This morning I was sent a link to a website of secrets. Everything was posted anonymously, no names were required, no membership was required. I began reading the posts backwards, latest postings first. I was amazed at the pain and anguish that was posted on this site. Teens facing depression, suicide, abuse, ignorance, hatred, and everything else in between. These teens are CRYING out for help – and even though these secrets are only posted one-sided, it’s the perfect view into their pain and their view of the world.
Reading these posts reminded me of my time in middle school and high school. I didn’t feel or experience half of what I read, but I have seen my share of hurt and pain growing up. There was always someone telling me that I wasn’t good enough, didn’t look right, or didn’t fit in. It was a rough time for me, until I put my faith in Christ and realized that all those opinions that were weighing on me didn’t really matter in the long-range view of eternity.
I have been asked multiple times to share my experiences from those horrible school years. And even now I cringe when I talk about them – not that my life was horrible, but the painful words I heard come back and it’s easy for me to slip back into the self-pitty mode if I’m not careful. However, I wear the badge of success with pride – I survived my teenage years! How? By remembering one thing and keeping that the focus of my life – even today.
Jesus died for me…the God, Creator, and Sustainer of the entire universe thought I was worth dying for! I’m so tiny, and though I am a one-of-a-kind original in His eyes, I’m still one among so many. Yet, He pays attention – He knows my name – and calls me! It’s not like a raffle where some random stranger pulls your name out of a bowl for a prize. This is the One who created each of us to be individuals, to be unique, and to belong.
The next time your past comes to haunt you or you are faced with someone else facing a difficult time, don’t flippantly pass by the opportunity. Remember Whose you are, where you are going, and what you’ve been through already. That person weighing on your heart needs to be reminded too.