It’s been 9 years since I stepped foot on the grounds of my high-school. 2009 was the year I graduated Year 12 at Northern Beaches Christian School (NBCS), and boy have things changed. With its new buildings, fancy classrooms and teachers who include a couple of my friends (so funny that I now call them “Miss so and so” and my ex-teachers I address by their first name) how the tables have turned….
I digress. Last week I was invited (thanks to a special friend) to share at a womens’s event at NBCS called “Hidden Figures”. If you’ve seen the movie, Hidden Figures tells the story of three unknown heroes who were part of NASA’s team of human computers, in the mission of the first American to orbit the Earth. These real-life African-American female pioneers included Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson – check out their stories, they’re amazing!
Again, I digress (wow, I’m good at this). So the above is essentially what last Thursday was all about, minus astronauts and rockets. I’m proud to say my teacher friends pioneered this event. They saw an opportunity for women in the NBCS community to share their story. To provide a platform for everyday women to encourage, challenge and inspire others.
I, as well as the incredible Sam Bloom, were invited “on the couch” to chat about the highs and lows of our lives. I felt totally honoured to be alongside Sam, she is an absolute legend and warrior woman! I strongly recommend watching her two part interview with 60 minutes.
My friend, Miss K (otherwise known as Suvini) interviewed me – it was so much fun, despite us both being a bit nervous. We chatted about my time at NBCS, favourite school memories, hardships in Year 12, what I’ve been doing the last 9 years post school, how I became a christian and my upcoming big adventure.
It was really surreal to be back at school. I was honestly so touched for the opportunity to share my story, to tell others what God has been doing in my life and where he has called me next. I opened up about the trauma of loosing my dad in Year 12 in the middle of the HSC, how I became a Christian in 2nd year Uni, and the journey of deciding to pack up my life and move to Canada in November to volunteer for YWAM Vancouver.
One of the highlights of the afternoon was having this girl in the audience cheering me on. Lily is starting Year 12 next term and has also just become School Captain. I lead Lily when she was only in Year 7 at my church youth group for 3 years. It was so moving to see her, now 5 years later, supporting and encouraging me…again, how the tables have turned.
Also, look how gorgeous and tall she is – wonder what her secret is?
The theme for the day was all about resilience – how we bounce back when we are stretched and get thrown around in life, and return not only to our formers selves, but an even stronger version of ourselves.
I learnt how to walk this road at a pretty young age. It really felt like I’d somehow taken the long, bumpy, hard way. The biggest lesson in all of this for me was that in order for me to “bounce back” I needed to become elastic, I had to be willing to change. As I continued to carry the weight of my pain, I wasn’t going anywhere. As much as it was important not to numb the pain, but to be real with my emotions and feel what I was going through, how I was truly going to heal was to actually stop carrying the weight of it all.
I realised that Jesus wanted to take this from me, that I could actually hand it over to him. That he wanted to release and heal me.
Thank you to everyone who came to hear both Sam and me open up and be quite raw about our lives. I hope the Year 11 and 12 students, as well as staff and parents left the afternoon reminded of their inner strength. The strength that is from Jesus, that He works through us to enable us to do more than we ever thought possible.