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I found out the hard way, but it was an experience I would never forget. It started the day Lauren walked into the room during youth group. The room went quiet, and all the guy’s eyes turned towards her. She stood there as Mr. Clancy (my youth group leader) introduced her. She had on dark blue jeans, high heeled boots that almost went to her knees, a light pink v-necked shirt, and had blonde curls flowing down her back. My heart fell as I heard Dan say, “Here Lauren, you can sit here by me.” Dan and I had been friends since the nursery and of late, had become more, until now at least. Now, I was just another girl. One minute I was laughing and having fun, and the next I felt like my world had turned upside down. During that time, I thought my life was over, but I found out that there are more important things in life than my crush on Dan.
That night I cried myself to sleep, my thoughts centered on Dan, the popular guy, and Lauren, the new girl. Thoughts of revenge swirled through my mind. I felt alone and deserted in the world. The days passed without me even realizing it, and before I knew it, two weeks had passed. It was Saturday; the day of the youth group party. I didn’t want to go, but I knew I had to because I had promised I would help set up. Later that day as I was helping set up for the party, I forgot all about Dan and the new girl. When they walked in that door, I dropped my bowl of chips and just stared. I couldn’t believe it! After only knowing each other for two weeks they were acting like they had known each other for years! Hurriedly I dropped to my knees and began to clean up the broken glass and chips. Over and over in my mind I saw them come in, and I heard the glass bowl shatter on the ground. While I was cleaning the glass up my eyes were so blurry from tears that I didn’t see that I slammed my hand down right on a piece of glass. I rushed to the bathroom with the excuse of cleaning my cut, but really I sank to the floor and cried. From the bathroom I could hear Lauren saying something about me while she laughed. I felt like my heart was ripped from my chest as I heard Dan join her in laughing.
The next day, after church, I spent the day at Katie’s. Katie was my best friend, she was always there for me, and I could tell her anything. We were both sitting there on the end of her bed, and I finally broke down, and told her what happened. She put her arm around my shoulder, and we both cried. It was as if she could feel the pain that I felt. “Josie, I know it hurts, but the pain will pass. You’ll see. There’re more important things in life than Dan… family, friends, God…” Katie said soothingly while I held my head in my hands and cried. In the midst of my pain, it went in one ear and out the other. It wasn’t until later that I realized how true those words were.
Two weeks went by without seeing either Dan or Lauren. Neither one of them had been showing up for church or youth group. Although it hurt to see them together, it hurt worse when they weren’t there. I could never seem to pay attention, but rather I was thinking of them. Wondering if they were together, and if they were, what were they doing. This week they were at youth group, sitting right across the room from me. Even over the other kids laughing and Mr. Clancy telling a story, I could still hear them whispering. I closed my eyes and just tried to forget everything, but was brought back to reality when I heard Mr. Clancy say my name. “Josie?”
“Will you please read Romans 8:28?”
“Sure” I quickly flipped the pages of my Bible to Romans 8, and found verse 28. Quietly I started reading, “’And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.’”
“Thank you, now...” My thoughts drowned out Mr. Clancy speaking as my mind focused on the verse I had just read. It was as if I could hear God speaking to me. Again, and again in my mind I heard, “God uses all things to work together for good”. God uses all things, I thought, all things, even the bad things… Maybe, just maybe this might turn out for the better… Reluctantly, I pulled myself from my thoughts, and listened to what Mr. Clancy had to say about the verse.
It was still light outside when we got home, so I snuck away, and went out to our ditch. I climbed out on a branch over the water, and just sat there. Everything Mr. Clancy said and the verse that I had read echoed through my mind. I realized then what a fool I had been. Tears streamed down my face as memories of how I had acted came to mind. “Never again,” I said aloud to no one, “Never again, will I make a guy more important than my family and God.” I felt like a burden had been lifted. My world was once again right side up. For the first time in a long time a smile spread across my face. All around me I heard birds and crickets singing, I saw butterflies dancing in the breeze, and I smelled the sweet smell of wild flowers.
“Josie?” I looked up and there was Katie standing at the top of the ditch bank.
“Katie!” I practically screamed when I saw her. I scrambled off the branch and climbed up the bank and gave her a big hug. “I know now what you were trying to tell me. I’ve been such a fool, making Dan more important to me than God. I’ll never do it again!! I’m so sorry I didn’t listen to you.” I said so fast she could hardly understand me.
“It’s alright!” she replied laughing, “I’m just happy you’ve finally come to understand now! God has a plan; He brought Lauren into your life for a reason.”
“Thank you Katie, Thank you so much for believing in me, and staying there beside me the whole time…”
That day Lauren walked in the door, I didn’t think I could move past my crush on Dan. Every day that passed it felt like it just got worse and worse; I didn’t want to be just another girl to Dan. But I was able to get past the pain and realized that there are more important things than him. I learned it the hard way, but I will never forget it. There are more important things than your crush: family, friends, and most importantly God. From that day onward I have held that belief, and will do so for the rest of my life.