Friday, September 24, 2010

Average Girl

I wrote this awhile ago---no time to write something new this week....
I want to dedicate this to Mrs. D and all those who encourage young people! Little did she know I'd remember her remark over 25 years later! Think about that, don't hesitate to say something nice to a child or teenager! You may never know the difference it will make in their life!

Photo: Me @ 15 years old. Are we having fun yet? I'm at Disney World with my sis and her boyfriend here--- really!

Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 2 Timothy 2:22

I’ve heard that the Native Americans when they killed a buffalo would use every part of it and not much, if anything was wasted. I think that God does this with our lives and the seemingly “wasted” or “useless” parts, sometimes even very painful parts, can become useful lessons to us and others. After all the Bible does say, All things work together for the good of those who love Him.... Romans 8:28. It doesn’t say, some things but all. So with these things in mind, I’d like to share with you some of my experiences dating while I was in high school. There are many things I regret and I’m thankful for God’s forgiveness and I hope I can keep young girls from making the mistakes I did but I also hope they’ll be inspired to guard their purity and imitate the things I did right.

In high school I was in Band. I want to tell you about some “band guys”. The first “band guy” I want to tell you about is: Christian, his real name! Christian wasted no time asking me out. School had not even started and we were at “Band camp”. It was my first year in band and I was a sophomore. Christian was a senior and he played the tuba. He was a Baptist and he said to me “My name’s Christian and that’s what I am…a “born again” Christian!” Do we use that term too loosely? Are we taking “the Lord’s name in vain”? Then I said to Christian, “I’m a Christian too.” [I thought I was because I believed in Christ and went to church but I had not realized my sin and asked for Christ’s forgiveness] We Presbyterians [what I was] don’t use that term “born again” that much, though, too fanatical sounding! But isn’t that the term Jesus uses? “You must be born again…” John 3:7

Christian liked to “make out”. I thought it was OK too, no one told me otherwise. I wish someone had. My dad had said when I was about 11 or 12 “don’t let anyone make you do anything.” Something like that, anyways, I knew what he meant: “Wait until you get married.” But, WHERE to “draw the line”- I had no clue! I think my dad saw that I inherited he and Mom’s good looks. The gifts God gives can be used for good or for evil; I’ve tried using my looks for my own selfish reasons; to be popular or to have a boyfriend. This is not fulfilling. It is better to imitate the godly and beautiful women in the Bible like Sarah and Esther, among others. God has created many beautiful people but it’s only that “inner beauty” which glorifies God that counts. (1Peter 3:3-4, Prov.31:30). As my grandma used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does.”

Dad wasn’t too happy about me having a “boyfriend”, it was the first one that he knew about. But he didn’t have to worry long because Christian broke up with me in a few weeks…I think he found someone else. This guy was a real heart breaker, he must have been cute. Uh…well…no… Christian was just “average” looking. He was just a “sweet talker.” I got no explanation…just dumped. Why? Could it be that I’m not pretty enough? I thought it must be my personality, or lack thereof. I was too quiet or too dumb? What!? I finally realized something: Christian had a string of girlfriends; he was called “the heart-throb of the band”. The first one, that I knew about, was Christine, a pretty blonde, she also played flute. Her and Christian “went steady” for a long time. Then there was Cathleen [she played flute and then was also a flag, like me] who he went out with for a while. Cathleen told me that Christine, who was not a “Christian” and never claimed to be, had pressured Christian and pressured Christian to have sex with her. This reminds me of how Delilah did Samson in the book of Judges chapter 16, in order to find out his weakness. Christian had finally given in, much like Samson. [he lost his virginity to Christine] When Cathleen was telling me this I didn’t think to ask her what happened when SHE went out with Christian [also for a long time –and after Christine]. Cathleen could have been called “the heartthrob of the band” also! She also wasn’t very attractive. I mean, she wasn’t ugly; she was just average looking. According to some standards, though, she was overweight. I considered myself overweight because I compared myself to overly thin models in magazines. But I actually was not overweight. Did Christian break up with me because I wasn’t as pretty as Christine or Cathleen? No…I began to think it was because I didn’t DO what they did…

After Cathleen went out with Christian for a long time, she started dating William, he played the trombone, was in the honor society, on the year book staff and he had a car AND a motorcycle! He was much better looking than Christian. “You’re doing better Cathleen,” I thought. He was a junior. Cathleen was a sophomore like me and she was in my English class. That Spring [‘82] Cathleen and William were going to go to the Jr./Senior Prom. But they had a fight and Cathleen didn’t want to go with him. This is where I enter the picture, to complete the “love triangle”. How do I get involved in these messes? By being insecure and just wanting a boyfriend, that’s how! I guess in the heat of Cathleen and William’s argument William said, “I’ll just ask Susan to the Prom then.” Why was I never was told what this argument was about?
So, Cathleen said, “I’ll ask her for you!”
We discussed it in English class; “Do you want to go to the Prom with William?” she asked me.
“You don’t care if I do?” I said.
“No” she said. William had already ordered Cathleen’s corsage and it was yellow, so I had to get a yellow dress to match it.

