Alone at prom

Go to prom? Alone? If you feel horrified at the thought, you’d probably relate to my friends from high school, who began dreaming about prom at the beginning of our senior year. It was a big deal! But when the long-awaited event finally arrived, I did go alone. And it wasn’t horrifying. It was . . . well, you’ll see.

The early part of high school hadn’t been the happiest for me. I had been confronting some really difficult challenges that seemed to throw me off-balance, and I had a lot of questions and concerns about life. I found, though, that the most comforting answers to my questions came when I turned to God. Even though I’d learned about God in Christian Science Sunday School, I really didn’t know what God meant to me personally. So I started reading the Bible and the writings of Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer of Christian Science.

As my thought of God and His goodness enlarged, I found that instead of feeling off-balance and insecure, I was slowly finding peace and stability. I was also finding more of a sense of myself as the embodiment of God’s good qualities, like joy, harmony, and wholeness. And this gave me the confidence to accept invitations to join school activities, which I had previously declined. I even got elected class president.

My friends expressed concern that I didn’t have a date.

During my senior year I had many friendships with both girls and boys. However, I didn’t have a regular boyfriend. And while friends were definitely talking about prom, I wasn’t concerned about not having a date. As spring approached, excitement for prom escalated, yet I found there were so many other things to be thinking about—after all, we would be graduating soon! 

But then, suddenly, prom was just a few weeks away. I had not been asked and it seemed unlikely that I would be. As the class president, I had to attend; I was giving a welcome speech. My friends expressed concern that I didn’t have a date, and I imagine many felt sorry for me or at least thought I should’ve been feeling embarrassed. But I didn’t feel either. 

In fact, when prom night came, I put on a long dress my mom had made me for me, added a corsage, and then my dad drove me to where the event was being held. When I entered the ballroom, everyone seemed to be having fun. I hugged friends, admired everyone in their dresses and tuxes, gave the welcome speech, then went home. The whole thing felt surprisingly happy, because I got to see my friends having a good time! 

The whole thing felt surprisingly happy.

Maybe if I hadn’t been responsible for the welcome speech I wouldn’t have gone to my senior prom. But I’m glad I did, even though I had to go alone. It gave me the opportunity to experience something so special, which was a deep feeling of satisfaction and completeness. I genuinely felt buoyed by God’s love for me. So it actually seemed natural not to feel disappointed or rejected. 

My prom night did end up being memorable, but not because I dressed up and attended with a fun date. Instead, senior prom is a memory I’ll always carry with me because of what it taught me about God’s very present, very real supporting and sustaining love.

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