My cousin Becca (my awana buddy) and I together at Disney
Growing up I was.. hmmm... what's the word... awkward. I was a skinny lanky girl covered in freckles with a thick head of curly red hair. I just wanted to be like everyone else. I was constantly trying to play it safe, never taking risks, trying to just blend in. Every Sunday night I went to Awana at my church. I hated Awana. I could never remember to wear my vest, always forgot my 50 cent dues, did not memorize as many verses as everyone else, and was awful at the game time. Eventually I purposefully "forgot" my vest out of defiance... I bet that showed them :) For those of you who are familiar with Awana know that there are frequent theme nights. One week at Awana while announcements were being made, Cowboy night was announced and we were encouraged to dress up like Cowboys and Cowgirls with a prize given to the best dressed clubber. My little Awana heart was suddenly awakened. I could actually win this one... I definitely could never win a verse quiz or any of their athletic games... but Cowboy night.... (You see my little brother was currently going through a Cowboy phase and had the whole Cowboy get up) BUT was I willing to really put myself out there... was I willing to really stick out? Yes, I nervously decided. I would take a risk and go.all.out.
The next week I dug through my brother's toy box. I found toy guns complete with their holsters, a cowboy shirt, a fringe vest, a sheriff's badge (not really cowboy, but it made me think cowboy), and a plastic cowboy hat. I looked ridiculous... I wasn't wearing "real" cowboy clothes, but rather looked like a toddler who was playing dress up (not cool for a 4th grader). BUT I knew I could win best dressed in this outfit, so I kept everything on.
We were driving closer to the church and I was suddenly terrified to get out of the car. I think my mom was just as scared for me as I was. We just sat there in the car in front of the church and she said "Are you sure its tonight?" Thanks mom for the encouraging pep talk :P I decided I was just going to do it. I was just going to walk right in.
As I was walking into the gym I noticed the kids walking in with me were not wearing cowboy clothes. I started to hyperventilate, but reassured myself that they were just playing it safe, like I would have, and this is a good thing because I now had a better shot at winning. I kept walking to the gym.... and in horror realized I was the only one dressed up. My cousin (who made Awana worth going to) ran over to me dying laughing and told me Cowboy Night was NEXT week. I was MORTIFIED!
I think this story brings a good visual and understanding to what little Christina was like :) I did not have a relationship with Christ yet and my life goal was to fit it. You will see how this impacted me later during my teen years..