Bloom where you are planted; Senior reflects

Shelby Thomas is a member of the Grace Prep Class of 2016.
Shelby Thomas

I was asked to write an article about my experience at Grace Prep. The Mane Post voted for me to write it, along with Jacob, the one senior on staff.
To me there are an abundance of things that I could tell you about. I narrowed it down to my “Grace Prep story”.
I am sure some of my classmates, and even some parents, have heard me tell the story of how I ended up at Grace Prep.
I was home-schooled until sixth grade, and while I was at home, my older siblings were attending Grace. Even though my brother and sister were going to graduate from here and they enjoyed it, I have to say Grace was not my first choice.
A couple of months ago, it hit me that I was going to be done! In my head, I was only thinking, “I’m done with Grace Prep” in a negative sense at first.
But I kept thinking about all my years at Grace, and the more I reflected, the happier I got. I realized that yes, there were trying times, but when is anything in life just really easy or perfect?
I realized all those times I came home with complaints and negativity, were for nothing. I am positive that on those days, more good happened than bad, I simply forgot to reflect on the positive.
I’m grateful I am reflecting on them now.
Grace Prep has provided me with more than I ever thought it could have. Besides giving me a well-rounded education, Grace Prep has developed my Christian character, and provided me with life-long relationships.
Not many kids get the privilege of going to a private school that also lines up with their personal faith, and if they do, it is not uncommon for teachers to just sprinkle a little bit of Jesus in a couple of lessons and keep moving. But that is not Grace Prep.
My school is a place where a teacher like Mrs. Blass has open conversations with her students and gives us honest answers that derive from a Christian worldview. The only reason we even know what a worldview is and how to defend ours is because of the knowledge Mr. Smith has poured into us.
It is a place where Mr. Autem has an entire white board devoted to the prayer requests of his students. A place where Mrs. Hogan encourages all her students to spread the word of Christ every time she steps into the classroom, and where Mr. Spring shares wonderful nuggets of wisdom that line up accordingly with the Gospel.
There are so many more influences that I have met throughout my career at Grace, like Mrs. Hall, Mrs. Webb, and Ms. Suzy to name a few.
But even though these teachers have all reached me in different ways, they have all affected one main portion of my life: my relationship with Christ.
I was blessed to get to experience high school in a Christian setting. Yet, high school is also a place where life-long friends are made.
I have friends that have become more like family that I might get annoyed with sometimes, but I know they will always be there for me. There are so many people I could name that I trust would do anything for me and I would do the same.

Both of these are things I had forgotten to reflect on a while back. I did not think about the relationships I had made or the most important one that was strengthened.
All those years I spent complaining were all a waste time. I regret that, because if I had just taken a second, back then, to look at all the wonderful things Grace Prep has brought into my life, I probably would have enjoyed it and maybe gotten even more out of it.
Grace Prep has prepared me well for life and given me years that I will cherish forever.

Although it was only months ago that I saw Grace through that negative lens, now I see it as a place I can always go back to, a place where I got my start for life on my own.
I’m ready.
It saddens my heart to think about the day that I will walk across that stage, because I know that is the day when my classmates and I all go our separate ways. But I am beyond excited to see what greatness we all have within us and how we use it to better the Lord’s Kingdom.
With that I say, “Goodbye Grace Prep,” and it is my prayer that anyone who was enrolled, is enrolled, and will be enrolled truly take in all that Grace has to offer and recognizes it as the blessing it is. Because once that last grade is counted and the stage walked across, it will be time for you to go out on your own.
Ready or not…I’m ready. Thank you mom, family, friends, and GPA.

by Shelby Thomas, Guest Writer

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