If you have already gone through high school, or you are currently in high school, you know it is the most important four years of your life when it come to finding who you really are. High school is some of the best (and worst) four years of people's lives. You meet your best friends, go on your first date, maybe even get into some trouble that will make great stories in the future. High school is a very important four years, and I think everyone can agree with me on that.
As everyone knows, there are a lot of different groups of people in high school. Some you'd like to get to know better, and others you know you need to keep far away from. Now, I am a Sophomore and high school, and I am in a pretty good place. I have my two best friends that I can always trust, and have an amazing time with. They are so amazing because they know how to keep my head straight, and always want the best for me, and I am truly blessed that I was lucky enough to have two friends as wonderful as them. Now, sometimes it's either hard for people to have friends, or they strive to fit in, which is where the title of this blog begins to come in.
There is trouble all around high school, and sometimes it's hard to avoid. Trust me, I've had my own experiences dealing with people I know I shouldn't have, but they trick you. Around the ages of fifteen to about 18 is when kids begin experimenting. They will start to drink, smoke, do drugs, or maybe go a little bit farther in a relationship than they should be at their age. Those reasons are why high school is a dangerous place. It's basically a place to experiment and do things you've never tried, and meet new people who can influence you.
I could have gotten into bad hands, because I remember at the beginning of this summer, I met someone who went to a church camp with me called Bible and Beach. He was a super kind, charming guy and since he went to B&B and got baptized along with myself, I figured he was a good guy! When the trip ended, I began getting to know him better and we hung out a few times. Once we had gotten closer, I began to see his true colors a little more. His friends weren't what I would say were good influences, and I could tell they were influencing him pretty well. He ended up getting me into a lot of trouble once because I liked the mystery (aka, I was experiencing what a "relationship" would be with him). I am someone who easily influenced, so my friends knew he was bad news but since I was hooked on him, I didn't listen which was a bad idea. He would tell me he wanted me to go to parties and loosen up, and I knew if I would have stuck around with him a little longer, I would have done so. Luckily, my best friends I talked about earlier knocked some sense into me, and we ended up going separate ways, which was an awesome decision on my part.
Now, my situation was very mellow, and I didn't end up doing anything I really regret. Although, some people have a different turn out than I did. Sometimes, it doesn't matter how good a girl/boy you are, if you like someone or you want to fit in, you will do anything you can to please people. For example, say you have a boyfriend who is the captain of the basketball team, and you all are the dream couple of the school. He is super dreamy, and every girl wants him. Although, he likes to drink and doesn't ever go to church. You know he isn't the man you want to marry, but you can't leave him because he is a dream. Now, since you are so caught up in his image, you will do anything to keep him happy. He is all you think about and you love him. In a way, you "worship" him. That is what you should be doing with God. Although when you get tricked by a high school boy, God ends up becoming second in your life.
Going through high school is so tough, and it's even harder to make sure you do what's right. You need to learn how to make your faith stronger than your temptations. Some things that you should do to make sure your faith stays strong is first, pray. Yes, you've heard this a thousand times, but it means so much to God when you take time out of your day just to talk to him. It shows that you care, and are interested in being close with him. If you ever have any worries, go straight to him and he will take care of you, I promise. There is a verse I absolutely love. It says, "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all that he has done. Then you will find and experience God's peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Jesus Christ." - Philippians 4:6-7. If you love God with all your heart and trust him, you will begin to feel a lot more strong in your faith during high school.
Something else you need to do is something easier said than done for some people. Be open about your faith. This can be really hard if your friends aren't religious, and you want to fit in so you don't ever talk about him, of maybe you laugh will people make jokes about God. Now, if you do that put yourself in God's shoes. Imagine your best friend talking to some popular kids, and they begin making fun of you, and your friend just laughs. It would hurt, wouldn't it? Try your hardest to stay loyal to him, and be honest to other people. It's hard to be open about your faith in high school. People will call you a "Jesus Freak", or just laugh at you. And yes, it will hurt your feelings. But who would you rather impress, the cool kid in class you won't ever see after high school most likely, or God who will love you unconditionally forever? You can even say something small such as when someone is having a rough day, before you leave just say, "I'm praying for you." You don't need to boast about it or scream it out in the halls, but just telling people how you love him will keep you feeling happy and faithful.
The last suggestion I'm going to make about staying strong with your faith in high school is to simply ask, "What would Jesus do?" This is such a common known phrase, but it's a game changer. Imagine if you're about to go to a party and you know there's going to be alcohol, and you shouldn't be doing that, just think about how God wouldn't want this for you. He doesn't want you to get harmed in any way. He always wants the best for you, so think about how what you do affects him also. If you see a group of people bullying another kid, think about what God would want you to do. He wants nothing but kindness in this world, and it's our job to make his dream continue to stay true. Just trust your gut, and if you're doing something you think you shouldn't be doing, just simply don't do it.
Everyone who has been in high school has had their ups in downs with their faith. Again, high school is a learning experience, where you find out so much about yourself. Just make sure one thing doesn't get overwhelmed with the bad, and that your relationship with God. He loves all of us so much, and just wants the best for everyone. Keep that in mind next time you're struggling with high school. His love should be the most important thing to us, and we shouldn't take that for granted.
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Have a lovely day!
Much Love, Julianna.