To quote a famous novel, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” (You know I’m a Dickens fan, though I’ve never made it all the way through A Tale of Two Cities. 😉
I think that captures what it’s like to be a teenage girl sometimes.
On a good day, life is, like, ultimately good, like, happiness unbounded, like, dancing around the house and hugging your sister. Yes, that marks the best of times indeed.
Then there are the worst of times. The tears for no reason…though those are better than the tears flowing because of a friend’s betrayal, or a classroom humiliation, or rejection from some group to which you so desperately wanted to belong. The worst of times brings self doubt, and a critical eye turned inward, and sometimes, a broken spirit.
I know you think I’m just saying that because I’m your mom…and I am. But I’m also saying it because it’s true.
In these teen years, while you’re growing and changing and learning who you really are, it’s easy to want to be someone else. You see what makes a certain girl popular, why that girl has so many friends, how she seems to know just what to say or do to attract boys. Perhaps it’s that other girl’s confidence when she gets up in speech class or another friend’s ability to excel in every sport that you want for yourself. And maybe you feel less than, inadequate, because you don’t have those same skills.
It’s so easy to say “be comfortable in your own skin.” Yet sometimes you can feel like your skin doesn’t fit, that it doesn’t look right to other people, that it’s not who you want to be.
But who you are is special. God created you. He tells us in Psalm 139 that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Yes, you know that phrase, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” But that’s certainly not always the first thought you have about yourself. Let’s dig into it for a minute and see what it means.
In the original Hebrew text of the Bible, the word fearfully means with great reverence, heart-felt interest, and with respect. The word wonderfully means unique, set apart, marvelous [Darling Magazine, May 2012]
You were created with great reverence and heart-felt interest, The very God of the universe is interested in you and in how your life plays out every day. You are unique and marvelous, a one-of-a-kind creation. Every personality trait, every quirk, the activities you enjoy, the pursuits you’re really good at ~ they’re all gifts from a Creator who makes no mistakes.
Introverted or extroverted, musical or artistic, a watcher or a doer, detail-oriented or a free spirit, you are the way you are for a reason. God has a plan for your life, a purpose for you to fulfill, a life to live that no one else can live in the same way. You’re not exactly like anyone else, and that’s just how it should be.
Remember these three important things.
You are made in the image of God. Cultivate that part of you that longs for a relationship with Him. Let His love, peace, and grace seep into your soul.
Be authentic. Like what you like, be who you are, don’t conform to fit someone else’s standard for you. Be gracious, kind, and thoughtful, but be you.
Give grace to all those girls around you. In spite of what it may look like from your vantage point, they have doubts and insecurities just like you do. You might never know how an encouraging word helps them through their own difficult day.
So, on those worst of days, my dearest daughter, take heart. God has a plan for you, a plan to bring you a future full of hope and promise. (Jeremiah 29:11) He will never leave you or fail you. (Deuteronomy 31:8)
And your dad and I? We’re your biggest fans, your loudest cheerleaders, your prayer warriors.
We love you, just the way you are.