Guest Post, Uncategorized, Words on Wednesdays

Guest Post: Dear Public Schooled Christian, You Are Not Alone

Hello, friends! Today I am thrilled to be a part of Isabella Grace’s blog tour for the launch of her blog, The Public Schooled Christian. She wrote this wonderful article about her experience as a Christian in a public school setting, and has encouragement for others too.

Last year, I went to a new school. 

All of my friends—my Christian, trustworthy friends—were at my old school. Despite that, I entered the school year excited. It was going to be a fresh start because nobody knew who I was. That meant I could make my reputation whatever I wanted it to be—and I wanted it to be that of a God-loving person. 

At my old school, I strayed from my faith in my early middle school years. The coronavirus pandemic hit when I was in 7th grade, and that year, my freshman year in high school, was going to be my first “normal” year as a different person. As a girl who was truly following Jesus. 

But almost everybody at school knew the old me. The me before Jesus. And that was part of the reason I was excited about going to a new school. These people would only know the new me. They wouldn’t know my past faults, though my old classmates probably didn’t notice them nearly as much as I thought they did. 

Anyways, I was excited. And I made many friends who only knew the new me. But I didn’t make many friends who loved Christ wholeheartedly. 

Many of the Christian friends I made turned out not to care about Christ that much. There weren’t many people who I could bond with my love of Jesus over.

I only knew one or two people in my classes all year who were following Jesus, though there may have been more that I didn’t know. I met girls in the FCA (Fellowship of Christian Athletes) who loved Jesus, but I only had a class with one of them. The whole year, I only became close with one person at my school who loved Christ. 

I should have been expecting that at a public school. There are people there following Jesus, but they’re hard to find—not in the sense that they’re unnoticeable, but in the sense that it takes time to find and get to know them.  

A lot of the time, I felt different from everyone at school. There, what it meant to be Christian was to wear a WWJD bracelet and be a generally good person. But I was trying to share the Gospel, step out of my comfort zone, and be a light. 

Luckily, though I felt somewhat alone at school, it didn’t impact me as much as it could have. I still FaceTimed and hung out with my best friends. Their faith and the fact that they were following Christ encouraged me. Otherwise, I might have felt even more isolated in my pursuit of Jesus. 

Maybe you’ve gone through something similar. Maybe you’ve had a hard time finding Christian friends at school, especially if you’ve switched schools recently. You may feel alone in living for Jesus at a public school. You aren’t. 

There are other public-schooled Christians across America who are living for Jesus in school alongside you. Here are stories from some of the Christians I know. 

I have a friend who used to read her Bible at lunch in middle school. One day, a boy came up to her and joked that he would spit on her Bible because he was Jewish. I don’t need to tell you that my friend didn’t find the joke funny. 

The same friend would watch The Bible Project videos in her free time in high school band class. Some of the people in band didn’t like it, and started talking among themselves about it. My friend asked to leave the room. 

At many of the high schools in my county, Life Books were given out. These are books that have scripture in them, along with notes about the text. People began calling the books “anti-semetic,” “homophobic,” and some kids started ripping pages out of them. 

Those examples may not be the most cheerful, but they should bring us joy, because it is for the name of Jesus that those things happened. Matthew 5:10 says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” And James 1:2-3 says, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”

There are also many good things that have happened with Christians in public school. Someone I know used to read her Bible in English class, and her teacher encouraged her to do so. 

Another person has had respectful theological discussions with a friend who doesn’t take her faith seriously. 

One time, I wore a Jesus Loves You shirt to school, and someone walked up to me and said, “I don’t believe in Jesus.” I was surprised and didn’t know how to respond, but that was an opportunity to share why I do believe in Jesus. I wish I would have said, “That doesn’t change the fact that He loves you.”

Another friend knows she will be different in public school, and she has come to be okay with that. She says, “My advice for ‘fitting in’ is to not. We will never feel completely like we belong in any other setting than the body of Christ.”

On The Public-Schooled Christian blog, there will be stories and interviews of other public-schooled Christians. Not only to give you advice and help you serve Jesus, but also to show you that you’re not alone. What’s your story of being a Christian in public school? 

Isabella is a 15-year-old writer who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her family. She writes to glorify Jesus, who she fell in love with a couple of years ago. When she’s not writing, you can find her swimming, spending time with family and friends, or reading a good book. Read more on her blog, The Public-Schooled Christian.

4 thoughts on “Guest Post: Dear Public Schooled Christian, You Are Not Alone”

  1. I am totally going to follow this blog. I’ve been considering public school a lot lately and what a depressing place it seems to be (I’m homeschooled, BTW). Learning more about it would be so cool!! Great article, and looking forward to the launch!!

    Liked by 1 person

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