I’m aware that this blog projects a certain image of me. If you’ve never met me, you’re likely to think I’m just about the coolest Mom, woman, and general individual to ever have existed. I’m certain when you think of words like, “rad mom,” “awesome woman,” or “trendy general individual,” jenny.erally speaking is what comes to your mind, right?
No? Hmm. Well, at any rate – let me let you in on a secret.
Despite the fantastically put-together woman you see before you, I have not always been so. I know, I’m sorry to shatter your illusions like this…but it must be done.
I have three siblings – my older brother is almost exactly a year older than me, and my younger brother is about a year and a half younger. It would probably be an understatement to say I grew up as a tomboy. I was mistaken for a boy more than once, and I spent my summer days building forts and playing war. My family didn’t watch much TV, so as I grew into my Jr. High years my only real style influences were my peers. I’m sure I don’t have to explain why trying to find your style based on other small town Jr. High girls didn’t work out all that great for me.
By the time I got to my freshman year, I decided the trendy overly-made up look just wasn’t for me, and my high school yearbook photo was pretty much my daily look:
I actually just showed Bug the above photo and asked if he knew it was. He stared at the picture blankly, so I said, “Did you know that’s Mommy?” He immediately laughed, “NO! That’s not Mommy!” By my sophomore year, I stopped being afraid of a little makeup, figured out that those bangs were not working for me, and threw on a little jewelry. Fancy, huh?
When I look at these yearbook pictures, I see a girl who didn’t feel very noticed and was mostly okay with that. I wasn’t interested in most of what the high school culture had to offer, and I did my best to just quietly opt out. For me, high school was a lot about figuring out what I was NOT, and college was a lot about figuring out what I AM.
I wasn’t particularly popular in high school, and I certainly was never mistaken for beautiful or even pretty. I was voted “Best Personality” as a senior superlative…but we all know what “great personality” really means. When an old friend tagged me in these two photos on Facebook, I was more than a little surprised to find myself face to face with my high school self. Since then I’ve stopped trying to convince my hair that it isn’t curly, learned how to wear make up , and have figured out how to wear clothes to reflect my character and flatter my body.
Now that I’m eleven five years away from high school, I can say I’m grateful to have been a little plain back in the day. Like most high school girls, I was searching for significance and as much as I was “opting out,” I also wanted to be thought of as beautiful and captivating. If I had been a girl who caught guys’ attention (any guy. seriously. i went on literally two dates my entire high school career and one of those dates was with a guy who now has a boyfriend), I’m certain I would’ve gotten myself in trouble as I sought to find my significance through those relationships.
Instead…I stayed out of trouble. And not always by choice, to be honest. As things in my home got more chaotic, I found stability in church and began to realize that I am significant. I am beautiful, and I’ve captivated the Creator of the universe.
Being plain and easily overlooked in high school was kind of a blessing in disguise. Actually, I wouldn’t even say it was in disguise – I think I was just too myopic to realize what God was doing at the time. He was protecting me, loving me, cherishing me, and closing the door to mistakes that could haunt me forever.
It turns out that being the beloved daughter of the King doesn’t always mean you’ll be part of the popular crowd or will even be noticed by many. In my life, it means God treated me like a precious pearl. He carefully hid me until the time was right and His plan was ready.
I’ll take that over being invited to the kegger and dating a football player – every time.