It's been awhile, hasn't it- a while since I taught you English and grammar and how to read Shakespeare. Two years, I think.
I don't think you were expecting to see me walk into the restaurant where you work this lovely Saturday morning. It's always kind of weird to see teachers out of a classroom setting. I know it always felt Twilight-Zone-y to me.
A lot has changed- I'm not teaching anymore, for one. But I'd say things have changed for you even more.
That plain white canvas apron around your 17-year-old waist can't conceal the fact that you're carrying a heart below your own.
This is probably not what you wanted. Not what you planned.
Life rarely goes according to plan, not for any of us. You're learning that earlier than I did, I think.
Honestly, I'd hoped that you would finish school and go to college, get the job you always wanted, get married before you carried a heart below your own. This isn't what I'd hoped for you, either.
Please don't mistake the momentarily unveiled pain in my eyes for disappointment. That hurt has nothing to do with you. It's not pity or anger or judgment.
I'm not better than you, not at all. Just because my struggles and sins aren't held in front of me for the world to see doesn't mean they're not there.
To be completely honest, my pain comes mostly from a soul-level jealousy. It's the aching of the fact that my own life hasn't turned out the way I planned, either.
Life is always good.
Always a gift, always a blessing.
And I'm proud of you for recognizing that.
I'm proud of you for standing strong and taking responsibility- and for knowing that sometimes, those "mistakes," those missteps and wrong turns and not-so-great decisions, can bring about the greatest blessings of our lives.
That's what God does- works all those things for our good in the end. He's working good for you, too.