weekend I had the awesome opportunity to attend my church’s woman’s conference
in Johnstown, OH. The New Vintage Conference
at Faith Life Church was everything one could expect. As always, my church knows how to put on an
event. I was blessed to be there and
people came from other states, cities and countries.
I was in a workshop
about using the creativity God gave you for the kingdom and I noticed that one
of the attendees mentioned she was from my hometown. I made a mental note of it, and enjoyed the
workshop. Later in the day I ran into the woman in the bathroom and in a moment
of trying to make small talk, I introduced myself.
“Hello, I grew up in
Marion.” The woman looked at me like I
was crazy. It was an awkward moment and
standing at the sink I was trying to keep the conversation light. “I heard you say you lived in Marion. I grew up there.” She smiled finally understanding what I was
saying. I continued, “I went to School A
(Not the name of my High School, but to save confusion I’ll call hers School B)”
Suddenly I saw her face turn and stare at me. It was as if she’d swallowed something
“Hey,” she nodded
toward someone else she was there with. “She
graduated from School A” This was beyond being an awkward conversation. I had just been trying to be sociable. The other girl looked at me as if she’d swallowed
poison. In girl talk code I could tell
that I’d just been labeled as the one that was wearing a scarlet letter
according to them.
“Well I went to School
B.” She responded. It was obvious from her body language she
felt the B school was superior. I was trying to smile. The schools have been rivals in the town for
as long as I could remember. “I have to
say I get very excited whenever we beat you in football, and I laughed a little
too hard that School A is having a horrible football season.” The look on my face probably resembled one of
a train wreck. I was shocked I was
having this conversation. I’ve been out
of high school for 20 years this year.
Why was this girl so hung up on petty rivalries? I looked at her again, she didn't look like she was that much younger than me.
“Oh well I don’t really
pay much attention to all of that.” I
responded trying to force a smile, yet also trying to figure out how to get out
of the bathroom quickly. This girl had
just heard my pastor preach on letting go of your past and I’m encountering
some crazy small town rivalry in the bathroom.
Which, this was one of those moments that reminded me that I wasn’t in
living in Florida anymore.
“Well, I still live in
Marion so I am involved in it all the time.”
Her response to me was as if I was the crazy one. I quickly tried to turn the conversation to
some old friends I knew that went to School B and politely exited the bathroom
trying not to laugh hysterically at myself.
Truly I am not trying to judge this woman. I am praying for her. It was obvious she was passionate about her
I mention this today in
the blog, because we all carry things from our past whether we mean to or
not. Sometimes we don’t even think about
these things. These petty things can affect
our futures if we don’t let them go. In
my odd scenario before think about how this woman automatically put walls up to
me just because I went to a rivalry school system. Truthfully I was not offended and laughed
about it. Too many people go through
their lives carrying baggage that we’ve taken on from our lives. Too many people are carrying these bags like
extra weights. They are wearing out
themselves trying to carry these bags through every little thing. There is freedom in letting putting those
bags down. There is freedom in walking
toward your future without all these little things.
Philippians 3:13 “Brothers, I do not consider that I have
made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining
forward to what lies ahead,”
I know it can be hard to let go of mindsets and strongholds, but as
silly as the conversation was with me in the bathroom some of those crazy
things we hold onto are just as wacky.
Let go of your past. Push forward
to your destiny. Life is just too short
to spend any more time in your life holding onto these things.