CCA & Me
Volleyball Player, Artist, Sophomore Class Representative, Honors Student, and Friend.
Hi, my name is Macie Brandon, and this is my story.
I went to public school all my life… or 8 whole years. You see, most kids switch schools because they are unhappy, or they are in a bad place. But here is the thing, my story is different. I was not unhappy where I was. I had tons of friends, good grades, good teachers, I was on the volleyball team and I never got into any trouble. I had moved to Granbury two years prior and I was doing great in my new environment.
The summer before I went into 7th grade, my mom got a job teaching 4th grade at Cornerstone Christian Academy. She fell in love with watching her students and everyone around her strive to learn more about Christ, even at such young ages. Fast forward a little bit and my 7th grade school year was about to end, and it was decided that my sister and I were going to shadow at CCA. To be real with you, I personally thought that was an awful idea. Because ummm Hello! Why in the world would I leave somewhere where I fit in and things were running so smoothly?! Things were good! I did not want to leave my friends! Not in a million years! At first, I was against it. Then I realized I would miss a whole day of school and I did not really care anymore. I already decided I was not going!
Here is what I imagined when I thought about CCA: a roundup of nerdy, stuck up, rich kids with no social skills that just sat there and read the Bible all day long, or at least knew everything about it. Have you ever listened to the homeschool family song by Tim Hawkins? Because honestly, that is what I imagined everyone was like.
Let me tell you this: the private Christian school stereotype is a big misconception, and I will get more to that on another day, but now I want to tell you why I am writing this. And that is because I feel like people, including my 7th grade self, do not get it. Everyone thinks they know these facts about Christian private schools, stereotypes, and already have their minds made up about what it is like. But the truth is that it is hard to understand from the outside looking in, at least it was for me. I want to be real with you about my experiences, my likes, and dislikes, and help you to know the truth. Once you know the truth, do with it what you please. I do know that small Christian schools are not the right fit for everyone, because some people thrive in large environments. I chose to write this because I feel a calling to educate about and advocate for my school, and I was given an outlet for that calling, so here I am.
The day I shadowed, I was a big ball of nerves. I felt awkward and confused and for some reason I was very quiet and shy, which is very unlike me. For whatever reason, I could not form proper sentences which was extremely annoying. I could not figure out why I was feeling these feelings because I already decided I was not switching schools! So why was I trying to make a good impression and why did I care so much about what these people thought of me????
Confused. I did not understand why everyone was so nice to each other! I do not just mean a fake kind of kindness, they all just seemed united… like they were a little family. When I thought about it later, I could not really put my finger on what it was that was so different about them, but there was definitely something. They seemed just like me! They were funny, made fun of each other jokingly and they laughed a lot. They were normal teenagers! None of them seemed super stuck up, or nerdy at all. They seemed just like me. I remember going to the bathroom during that day (and getting lost along the way which was super awkward) and I remember feeling weird or maybe just different. I could see myself being friends with these girls. I could almost see myself coming to this school. But what about MY friends at MY school. I did not know how to feel.
Later that day, I figured it out. The thing that made these people different was Jesus. They were not mean or hateful to each other, they did not cuss in the hallways, and they did not divide up into cliques where some people feel left out. When my Mom asked me what I thought, I said I actually liked it and she was surprised. I was telling her all about my day and we were talking about it on the way home and she asked me what changed. I told her that Jesus must have changed me because I sure would not have. I did not want to go to CCA. But then I saw what I was missing out on, and Jesus changed my heart. What He wanted for my life suddenly aligned with what I wanted, even though I did not intend on it.
So we prayed. Then we prayed and prayed and prayed some more. God blessed us with what we needed to go to Cornerstone, and I am thankful for that endlessly. Three months later I started at CCA in 8th grade, terrified but excited. Did I miss my friends from my old school? Absolutely, and I still do. I did not switch schools because I was unhappy, I switched schools because that was God's plan for me, and because of that, I feel happier than before. I think the number one thing I have learned over the last two years is that God sometimes puts you in uncomfortable situations because He knows what is best for you. Sometimes His plan feels awful on the receiving end, but the thing about a plan is that there's usually always more to it. I know for a fact there is more to His plan for me, which makes me so anxious and excited and ready.
So here is to the start of this new school year! The fact that it starts in two days makes me once again terrified but so excited. I am excited to get back into the swing of things, though I already miss summer more than anything in the world. For some reason, I have this pretty good feeling that this is going to be a really good year. I am not saying that because it's just what you say… believe me, I know it sounds cheesy. But I seriously think big things are going to happen this year in our school and community.