Eighth grade was tough. It was my experience in boarding school. Although I had a strong voice in the decision to go away, I do not think I had any idea what I was advocating! All I knew was that the existing choice of self-taught home school was not working. I was certain there were no other options. The first, second, and only choice was to go away to boarding school like others in my situation. At the age of twelve, life is often seen through crisp black and white lenses.
My parents were, again from memory, reluctantly supportive. Given my behaviors during the time period of the seventh grade, they were looking for something different. They had their fill of the emotions that come with stolen motorcycles, loud music, and rowdy behavior. This seemed to be the one option that could work.
Six weeks later, as I wrote a letter to my dad, I realized I was alone. School was an isolated campus on the edge of a mountain at 6,000 feet. It was a three-day journey to get home. Although the choice made logical sense, it felt different. As I looked out my bedroom window on the mountains that had no signs of man-made life, it seemed as though “my father and mother walked out and left me, but God took me in.” (Psalm 27.10) I was alone with God.
Our choices can come with a steep price. Although we may think we know what they are, as we begin to live it, the reality is more difficult and painful than we anticipated it would be. It does not mean that we would make a different decision. It does reflect that life comes with difficult choices, often of our own making. To anyone in this situation I would remind them of the following.
God is always present. It may sound like a cliché, but it is also a fact.
In the pain and celebrations, we are called to live.
A choice is always on the table; what will I do now?