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Archive for the month “September, 2012”

Confessions of a Former Mean Girl


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It wasn’t too long ago that I once was the teenager roaming the halls of Headland High School. I can still remember the blue lockers, and how each classroom was set up. I can remember the cafeteria and the break area. I can see all the faces of those I went to school with, and still hear all the chatter of the students. It seems like yesterday almost.

Of course, there are also more unpleasant things that I remember. I can remember the sneers, the looks, and the whispers. But these weren’t always directed at me. I am ashamed to admit that I was one of the “mean girls” in high school. I was the one giving the sneers, looks, and whispers. I can remember the faces of those I once bullied. Yes, I dished out nastiness almost on a daily basis. Over a boy. Over a way someone looked. Over the way someone acted. Really, I didn’t need a reason sometimes. If I decided that you didn’t fit into my circle, then you were fair game for my nastiness.

Looking back, it breaks my heart to think that I could be so nasty to someone just because they didn’t dress like me, talk like me, or because of some silly boy. I mean, really, I had no good reason to be so mean. I was just full of attitude and dished it out on anybody that seemed “weaker” than myself. Truth be told, I was just a lost girl trying to find her identity. I chose to throw myself into things that I thought would make me seem cool. And my meanness was just a way to divert people from getting close enough to me to see that I was just an insecure, messed up girl.

I had great parents who taught me to love all people just like Christ loves us. I went to church. I was a member of my youth ministry. So, it wasn’t that I didn’t know any better. It wasn’t that I hadn’t been raised to know better. I was taught right from wrong. I was brought up in a Christian home. I had parents who loved me and my siblings like crazy. I just couldn’t quite figure out who I was, and so therefore I put up a front. I put myself on the defense at all times. I had the mentality of, “I will get them before they can get me,” as well as, “Nobody messes with me.”

Now I look at all that nastiness that I dished out and it makes me sick. There was no good reason. There is no way to justify my behavior. It was wrong. Plain and simple. WRONG. Nothing could ever make it right. No boy was worth pushing another student into a locker. No clothing label could make my actions justifiable. Just because someone looked different than I did, or lived in another part of town than I did, didn’t give me the right to make their life miserable everyday at school.

Why do I share this? Why would I want anyone to know that I was a mean girl? Simple. I want to bring awareness. I want to share my voice, and help those being bullied and those doing the bullying. I want everyone to see that bullying is nothing but pure WRONG! Nothing makes it right. Nothing justifies it. Nobody deserves to be bullied, and nobody has the right to bully someone else. So what if she looked at the boy you like. Who cares if he lives in another part of town than you do. It doesn’t matter if you wear Calvin Klein and she wears hand-me-downs. Again, NOTHING gives ANYONE the right to bully another person. And there is absolutely positively NO reason that anyone should be bullied.

So, if you are the one being bullied, I want you to know that you have value. You are precious! You are wonderful! You are LOVED! You are the apple of God’s eye. You formed and created with purpose. You MATTER! You are fearfully and wonderfully made in the very image of God!

And, if you are the one doing the bullying, STOP! Your words and actions carry more power than you realize. You never know what someone is dealing with inside. You have no idea what troubles someone has faced or is facing. You are better than being a bully. You also were fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God, and He loves you. You have purpose. You can rise above this. You can STOP the bullying!

I apologize for my nastiness. I now know that a “mean girl” isn’t who I was created to be. I am a daughter of the Most High God. I am treasured. I have value. I have worth. I am loved. And I am called to share the love of Christ with those I come in contact with.

I challenge you to take a stand. STOP the bullying. Speak out and be the voice for those who have their voices drowned out. Share love. Give grace. Offer hope. Together we can STOP the bullying!

Grace & Peace, Jac

Like A Child


Free. Full of life. Hope. No restraint. Liberating. Fun. Joyful. Untamed. Hopeful. Love. 
 
These are just a few words that come to mind when I look at this picture. And yesterday, I witnessed a couple of little girls doing the same thing during worship. In the middle of aisle, there they were. Cute little girls in their Sunday dresses. Holding hands as they both let loose and danced in the Presence of the King. They paid no attention to their surroundings. They just danced. They laughed. They smiled non-stop. The spun around. They jumped. The were so full of life and joy. I couldn’t help but smile as I watched them. 
 
It got me thinking. What if we were just like these little girls? What if we paid no attention to what was around us while we were in the Presence of the King? What if we were full of life and joy just because of Jesus? What if? I mean, aren’t we called to be like little children. Doesn’t scripture say that? 
 
For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me. 
Matthew 18:2-5, The Message

The next time you see a little child dancing, spinning round and round, and laughing in the Presence of the King, join them. Ask God to make you like that child. Full of life. Full of hope. Full of joy. Full of love. And in complete awe and wonder of the Most High God. 

Grace & Peace, Jac

“I’m Mad At You!”


Have you ever told God, “I’m mad at you”? Have you ever told Him thlift hinges just weren’t fair? I know I have. Numerous times actually. “I am so mad at you right now!” “This isn’t right, ya know!” “Why aren’t you doing anything?!?” “You don’t care!” Yep, all of these statements and others like them have come forth from my mouth before, while talking to God. Let’s all face it, sometimes things just don’t appear as if God is coming through for us. There are times in our lives that reading Scripture just doesn’t cut it. Our prayers seem to be pinging off the ceiling and going nowhere. Godly friends telling us to hang in there and, “remember, God has got this” just doesn’t do anything for us. So, what do we do? We begin telling God how frustrated, angry, alone, and abandoned we feel. We get really honest, and just give it to Him. 

Well guess what? God is ok with that. He can handle our moments of rage, frustration, anger, and despair. He doesn’t walk away because we are mad at Him. He instead reaches even closer in those moments, even when we can’t see that. So, go ahead and pitch your fit. Tell Him you’re mad at Him. Get angry, cry, scream, and jump up and down. God handle its it, and He still loves you! 

 

Grace & Peace, Jac

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