Surviving High School as a Christian
High School – one of the most crazy, changeable, intense times of your life. It’s different for everyone, but for me, at times it was definitely a challenge. Being at a school of over 2500 students, fitting in, but not fitting in too much at moments proved to be a little difficult.
Year 9 and 10 started off well. I was involved in Epic and although I didn’t have many friends initially, I eventually built up the confidence to ask a few people from school and from there it multiplied. In year 10, almost my entire class came along to Epic.
By year 11, my school friends stopped coming to Epic as their Friday nights began to change. No longer was Epic their idea of fun. Instead, parties, alcohol and drugs became their ‘go-to’. This was a time when I had to make some pretty pivotal decisions about who I hung out with. I had to intentionally choose who I was going to associate and hang-out with; knowing the negative influence they could have on my life. Year 11, was also a significant time in my life, as I started dating a great guy who was involved in Epic and church. However, after some time he began to pull away from it. This was completely different to the direction I was trying to head. Struggling to stay true to who I was and not being influenced by someone I really cared about was hard. My boyfriend and the rest of my friends (at school) meant a lot to me and at times it was really tough. I remember coming home crying one day, questioning if it was all worth it. I was exhausted sticking up for God when others didn’t understand. I wanted to have “fun” and “fit in” as I thought that was so much easier. Despite this I decided to push through and continued living for God. I chose to live in such a way, that those who didn’t know God, would come to know him because they knew me.
In year 12, I ended up breaking up with this guy and though I knew I had made the right decision, things got even harder. My whole friend group at school split. I started getting angry at God, feeling like I had been so faithful to Him and in return I had lost relationship with so many people I cared about. God spoke to me saying, “you can’t control how others respond to things but you can control how you respond.” I had to trust God He had my best interest at heart. This year, I was privileged enough to get the position of Deputy Head Girl. It’s been amazing to have such a positive influence over people’s lives and knowing that those pivotal decisions I made in the earlier years were worth it. I’ve also been honoured to organise and run a school Christian group, which is going from strength to strength. I’ve realised, it takes time to see God’s faithfulness through your life. It’s not until you look back on all your experiences that you see how faithful God has actually been.
4 things which have got me through High School as a Christian:
1) Planting myself in the church – It’s not always easy, life gets busy, but I believe it’s so important to be intentional about going to church and positioning yourself in such an uplifting environment. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord, shall flourish in the courts of our God – Psalm 92:13
2) Speaking God’s truth over my life – This has been massive for me and has taught me to never underestimate the power of His Word. These are some of the versus I would constantly speak over my life: The joy of the lord is my strength – Nehemiah 8:10, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me – Philippians 4:13, For the same power that raised christ from the dead lives in me – Romans 8:11
3) Choosing my friends wisely – For me, I chose to make sure my closest friends were in church and pursuing God. As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend – Proverbs 27:17
4) Making pre-determined decisions – without pre-determined decisions it’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and make choices you may regret.
Aleesha De Jong Epic Youth