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The title of this post pretty much says it all. Today, I wanted to get raw, really raw with you and share my story. I guess it’s not my whole life story because God isn’t done writing my story. But, I’m a high school dropout.
That high school dropout label doesn’t define me, at least not anymore. It took me a long time to finally come to those terms that me being a high school dropout doesn’t define who I am or better yet, where I am going.
Let’s back track a bit here; my high school years were not my glory days. I have moved A LOT in my life. I’ve lived in NYC, CT, Brasil, and Texas. I have lived in more homes than I can count. And I have moved at some of the most critical times during my childhood.
I don’t blame my parents for dragging me all over the place, at least not always (just kidding mom)! They were both chasing a dream, a better life for my sister and I. In fact, I’m SO grateful for their hard work, and determination to give us a better life.
I was not as good as I am now in high school. I’ve drank, done drugs (sorry mom and dad!), I partied way too hard. I dated all the wrong guys. My gosh, if I could go back in time and tell myself anything, it would be to stay away from 99.9% of the guys I dated.
I can’t blame the guy I dated at the time I decided to become a high school dropout, but I can say I was under the influence of many things, and people, and not one of them was Jesus.
For a very long time, I carried guilt, and I was so shameful of what I had done. I felt like I had let my parents down, even worse I felt like I had let myself down. True story, I didn’t tell Jordan for almost six months while we were dating. The fear of how he would see me as a high school dropout, or what he would think, terrified me.
BUT God. He sent me a man, a man who loved me despite what I did. Jordan never placed my value or worth on that (I married up guys :)). Fast forward a few years, I finally went back and got my high school diploma online and graduated. But still, the guilt ate away at me for so long.
So why am I sharing all of this?
I share my story, and a glimpse of my past to encourage you… don’t let your past define you, or define your future. God can take something bad and turn it into something good. I am a living testimony to that.
Don’t let your past determine what you do today. For far too long, I held on to this high school dropout shame, and it was a bondage over my life. But not anymore!
When we hold onto something so tightly, you don’t have any room to let God work. If God can’t work, you can’t heal. If you can’t heal, you can’t move forward.
I hope this all makes sense, and I hope my high school dropout story can encourage you to get rid of your past mistakes, guilt, and shame. Surrender them to God and let him work in your life so you can live freely.
Don’t let your mistakes from the past, steal your joy from tomorrow.
photos by: Julia Arceri
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