Mr. 8 is what I called a guy I had a crush on since 8th grade. Only my closest friends knew, well two of them knew. I was afraid my other friends might tell someone so I didn’t confide in them all. He was a tall thin guy with a wonderful smile and thick sandy blonde hair. We were in a very small school so we didn’t even have to run in the same friend circles to see a lot of each other. We were all in the same classroom most of the day. Even throughout high school, there were few variations in class schedules among the students in my grade.
I went to a private Christian school in Arlington, Texas. I had been there since 5th grade where we started with about 15 total students in my grade, and ended 8 years later with 35 in our graduating class. So, I knew everyone in my grade, and in grades just above and below mine, about as well as my shy little heart would allow. I was very guarded, especially where guys were concerned. I was terrified that if I professed my interest in someone they would not feel the same way. I would seriously have had to move away if that had ever happened. I had huge self-esteem issues. I wan’t pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, rich enough; I wasn’t the right height or in the right circles to be special.
I wrote about Mr. 8 in my journals. Here is one entry that I found and thought it was worth sharing:
“Mr. 8 is strange. It’s like I stare at him for days and he doesn’t notice. He glances at me so I glance at him and scare him away or something. If I try to talk to him he ignores me. If I ask him a question in class he directs the answer to someone else. He’s afraid I’m going to notice him, but he wants to be noticed. He stares, I stare back. He moves position so I cannot see his face anymore then looks in my direction. I know he’s shy, but so I am.”
To this day I don’t know if he ever knew how I felt. I don’t know if he ever knew I was looking at him or if he every really meant to look at me. It really doesn’t matter at this point, but it mattered a lot to me at the time. I was shy and awkward. I never felt good enough to be loved by anyone. So, maybe there was comfort in the fact that Mr. 8 was also a shy, quiet, awkward teenager just like me.
God loves us all regardless of how awkward and shy we may be. He reads what’s on our hearts, not what’s in our heads. He loves us in spite of ourselves, our downfalls, and our upbringing. If only I had the relationship with my Heavenly Father back in those days that I now have. I would have known that it is only important to be love by Him. Everything else will fall into place if we only put Him first, stop worrying about the future and whether we are good enough to be loved. If God the Father, the most High, takes time to love us, why does it matter if anyone else knows we exist? He is our Savior, our Redeemer, our provider, our everything.