I just attended my 10 year high school reunion. I was unsure whether to go or not. I was so ready to flee high school that I started the summer semester at BYU just a few weeks after graduation. Why in the world would I want to go back to those days of insecurity and comparisons? The answer to that question is simple: friends. I have not seen some of them in years! Blogs and facebook do not compare to real life chats. High school reunions are for reminiscing with friends, catching up on one another’s lives, and being happy for each other. They remind us that relationships matter most.
The first person I talked to at the reunion was my friend Abbey. We have been friends since the beginning years of elementary school - since we were old enough to wear Pizza Factory clothes to school! Remember how popular those were? And remember the time we jumped on your trampoline with water balloons down the front of our swimsuits and a lady in a red sports car stopped and stared at us? Abbey also told me that she loves reading this blog and she would like it if I posted more often. Sometimes I need that encouragement to put my heart out into the blogosphere. Abbey, I told you that I would pray for inspiration for a new blog post. It turns out YOU were my inspiration.
The longer I have been out of high school, the more I realize that I was surrounded by incredible people. We were still trying to figure out who we were in high school. Many of us still are! But we are now ten years closer to realizing who God intends for us to become. "All human beings - male and female - are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny" (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, 1995).
We are mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters. We are contributing members of society who make our world better just by being in it. Our roles are unique. Our lives are different in ways that were meant to be different. God has a plan for each of us, and as long as we live worthy and follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we are following His plan for us. How blessed we are to be children of the Master Creator!
Many of us have become mothers. We are tired to our bones, covered in poop and spit up, snacking on fruit loops, and we are HAPPY about it! We are paid in hugs and kisses. No job is more challenging or rewarding than motherhood. Fathers are invaluable too. “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.” (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, 1995).
People from my graduating class have become teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, soldiers, policeman, stylists, social workers, photographers, and more. We have succeeded in making the world a better place in our own appointed ways. Now that we are older, I like to think that we no longer compare who is the most successful or who is the most popular. We had a sanctioned contest for that in high school! Every year we would vote for who was “Most Preferred,” “Most Likely to Succeed, and “Best Smile” and on, and on, and on. Those votes meant nothing.
My husband and I were never voted Most Preferred, but we definitely prefer each other over anyone else! Most Likely to Succeed – what does that even mean? Is it who makes the most money? There is not one narrow definition of success as the world would have us think. Success comes from setting and achieving worthy goals, whatever they may be. We have all succeeded if we live happy and fulfilling lives where we spend our days in service to our friends, family, and our nation. And best smile? The media would like you to believe that you are not beautiful unless you spend thousands of dollars to look like movie star or starve yourself to look like a runway model. If you understand your worth as a child of God, you know that the world is WRONG. You have a wonderful smile. I do not have to see what you look like to know that. You are beautiful because you are God’s. You were created in His image. Our bodies are a magnificent gift from Him. When we criticize our appearance, we criticize His creation. I need to remember that.
God loves us because we are His children. If we truly understand that, we will treat EVERYONE with love and respect, including ourselves. One of the Primary songs we teach children to sing in our church is called, "We Are Different."
"I know you, and you know me.
We are as different as the sun and the sea.
I know you, and you know me.
And that's the way it is supposed to be.
I love you, and you love me.
We reach together for the best we can be.
I love you, and you love me.
And that's the way it is supposed to be!"
That is what I learned from my high school reunion. I guess reunions aren’t so bad after all!