Age 18

Standard

This was it! I was a legal adult and it was my senior year of high school. I had been considering college but hadn’t really made any moves yet. I was still so busy with work and now I had church in between. I also joined a Christian club at school that met up once a month. My group of friends totally changed. I went from having friends that sat around gloating over Gwen Stefani to a group that went to underground Christian punk concerts. I was a busy girl. I did have an idea of what I wanted to do. I was pretty good on computers so I figured that it would be a good move for me to go to community college and work toward a degree in information technology. I didn’t consider applying to larger colleges because my ACT score was ridiculously low. I made a 17. I knew it was because I didn’t study for it and a lot of the stuff on it that I learned in school I really just flew through to get the work done and didn’t really learn it. The test was also the same day as prom so my mind was in a million different directions. There was an ACT prep class available but it had to be paid for which was a no for me. I still had no idea where my money was. I knew money was tight for my parents. My mother has always denied ever taking a penny from me and swears that anything she took she paid back. That just isn’t true. I barely ever did anything. Any time I went to the mall, she might have given me $20. That was enough to buy lunch and a clearance rack shirt. I also was going without lunch way too often. 11th and 12th grade were in a different building that 9th and 10th. This meant that there was no cafeteria and no buses. This was because most juniors and seniors ate off campus for lunch and had cars. My mother didn’t have a problem with me eating off campus but the problem was that she only gave me $10 a week. I lived on the other side of town. It was about an 8 mile drive from the school to my house so I couldn’t go home. $2/ day just wasn’t enough. I was always put on a guilt trip anytime I inquired about the money. I know (I think) she was doing the best she could. If the money wasn’t there then it just wasn’t there. Friends spotted me money but I know that they grew weary of doing that.

At church, the youth pastor that was there when we first started going had taken a job somewhere else and moved on so the church had to hire someone new. They decided on a Mexican guy that was full of “holy ghost fire” from California. This guy was all about the inner city and teens. He still is. I still know him and I believe that he has a good heart. After he was officially hired, he had brought in a ministry group from Phoenix, AZ called Master’s Commission. First of all, from an Oklahoma perspective, these people were really cool. They were from all over the country. They basically came in and did what is called “human videos.” It’s where they take a song and act out scenes. They were really good and the scenes were touching and moving. They also preached. They were fervent and passionate. They also wanted to recruit! Master’s Commission was (is) a 9 month discipleship program. They typically only recruit people between the ages of 18 and 25. While in the program, you aren’t allowed to date, contact with family and friends is very limited, there is a lot of work, and it costed $5000. This covered room and board and $50/week of groceries for 4 people. I was enthralled by these people and the idea of getting the hell out of Oklahoma sounded great! Part of the program also involves traveling and doing ministry at churches and schools. This group brought in a crowd that overflowed the sanctuary. They were rock stars. It was all people were talking about for weeks. I had never thought of ministry but the deeper I got with my faith it was definitely something to consider. Unlike college, there wasn’t scholarships so I was going to have to raise money. The funny thing is, my mother 150% supported me going. There was no way she was going to foot any of the bill though. The idea was starting to really grow on me. They touted this program as a substitute for college. They even had courses that you could take for credit, but that cost extra of course. This ball was beginning to roll.

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