If being social were an Olympic sport, my oldest daughter would be a gold medalist. In fact, she would give Michael Phelps a run (or should I say, swim) for his money in the gold medal race. We should have named her “Social” because it is who she is. She loves her friends. She loves being around people.
Most people have a bit of trepidation at the thought of starting high school. Not my oldest. She couldn’t wait to start – because it would mean she would be around people – her “peeps” as she liked to call them. Her social life would follow her through the halls and into the classrooms. She would no longer have to rely on parents to drive her to see friends – they would surround her all day!
While my oldest looked forward to seeing her friends and making new ones she didn’t want to do so without looking absolutely “fabulous.” She agonized over how to make the first “great impression.” She literally spent hours trying on clothes – and then casting them aside on any flat surface in her room – mostly her floor.
She would put on an outfit then come ask me what I thought about it. I would reply, “You look great” or “that’s cute” or some other platitude. She would scowl at me, turn around and head to her room. Minutes later, she would return with another outfit and I would repeat my comments. When I went to bed, she was still up – agonizing over the outfit that would make her first day perfect.
In the morning, when I stumbled to the kitchen to fill my coffee cup, my oldest’s bedroom light was shining bright. She woke at 4:00 in the morning to wash, dry and straighten her very long, thick, curly hair. At 6:20 am, she walked out the door in her darling outfit – and very straight hair. The bus stop was a block down the street and she wasn’t happy about having to walk that far ~ but off she went.
At 6:25am, she called me because the bus wasn’t there and her hair was frizzing! A voice, cracking with emotion, pleaded with me to at least bring the car for her to sit in while she waited.
“Mom. Please come down here! I spent two hours trying to get my hai straight! Let me just sit in the car and wait for the bus. Pleeeeaaaasssse!”
I know how important the first day of high school is so I grabbed my keys and drove a block to the bus stop. When my daughter got in the car, she turned the air conditioner on the highest speed and lowest temperature. She tried to hold the tears back – for fear of messing up her make-up. We waited.
At 6:35, we started to think she had missed the bus. We were new to the whole bus-riding thing and had been told it came between 6:25-6:30am. My daughter didn’t want to be late on her first day. She started to panic about being late and begged me to drive her to school. We waited a few more minutes and when no kids showed up and the bus didn’t come, I also started to think she might have missed the bus.
I agreed to drive her to school “this one time.” As I drove, I gave her a lecture about how she needed to find a “hairdo” that would allow her to walk to the bus stop in the humid, Houston weather! Good grief!
When we pulled up at the school, the parking lot was empty except for a few cars. We wondered where everyone was since we assumed she had missed the bus. I told her I would wait with her.
“No, that’s okay.”
“I’ll just go on in.”
“Maybe they are all inside.”
“I’m sure I can find the office.”
Her hand on the door handle.
“Bye. I’ll see you after school.” She opened the door and got out.
“Bye. Have a great first day!” I tried to sound confident.
“Bye,” she said as she started walking to the building looming ahead of her.
As she shut the door and started her slow walk toward her new high school, the image of The Sound of Music’s Maria rattled in my head. I think of the scene where Maria is so confident until she steps off of the bus, sees the mansion before her, pauses and then takes a deep breath before slowly approaching the massive, iron gates.
The similarities between that scene and the one starring my daughter on her
first day of school are so great that I found myself humming.
“I have confidence in confidence alonebesides what they see, I have confidence in me”
I think of how many times in my life I have been confidently expectant about something but was disappointed or let down. It may be I anticipated a wonderful, romantic dinner on my one-year anniversary only to have the restaurant I set my mind to dine at was closed. Or a trip I looked forward to was cancelled. Or the anticipated birth of our son ended in tragedy.
When things don’t turn out like we plan and we face disappointment – or even sorrow – we need to be confident God is in control and He is leading and guiding us. We can be confident in knowing He walks with us through everything. While there are many scriptures in the Bible testifying to this, a few of my favorites
But blessed is he man who trusts in the Lord
Whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
That sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
It leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
And never fails to bear fruit.
The Lord will guide you always. Isaiah 58:11a
For this God is our God for ever and ever;
He will be our guide even to the end.
Because of our confidence in the Lord’s promises to lead and guide us always, we can face life’s disappointments with strength.
What about you? Are you confident in the Lord’s promises?
P.S. One of my daughter’s best friends says she remembers exactly what she wore the first day of school. I guess all of the agonizing over her clothes and hair made an impression on someone.