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I was very fortunate to grow up in a stable Christian home. We had family meals together every night and participated in church activities. Privileged, compared to most of the world, would describe my upbringing.
But regardless of all that we had – I struggled with a couple of basic “lies” that I believed and shaped how I saw myself and how I experienced my childhood. As a mother now myself I want to dispel those lies for my future and my children’s as well.
One of those lies was that I didn’t “belong”.
I wasn’t ever one of the “popular” girls. I didn’t “go with” any boys in elementary school like many girls did. I was awkward and a little nerdy and desperate to fit in.
In 6th grade one of the popular girls was having a boy-girl party. And I wanted to go SO BAD!! Some of my friends even tried to help me dress in a cool outfit to wear to an upcoming football game so this girl would see how awesome I was and invite me.
It didn’t work and I tell you I was crushed.
This now seemingly small event shaped many years to come. Shaped how I saw myself, my value and my worth. I believed that I was never going to be good enough, never valuable like the “popular crowd” was. And I always felt like I needed to try and prove that I could measure up.
That is a lot of pressure to put on yourself isn’t it?
Today I would tell myself that this event doesn’t have to shape my future. That an invitation to a party, or not, doesn’t define who I am. That God loves me just the way He made me and I didn’t need to try so hard to change to fit the worlds view of a “perfect person.
Would I have listened??
I don’t know. Those are words that I think I can only offer because of my experiences. I think, unfortunately, that we sometimes have to walk through the valleys to experience the joys of the mountaintops.
So maybe my advice would be simply to trust God. While you can’t see the future and what’s to come…He can and He is working it all out for His good!
And as a parent I can use my experiences as examples for my kids. My situation may not be exactly the same…but it would be a start for sharing how those things affected me, what my reaction was (or lie that I believed) and how I have seen God use the hurts I experienced for good.
I think that is the best we can do – live and learn from our experiences and trust God through all of it. The times that I have put my trust in God I have found a sense of peace and comfort that I don’t feel when I take the reins and try to control things myself!
I hope to always remain teachable!
How about you? What is something that you would tell your childhood self??
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