Last night, I answered the question “What were you like as a junior higher?” with a story about how I used to smuggle 1000 page apologetics books out of the library and hide them whenever someone came by. This was because I felt vaguely guilty for having doubts about my faith and thought the best course of action (obviously) was to read a bunch of scholarly books that were decidedly not aimed at a thirteen-year-old audience. It was a struggle, at least by page 834, when we got into cosmology (probably the moment where I decided never to take physics).
This story was followed by a chorus of “Oh, that explains so much!” from the people I was with, which I conveniently ignored (after punching a few of the offenders).
But then I realized that, well…it did explain so much. Be a Heretic Monday now makes complete sense, as does the kind of things I say to my girls at youth group and post on my blog. I am a firm believer in Christians’ responsibility to think about their faith, question what others are teaching them, and communicate honestly with God and others. And it’s because of my fears and struggles as a junior higher.
As others shared bits of their life in middle school, it was interesting to see that pattern continue. Some didn’t mention specifically how they had changed, or what in their life now was a monument to a weakness or immaturity they had experienced six to ten years ago, but I could often see it. It was like a gallery of before and after shots, only with the grace of God doing the transformation instead of plastic surgery or a weight loss program.
I love that. I love that we don’t have to remain who we are, that seeing how we’ve changed in the past can remind us that we are constantly growing and changing even now.