Once upon a time there was a young man by the name of John. To many around, him John was just an average boy of 17. But to those who knew John well, he was a pretty remarkable kid. John had a rough beginning to life. He was born early and weighed only 1 lb 13 ozs. That early beginning set him on a path of lifetime health problems- one being severe scoliosis. Because of his back problem, John has worn a brace most his life and undergone back surgery to correct his curvature. He pulled through it with very little complaint considering his age and the intensity of that type of surgery. John, like any teenage boy, doesn't always think things through but otherwise has given his parents very little trouble. He gets descent grades, helps his four younger siblings, and has almost completed his Eagle Scout.
Besides all this, and probably the most important, John has a strong faith in Jesus Christ. He understands his religion and has chosen to live the standards that have been given to him by the church and his family. John is growing up and starting to understand the bigger picture of this life. Unfortunately, not all of his peers have attained his level of understanding. Having faith does not take away your problems.
One day while talking to one of his female friends, he casually asked her if she'd been on a date yet. He was simply making conversation and was not suggesting she go with him, but she responded in a way that would shatter any teenage boy no matter what his intentions. She said, "No, But I'd never you out with you!!" Any boy, or grown man for that matter, couldn't help but feel the sting from a remark like that.
On another occasion, John and his cousin had left school to eat lunch. (It is an open campus) And on the way, John felt his cousin, Mark was playing inappropriate music. John said, "Mark why are you listening to this bad music in your car?" Mark kicked John out of the car and made him walk back to school by himself.
Time after time John has been mocked and belittled by his peers. In public as well as in private. Mostly because he lives his religion. He is different physically and spiritually from his peers and their lack of understanding leads them to put John down in order to lift themselves a little higher. The catch is, they aren't any higher than they were before. But John is. They can mock him time and again..but his continued faith will pull him higher and help him go further on his life's journey.
High school ends. But small minds and cruel personalities don't just disappear at graduation. Those people will always be mean and small minded. But John will continue on to greater things. Because John knows who he is and what is important. He can stand tall when others would knock him down. He stands for a purpose and will be made strong through his trials. He will find his princess and she will love him for the man he has become. While the mean girls from high school will be stuck kissing toads in hopes of turning one into a prince. Things are hard now, but John is being shaped and molded for greater things. He will make his happily ever after- because people like John have the strength to shape their future and not just fit in to the pre-determined social mold. John is the Hero of his own story, and it's just beginning. I can't wait to see how this one ends...
*Names and Locations have been changed to maintain anonymity.