Hey everyone! While Brandon and I are in Savannah celebrating our anniversary I asked a dear friend of mine if she would guest post for ya'll. Courtney has a wonderful blog called Vintch. She is an amazingly talented writer and her passion and love for Christ inspires me daily. I have known her since college where we were fortunate enough to be in the same Bible study. Courtney has such a kindred and sweet spirit. I hope you all enjoy her post and you should definitely hop on over to her blog afterwards.
Hi friends! This is Courtney from vintch. I’m so thrilled to be guest posting for Christina today. I’ve known this sweet girl since college, where we were in the same Bible study. It was there that I learned of her heart for Christ, and watched as she grew in her faith. It’s been such a joy to keep up with her through the years. She is a God-fearing, beautiful woman of the Lord.
I wanted to write today about morals and temptation. About the real world and its illusions of maturity. Chiefly, about rising above it all and holding firm to the Cross, coming out alive on the other end with a story.
There were six of us girls. At the beach for our senior year of high school. We went out for pizza that night and met up with some boys we knew, also down at the Carolina coast, celebrating the last summer of freedom before college. After supper, I hopped into the SUV with my friends, who quickly made the decision to follow the boys to where they were staying.
I was 18, an adult in all sense of the word. Mature. But as we pulled into that sandy driveway and the inside of the house came into view, I suddenly felt six years old. Beer cans lined the kitchen table. Someone was walking around with a Budweiser box on his head. A girl from a small town, raised in the church and with a little brother and sister to set an example for, I retreated and said I didn’t want to go in. I thought someone would take pity on me and ride with me back to the condo.
Every single one of the girls left me. No one stayed in the car, though some came to check on me periodically throughout the night. I stayed in the back seat and called mama. I called Robert, who was already in college. I sat in the dark and cried. Embarrassed.
I don’t say this to toot my own horn. Quite the opposite, really. In that situation, holding onto my morals was awful. It felt like the worst decision ever. It ostracized me from the rest of the group. I ended up going home alone two days before everyone else. I lost friendships.
In hindsight, I could have probably gone to that party and remained somewhat virtuous. I could have sat and drank water and been just fine socializing. But that wasn’t the environment, or the people, I wanted to be yoked with. So I whimpered in the backseat and forever branded myself as the baby. I’ve mended some of those relationships over the years and hold no ill feelings, but I can still feel the night like yesterday.
But I’m not ashamed anymore of how I acted. That’s the key to the understanding that grace provides. The power behind endurance. The world’s been real all along, we just grew into it, sharpening our tools of faith along the way. I was green that night. But I know God was working within me and preparing me. For the persecution that would follow me all my Christian life. But what a joy to be persecuted in the name of the Lord!
We adapt. We overcome. We struggle through the chaos of the day, waiting for that sliver of a moment between bath time and bedtime when we can slide to our knees and pray. Because corruption still lives. Peer pressure and negative influence are still at work and still threaten to undo every whispered praise. But we’re equipped to beat it with the tools of Christ. I wasn’t alone in the car that night, that much is for certain.
So my version of the 2005 senior beach trip is different than the rest. It involves fear and humiliation. An early exit and whispers the next week in the hallway. As if high school isn’t awkward enough, seriously.
And we’re going to fail. We’re going to give into temptations, hurt our Father and do unspiritual things sometimes. But we can strive not to. It’s the striving that counts. And the lifelong reach to follow Christ in a jaded world?
It’s always, always, 100% of the time. Worth it.