We were in the same homeschool group when I was about 14, and I idolized her. She was everything I had always wanted to be -- beautiful, intelligent, a talented artist, an advanced ballet dancer, a musician (she played violin, which I used to want to do but now I hate the sound), very friendly and confident and popular. But rather than envying her, I wanted to be her friend. I would cry myself to sleep at night (many, many nights) because she was so important to me and I didn't mean anything to her (that I could tell, anyway). I would have given anything for her.
Then we went to a week-long summer christian camp together (with a small group of other mostly-homeschooled kids) and all of my cherished imaginings were shattered. I was a very judgemental person at that time (and yes I know I'm not perfect now but I'm a hell of a lot better than I used to be), and she just plain wasn't acting like the Christian she had claimed to be. I had the idea that she was very godly, so I felt betrayed seeing her totally uninterested in God or worship and acting in a way that I thought was very arrogant and mean to both me and the other girls who had come in our group. She learned that I had a crush on a guy named Josh and one of the other girls had a crush on another guy, and she flirted with them in particular -- at the time I thought she had to have been doing it on purpose, but now I can see that it could have been totally subconscious. I didn't merely dislike her -- I hated her for destroying the false image that I had adored. Fortunately, that very week I became best friends with Rebecca, who was everything I had thought Rachel was and more -- so I hardly thought about Rachel anymore. She just dropped right out of my mind.
I thought and said so many horrible things about her, to myself and possibly Rebecca (who, true to form, tried to get me to see the good in Rachel). At this point I can't really understand why I hated her so much... I'm not the person I used to be, thank God, and I can't really understand why I reacted the way I did...
I thought she had it all. Now I can see how much she must have been hurting. No one looked beyond the surface -- everyone was content to see how beautiful and talented she was, and they didn't want to know her heart. I thought I did, but when I caught a glimpse of her true self I rejected her more forcefully than I have ever rejected anyone. I don't think she ever knew how I felt about her, neither the adoration nor the disgust.
A few years ago I was in Rebecca's neighborhood (which she lived in) and she happened to be out walking when I was standing outside (talking to Rebecca, I think) and she stopped and talked to me a little bit. She told me that she had always admired me -- which baffled me because I thought I didn't even make a blip on her radar. That made me think back on how I had judged her...
But I hadn't thought about her more than a fleeting moment in at least two years when I dreamed about her last night.
I dreamed that I was at her house, and from looking at her I could feel her pain, it screamed out at me. Her brother had died, but that wasn't the only reason for her pain -- some of it was as old as she was. There were others there, and I kept trying to get Rachel to come away with me so that I could talk to her. I was thinking to myself, "What do I have to offer?" still considering her worth more than me, I suppose. I thought I could tell her what I've experienced, and maybe she'd feel safe enough to share... I was too tentative, though. I kept waking up, and deliberately going back into the dream to try to help her.
Finally I gave up on the dream, because it had gone on for two hours and I couldn't reach her. I got up, called Ben's family for the number, and called her house... and got the answering machine after about a million rings. I'm not even sure if she's living there anymore, but I plan to call again tomorrow.
I take my dreams very seriously, because often that'd how God speaks to me. I've had many true prophetic dreams. Until he gives me a sign one way or another, I'm going to try to reach to Rachel. I owe her an apology anyway, for judging her so harshly. And right now, I can still feel her pain in my heart.