As childhood became a pleasant memory and the teen years pressed their hormonal imbalance upon me, it became clear that ‘growing up’ was the next step in the journey. As the teen years inveigled their way into my life, so did my insecurities. My tomboy years were coming to a close along with my security in who I was. Now I was expected to be “a girl”. Not a happy prospect for me. Had I realized it was all part of the plan God had for my life, it may have looked more inviting.
God never shuts a door that he does not open a window. In high school God opened the window into art, language, and girls as friends and fun. They were good friends, but it was a time when bad habits of the undeveloped wisdom of teenagerhood comes to the fore. For me it was smoking. I became its slave and it held me in slavery for many years. It was the thing to do with my peers, and though it was disapproved by my parents that did not stop me. . . that stubborn independent spirit ruled. It was years before I realized, that there is a time for giving up childish ways as the Word calls it, and it took a long time for God to break my independent spirit so He could continue my training and my blessings.
1 Corinthians 13:11 (AMP)
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.
College opened my mind to a whole new world of experience. Close friendships were born especially with roommates. We shared thoughts and new understandings, and after study hours we'd wind our way through the tunnels to the rec room to play bridge. Afterwards while relaxing in our dorm room, we would share cups of bullion (heated with a small electrical question mark shaped unit that fit over the edge of the cup); we would share secrets, hurts and tears, smiles and cheers.
God at this time had His niche at Sunday morning church, but I did not know Him well enough to get seriously involved in a daily heart to heart relationship with Him. I continued to journey my own path, I thought. But God’s hand of protection was always over me, whether I recognized it or not. (Mom's prayers were ever at work). God put a gauge in me that registered my spiritual comfort level in life. Some call it a conscience. This gauge kept me on His path, mostly.