, and to hopefully share it to help others.
Once upon a time back in 2001 or so I went to Valley Christian High School. I came in my junior year, and didn’t know anyone. I was extremely shy, so much so that I came off as more of a mean person. Some backstory, I had been in foster care for about 3 years at that time, and I was dealing with a lot of stuff that no one knew. For the most part I tried to hide the fact that I was in foster care, and I tried to hide the fact that I was taken from my mom, and I was dealing with major abandonment issues, anxiety, and some depression. I have become a Christian at age of 15 after being taken from my mom, and despite everything I’ve been through I always felt God was there and had his hand on me. Even with that knowledge I was still dealing with feeling very unloved, and caring shame for things that I didn’t need to carry shame for.
One of my classes I came across Mary. We became friends, and she introduced me to a weekend away called Tec, which stood for Teens Encounter Christ. This weekend away changed my life. I was coming out of my shell a little bit more, but most of all the healing process of all I had been through started. During the next round of tec, Mary let me know that I would be speaking and giving my testimony. In that time I froze up and almost started crying. My people pleasing was at an all-time high, and I felt like I couldn’t fight it, so instead of fighting it I just said okay, but was deathly afraid. I was scared to even give a presentation in class, or even really speak to anyone one-on-one that I didn’t know. When I first started High School I was so scared of people that I would hide in the bathroom and eat my lunch so I wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. For those of you who actually know me now I think it’s a testament of all God has done, and that I am not that person. For the most part you have to get me to stop talking, and I have no problem speaking in public, or to strangers anywhere. I ended up speaking to a room full of people at Tec and it was the first time I had really ever told anyone all that I had gone through. I left some of my story out because I hadn’t dealt with it but that’s for another time. It was one of the most freeing experience I’ve ever had. It was like I was calling everything out of the darkness, and everything was brought to the light and there was no longer this hold on me. People that I didn’t even know, people that I went to high school with now new all of my dirty laundry, but I felt more free than I ever had when I was hiding everything.
Mary not only helped me come out of my shell, but she really has no idea how having me speak at that event changed my life. I have since spoken freely about all that I have gone through, and I don’t have shame over what happened. She taught me how to stand up for myself, and to stand up for any Injustice done to me. She taught me how to have a voice in more ways than one.
After she went off to college, some other stuff started happening to me, and I felt like I needed distance myself from my previous life, with that we lost touch, and would keep up with each other here and there with social media.
In the past few weeks Mary’s younger sister Megan and I got reconnected because our girls are in the same dance class. This past weekend I was driving and I saw Mary’s husband crossing a street, and my heart lit up because I realized if he was down here that Mary must be nearby.
Saturday we got to see each other for five minutes, but those five minutes made my heart so happy. I miss my friend so much, and I’m so glad we reconnected. She was someone that was so instrumental in my life, and I want my kids to know her, and I want to know her kids. I love this lady so much and she will never understand how truly thankful I am for God putting her in my life. Everyone needs a Mary.