She leaned over during 8th grade English class and whispered “I don’t remember your name, but do you want to come to my birthday party?”

She was a new girl at school, and she was ….. trouble.

I remember feeling partly hurt that she didn’t remember my name, but mostly it was nice to be included. I was NEVER invited to parties!! She was new though, so she didn’t know that ????

Amazing what we’ll do just to feel included. We’ll even go against our own discernment and what we know is wise – perhaps to our own demise.

Let’s just say, it was a short go of “running with the wrong crowd.”

I said “sure” and immediately had a check in my spirit that something was off. I mean, she was trouble, and it wasn’t a secret. And me? Well, I was very by-the-book. Straight-laced. Vanilla, some might even say.

I knew my mom wouldn’t be okay with me going, and definitely wouldn’t have wanted me spending time being influenced by her, so I decided to lie so I could go.

I told my mom I was going to the after school football game and would ride the activity bus home. But what I really did was go across the street to her house and go to her birthday party – where there was a BOY and even someone smoking a cigarette ????

Let me tell ya’ – as a rule-following miss goody two-shoes, this was just SCREAMING “you’re gonna go to jail if you stay here” and so I left ???? I made up some lame excuse and beat feet out of there, back across the street to wait for the activity bus that I told my mom I’d be on.

I went home just like normal that afternoon, and confessed to my mom all about it …. years later! ????

There are plenty of ways I’ve strayed from wisdom through the years, but this one gets a chuckle (now) and an “aww, I sure love you!” to my younger self, and thankfully no real harm came from it – for me.

But that girl definitely strayed and, at least while I knew her, she sadly went further down the path of destruction.

If you’re considering straying from wisdom, I’m gonna say that the chuckle I get now isn’t worth the unnecessary strain that came on my life in that season.

Stick close to wisdom, even if it means missing out on birthday parties where there are cigarettes and strangers ????