I was sitting in my room looking at the stuff that I need to clean up when I started thinking about something that happened to me a while ago.
In colorguard we have various pre-performance rituals. Some people have secret handshakes with their best friends, some have chants they do as a small group, and there’s a couple that we do all together with our director. There’s not any real reason behind them. I’m not sure how it got started. But doing these different rituals really helps people to get into the performance mindset and feel confident about themselves. It’s one of my favorite things about colorguard.
Some girls, myself included, like to pray before we go out to the field. Just to send out a “thank you” to God for the amazing opportunities He’s given us to show off our hard work, for helping us through the drama and the hard times, and to ask for His help to perform our show to the best of our ability. Not everyone does it, and that’s okay.
One night my freshman year we were waiting along the sideline of the football field for halftime. We were standing in a line with all of our equipment. Since it was a home game, we had to stand quietly and watch the other team perform first. This always stressed me out. I didn’t like waiting to perform when I was newer at colorguard. I just wanted to go and get it over with. While standing there watching the other marching band, my imagination would take hold and go “Let’s see how many senarios we can come up with where you drop your flag and look like a total idiot in front of the whole school!”
So I was silently freaking out. Behind me in line was a close friend of mine so I leaned over to her and said “Will you pray with me?”
She said she would. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the girl in front of me staring at us, looking kind of confused. This girl was Vicky. At the time she was a sophomore and, being a typical freshman, I looked up to her and respected her because she was older. I invited her to pray with us too, if she wanted, though I had never seen Vicky be one to pray before.
She scrunched her eyes up and looked at me for a second. Then she said these words: “Doesn’t God have something better to do than to worry about our performance at a football game?”
That caught me off guard and has stuck with me for a while. I questioned it myself. Well, doesn’t He? The success of a halftime performance is miniscule compared to other things happening in the world today.
Vicky went on to say something along the lines of: “There are orphans starving and people dying. Shouldn’t we let God take care of them? Why would he care about us?”
Now here’s the thing: I grew up in church. The suggestion that there is no God or that God doesn’t care about us was very strange and foreign to me. I had learned since the age of 2 that Jesus loves me and He cared about me and He created me with a plan and a purpose for my life. And I’m not saying I don’t believe that anymore. I still do. The number of times I’ve taken the risk to lean on God and let Him take care of my crazy situation is incalcuable. And I’m, like, not even an adult yet.
But Vicky didn’t grow up hearing that she was loved and valued, and that fact became very clear to me from that moment on. I listened to her talk and paid more attention to the things she said. Vicky didn’t think she was at all important to anybody. She would talk about how her mom screamed at her, her boyfriend abused her, sexually and physically, and how she didn’t do anything about it because she thought she didn’t deserve anything better. Her boyfriend’s friends did drugs and stole money from their jobs, and she was two steps away from joining them.
Vicky told me and a couple other people once how shes watched “God’s Not Dead” on Netflix because she was feeling sorry for herself. One of her friends laughed and started talking about how stupid it was. Vicky agreed, half-heartedly, and then made a comment about how she’d be going to Hell.
I don’t see Vicky much anymore. I hope she’s okay. I hope she finds someone that treats her with the respect and dignity she deserves and not what she thinks she deserves. I hope someone can tell her one day about how God can love someone like her, because there are so many people like her.
Hey Vicky, if you’re out there on the internet somewhere and you find this, I want you to know that you are still someone I look up to. You are incredibly talented at writing and drawing. You have natural and effortless beauty; I’m always jealous of how cute your hair is everyday. You were perfectly and wonderfully made by God. You are valued by Him. You are important to Him. Even if you don’t believe in God or don’t know if you do, He still loves you and will take care of you.