Junior high was awful for me. It's a rare time in my life that I have no desire to revisit, just looking at pictures make me cringe. My arms and legs seemed out of proportion with the rest of my body, my hair never looked clean regardless if I had just washed it, my neck was too long, and I had no sense of fashion. But the fashion thing never bothered me. When I moved in with my mom the summer before seventh grade, I went through some serious life changes.
I had lived with my dad and step mom, Rebecca, where I was very unhappy for about five years. I was far from Rebecca's favorite child, and she was never shy to express it. My younger brother had moved out almost two years before when I finally decided it was time for me to move as well. I went from a very comfortable (financial wise) lifestyle, to a pretty poor family. But there was more love then I had ever recieved and I was happy, so to me not much else mattered. My back to school wardrobe was not huge and a lot of it came from Goodwill, but again, it was no sweat off my back. I did, however, get one outfit from Gap. They were these super cute capris with a matching tank top and man oh man did I feel cool in it!
When school started I had zero friends. I am a very outspoken and outgoing girl now, but 12 year old me was much more timid. I wasn't afraid to speak inside the class room, but outside of that I was painfully shy. So, I spent most mornings and lunches by myself. Slowly but surely I had a few friends, two other girls that were new as well. The new girls were far from accepting, and I was too shy to attempt it. My old school was small and everyone was really close. I don't ever remember making fun of anyone (in a mean spirited way) or being made fun of, so this enviroment was new and uncomfortable to me.
Now, back to my super cute Gap outfit. With my small wardrobe selection, most of my outfits were on a one to MAYBE two week rotation. My favorite seemed to make a weekly appearance though, it was a self esteem boost in a time I desperatly needed it. I figured as long as the clothes were clean, how bad could it be? Until one day.
I was standing in line for pizza, rockin my teal Gap capris, thinking it had been a fairly good day. A girl from the "cool group" came up to me and said...
"Do you wear that like everyday?"
"Well that's really gross."
And just like that my world was brought down around me. My insecurities shot through the roof. I had anxiety attacks getting dressed in the morning. I would save up ALL of my allowance to buy clothes, I would ask my mom for items that I knew were way beyond our budget, but I didn't care.
I needed them. I wasn't worth anything if I didn't have them.
It's taken years to overcome those insecurities, and I still catch myself every now and again falling into those behaviors. If it wasn't for the love of Jesus, I don't know that I could have ever overcome those insecurities. It took one comment from a girl whose name I can't even remember now, for me to lose sight of what mattered and place my value in something as shallow as what I wore.
As Christians we are told to put our value in Christ! To store our treasures in heaven! Not on things of this word.
"Since, then, you have been raised in Christ, set your hearts on things above. Where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on things of the earth." Colossians 3:1-2
This was the memory verse of the month for the high school kids I work with, and it has been a heavy thought on my heart. Kids are so easily dragged into false hope and idols, and Christ is thrown out of their hearts. And sadly those habits don't die easy, we carry them into our adult lives. We need to place our value in Him. And we need to teach that to the children, who, at the moment can't see the bigger picture. Where do you place your value? What worldly things stand in your way of a closer relationship with Christ? Get honest and beg the Lord to remove those things from your heart.
God bless you.