I already knew the horn section had been talking about me. I think that’s why William picked me. And I was, “clueless”…perfect! I was told by one of them that they had voted and picked me, out of all the girls in band, as the one with the best back side. They probably had a list of other girls with the best…. The one who told me this, also tried impressing me with his knowledge: he said my Sassoon jeans logo [the “OK” sign] was the hooker’s signal in Europe. Then he tried complementing me by saying I’d make a good hooker! That was not a complement! It wasn’t even true- how could I make a good hooker? I wouldn’t know what to do. I was a virgin. Weren’t all the girls in high school? Since I was insecure I liked this attention, however at the same time, I was also disappointed that no boys seemed to like me because of who I was on the inside.

William and I “went steady” for a short while. But I was beginning to realize something: It seemed I was being used. Cathleen would tell me everything about my dates with William! He was telling her to make her jealous! Some man at Denny’s where William and I went after a movie complimented William on his date, saying I was “pretty”. William told Cathleen and Cathleen told me in English class on Monday. When I broke up with William he said, “I was going to break up with you soon anyways.” That was especially mean because I didn’t realize why until later. I thought, “Gee William, what did I do?”

It was OK, because William’s mom made up for that mean comment later. She called me about a month or so after that. She was inviting me to a surprise party for William’s birthday. I told her the whole story: she said to take whatever Cathleen said “with a grain of salt”. She said William still liked me. I told her “I don’t think so…he’s still stuck on Cathleen.” I will NEVER forget what she said next,
“Susan! You have more class in your little pinky than Cathleen has in her whole body!” Thanks, Mrs. D! You see, mom’s DON’T like those “Delilah” girls who take away their son’s innocence! Did I go to William’s party? No! He could have his easy- average girl! Rachel Scott who was martyred at Columbine High School in 1999 had written on the back cover of her journal [which got a bullet hole in it] “I WON’T BE LABELED AS AVERAGE!” She wasn’t. She had class.

D.C. Talk (back in the day) sang about the kind of girl they were looking for : “Well, I’m looking for a girl who’s virtuous. ‘Cause God’s laid it on my heart to search for this…The kinda girl you meet behind the doors of the church, God will bring her to me so I don’t have to search…‘Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, A woman who fears the Lord she ain’t playin’…” [“That kinda Girl” from the “Free at Last” album].

There’s one more “band guy” I want to tell you about. I do have one good example: Mike. He was new to Band and our school when I was in the 11th grade. I was a flag to start off with this year, then a rifle. I should have stuck with flute or flag though- I was a lousy rifle! We were always reminded of how many points they take off our score when I dropped my rifle at competition. I couldn’t take the stress! I was always trying to get my grades up too, but I didn’t learn to work in middle school and it was hard trying to develop good study habits this late in my schooling. I wanted to get good grades but I lacked the discipline to do it. I was a “good girl” and never tried drugs, so I reached for the rocky road ice cream instead! I put on about 5-10 pounds, which is horrible when you’re already an insecure teen! One night we were leaving band practice and Mike wanted to talk to me. “Here we go again,” I probably thought. “Now what does he want?” It seems the trombone section (some of the same guys were in it) was still enamored with me (at least certain parts of me). Mike said “Don’t wear those shorts again…I don’t want to hear them talking like that about you anymore…I won’t even repeat it.” It was because of those few pounds; my shorts [already pretty short] were now way too short! I was impressed and thanked him. I got rid of those shorts. This is how guys should behave.

One night I received some “flack” for my good reputation. It was Halloween and the band was in a parade and we had to dress up. My friend, Liz [a rifle like me], was going to be the Devil. I didn’t know what to be, the whole “Halloween thing” made me uncomfortable. I wasn’t a Christian yet, but I THOUGHT I was and I was actually a great actress! So I decided to be an angel. I should have just put a “kick me” sign on my back! Liz thought this was great: she said it just fit both our personalities and she was going to be opposite me in formation in the parade. Well, that evening after the parade a few guys joked, “It’s time for our virgin sacrifice!” and indicated I was it.

I hope I’ve inspired you to not be average. Be extraordinary. Here is a song that goes with this, written by three extraordinary sisters who make up the band Barlow Girl:

"Average Girl"

So what I'm not your average girl
I don't meet the standards of this world
Chasing after boys is not my thing
See I'm waiting for a wedding ring

No more dating
I'm just waiting
Like sleeping beauty
My prince will come for me
No more dating I'm just waiting
'Cause God is writing my love story

Boys are bad that's certainly not true
'Cause God's preparing one for you
If you get tired waiting till he comes
Gods arms are the perfect place to run

Sleep that's the only thing
For me 'cause when I sleep Gods
Preparing one for me

Recommended reading:
I Kissed Dating Good-bye by Joshua Harris
Passion and Purity by Elisabeth Elliot