Last night my grad class had a little mini-reunion. It's been 8 years since grad and even though some of us live in the same town...and our grad class was only 25ish people...I honestly hadn't seen some of these people since our graduation day! It's strange how even the people we are closest to in high school can become people we never see. For instance one of my best friends in high school I hadn't seen since I was pregnant with Little Lady four years ago! Even my maid of honour and I hadn't connected more than a handful of times in the past 6 years.
While it was slightly awkward to be the ONLY girl who has kids and therefore the ONLY one who doesn't have a gorgeous, toned, identical-to-the-one-she-had-8-years-ago body...it was actually amazing to reconnect. Initially I was worried it would be awkward and I was super nervous about heading out for the evening....but I quickly realized that while we have all made our way down different paths, we are still the same people at the core.
Which brings me to my point! This morning I am feeling so lucky. Lucky to have my kids and my husband. Lucky to have good new friends. And Lucky to have amazing old friends. I always knew that I was pretty lucky to go to school with the people I did but I realized it even more last night. For one, they have all become amazing, successful adults but what struck me even more is that even after all this time and distance and differences they genuinely still care about and look out for each other. This probably won't make sense to many of you without all the context...but I just had to write about it because I was so blown away by it.
To elaborate a little more..I had two very different high school experiences, one in a private Christian school and one in a public school where there were very few Christians (this is where I graduated). In the Christian school I always felt extremely judged, ostracized, and out of place. It was not a good experience for me at all. In the public school I had tons of friends who fully accepted me...regardless of the fact that I had some different beliefs...and who ALWAYS ALWAYS looked out for me and protected me and were there for me. It always made me think. What is so attractive about Christianity if a Christian feels SAFER with non-Christians?
People often ask us where we will send our kids to school. Our answer is always a resounding "Public School" because for BOTH of us our experiences were better in a public setting. Some people don't understand why we wouldn't send our kids to the Christian school for the "Christian environment" and to be honest? It's because to us the public school has the more Christ like environment even if it isn't "Christian".
"I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ." - Gandhi
Over the past few days I have been thinking a lot about that quote. And yesterday just brought it into even sharper focus. As I am the director of a "Youth for Christ" drop in for teenagers I have to consider "How do I make the last part of Gandhi's statement different for these teenagers?" When they graduate will they say "I felt safer and more accepted with my non-Christian friends than with the Christians"? I find it so sad that that has been...and often still continues to be... my experience. How will we change this for the future?