Briarwood Lion

By
My high school career is coming to a close. This coming Monday will be my last official day as a Briarwood lion. Graduation is supposed to be a time for mixed feelings. Tears are expected of the young eyes looking back on what they are leaving behind, while at the same time looking hopefully forward to the uncharted future awaiting them. This is the ultimate cliché of every high school graduation, and I, for so many reasons, will not be a part of it.

I will be participating in the graduation walk with my 145 classmates, most of whom have been my classmates since the first grade. Twelve years I have survived with these same people. As if being from the south were not enough, these student’s families are, for the majority, very wealthy. This gives the mothers ample time to gossip, the ultimate southern past-time, with one another, as every other task expected of them is being taken care of by hired employees. Being from a Christian school, however, outright gossiping is not acceptable. The establishment of the “prayer chain” has been giving these “concerned mothers” the outlet they need to transfer juicy pieces of information to one another, masquerading them as “prayer requests” for years. Thanks to the prayer chain and other similarly hypocritical methods, each mother of my classmates has known all of my business for the majority of my life, from boyfriends to speeding tickets. It has been like living in a prison of misinformed opinions and judgmental cynics, refusing to let their children be friends for me for something I did not do. I do admit that I have made mistakes, but even sincere repentance will not wipe the messages from the answering machines of countless overprotective soccer moms. At graduation, my eyes will be looking over all of the dyed and highlighted heads of these mothers, onto my future far away where their chain will not be tying me to my past and a person I am not.

My eyes will be looking to a school as radically different as mine as my parents would allow me to go. They will be looking to a school where no teacher will mention the saving power of Jesus Christ or the sovereignty of the Holy Spirit. Everyday since my first day at this Christian school, I have been surrounded with like-minded teachers, laden with the task of incorporating Jesus into every aspect of my education. This year, the teachers have been attempting to prepare us for opposition to our faith in college. They have been doing this by presenting the various objections to the Christian faith and how we can rebuttal those accusations. This year, ironically, has made me question my faith like I never have before. The arguments I am hearing against what I have believed my whole life are starting to sound quiet reasonable. The college I am headed to will present me with more life views and religions than I can count, and I can decide which I believe to be truth without the united bias of every instructor pushing me in one direction. In all likelihood, I will return to my Christian roots, but, with the same message having been shoved down my throat for twelve years, I am beginning to choke. I need relief, even if brief.

When that day comes, not even a week from today, I will put on my cap and gown and pose for hundreds of pictures. I will hug people I have not talked to in years. I will feign a tear to fit in with the blubbering girls I have called my friends for so long. I will bow my head at each prayer offered up during the ceremony. I will walk when they call my name. I will take my diploma in one hand and gratifyingly shake with the other. I will then sprint down the aisle and out of the church to freedom.





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