“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” ~Romans 12:2
Something that comes with going away to a place completely unfamiliar is hope. Sure, there is sorrow about what happened to the place you left, but there is also an immense amount of hope about the future. What God will do with it and new challenges I’ll have to face.
Those were my thoughts as I walked into my new Highschool Tuesday morning with Pearl by my side. The two of us had bonded even tighter since the move, calming each other’s nerves about school. She’s been a little more flexible when it comes to talking about faith, just as Dad is. Slowly but surely, we are all becoming a family again.
I took an art class. Mostly I did it because I wanted to continue making drawings that will certainly impress Alivia when I send her pictures of them.
“Oh yes Fletcher,” she laughed into the phone when I told her. “You are the most artistic person I know. Especially when it comes to splatter paint.”
Sawyer and I also talk. We make sure to text in order to keep in touch and stay accountable for reading Acts. It wasn’t my favorite way to stay in touch, especially since I couldn’t see either of them in person on a regular basis. By God’s will, it would work.
My first day was going smoothly. I hadn’t talked to a lot of kids, especially since I didn’t want to get caught up in the same situation back at my old school. I wanted to find some dependable people, like the Olsons. The lunch room was the moment of truth.
I held my brown paper bag with one hand while fiddling with my camera. I examined the space and noticed Pearl sitting with some girls that looked to be her age. They were laughing and talking, so I didn’t worry about it too much. She’d tell me later. When she smiled at me, I grinned back, waving a little.
Immediately I spotted the table where I would’ve sat. I could just tell by the smirks on their faces that they were waiting for the next person to pick on. I walked in the opposite direction a few steps, not wanting to be associated with them.
There were other various groups around the room, by then most of the spaces were full. Tables were filling up fast and I still didn’t have a seat. I swallowed, wishing I wasn’t so nervous. It was just a seat, I could always try again tomorrow.
Then I saw them. Almost as soon as I laid eyes on the enthusiastic-looking group of people, I knew that they were the people I was looking for. One kid stood up, telling a story dramatically with wild hand gestures while the others around them laughed effortlessly. Grinning, I walked over.
“Oh hello there traveler!” the kid standing exclaimed. He smiled widely, his black hair disheveled with a look of glee in his eyes.
“Zach do you always have to call the new kids that?” a girl beside him groaned.
“Yeah, it probably makes them self-conscious,” a boy added. He stood up and held out his hand, so I shook it. “Hi, I’m Jack. Welcome to our posse!”
“Posse? Really?” another girl laughed. Jack just shrugged, sitting back down.
“Cool,” I said. I sat down beside him and they all broke into conversations between themselves.
“Most of us are in the church’s youth group from up the road. But you can totally hang out with us if you want,” he offered, pushing his glasses up his nose.
“That’s great,” I replied, thrilled I found some church kids that were so friendly. “I just became a Christian recently.”
“Really?” the kid named Zach cut in, grinning. “Dude, that’s awesome!”
“You should come to church sometime,” Jack invited.
“That’s be nice.”
“I like your camera,” Jack said, sounding truly interested. “I like to write scripts, so film is sorta my thing.”
“Thanks! I bet you write pretty well.”
“I never caught your name. What is it again?”
I thought for a moment. Alivia would be proud of me for the decision I made. She liked who I really was, not who I pretended to be when I first pranked her.
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