When I was in 6th grade, there was a group of girls who I went to school with. We were best friends. We would go to each other’s houses, spend time at the cool-go-to shopping center, and I could even tell you which Jonas Brother we would each be marrying someday. At the time, I knew for a darn fact that we were truly BFF’s (Best Friends FOREVER, emphasis on the forever).
On Monday morning I got to school so excited to see my friends after a dreaded seventy-two hours apart. My three amigas, my ride or dies, my number ones, all arrived at school together after a school-night sleepover. They walked right by me in the hallway without even a nod of acknowledgment. How did I know they were together the night before? They all looked prettier than usual because they all had elegant and cool pink ribbons in their hair. My heart dropped to my feet, and there were three reasons I felt crushed: 1. They knew I always wanted to have a school night sleepover! 2. It hit me that our squad of four became a squad of three in less than one weekend. 3. Everyone else at school would know that I was no longer in the bunch because I didn’t go to class with a cool pink ribbon in my hair.
Now it may seem odd, but I think about myself at that moment and how it felt to be ignored like that often. Why? Because I like to see how far I have come and how the Lord has provided for and loved me through the people who have come in and out of my life since then. On this day, an era ended for my life. I had no idea at that moment that less than two months later my parents would decide to homeschool me and I would make new friends, and a new group would be born. But growing up, there was always a theme for my best friend during every era; there always has been a pinnacle cool pink ribbon moment. Maybe not as dramatic as the middle school days, but the moment was always there. The moment when I knew our friendship was taking a turn.
I graduated high school excited to meet new friends and to break out of my hometown bubble. In the midst of all the crazy that is your first year of college, the Lord granted me something way better than a BFF, he provided me with accountability. It didn’t happen all at once, I didn’t arrive at school and have instant friends. But over time I have grown to know my girlfriends in a way, I never had before. We were building friendships backed by our faith in a way that would equip us to know more about each other than our love for the Jonas Brothers. We were encouraging each other to pursue healthy relationships with Christ.
I tell you all this because as a middle schooler, high schooler, and even for a brief amount of time in my early college months, I would get so frustrated with myself in my friendships. There is a difference between having a group of friends and having a community. Community is encouraging one another to actually go to the Bible study you have been talking about going to or to actually go for a run and stop eating french fries for dinner (oops). But in my community, we do more than simply remind each other to read the Bible. We encourage each other to memorize it and set goals to get there, it’s late night conversations about how the Lord is working and how life is hard but the Lord is good. But, then there is accountability. Which for me has looked like confessing my sins and then asking my girlfriends to pray for me and help me through it and then actually having them call me out when they know I need some tough love.
This blog is an encouragement to the girl who doesn’t feel known. You are known. You are desired by the Lord. In his timing, He will provide you the right person and people who will love you and encourage you like Christ. If you feel your heart drop and yourself having a cool pink ribbon moment, hold onto it. The Lord is going to use you because you are more than the moment you were forgotten or left. You don’t need a group, a clique, or posse to make it. I encourage you to get plugged in with your church’s youth group, or Bible study. Meet girls that are nothing like you and girls who have all the same interests. You’ll be surprised at how great people are and how much the Lord uses us to love each other.
My best friend, who I like to call a sporty spice is different from me in all the best ways. She even works at the recreation center at our university. She loves her alone time and I dread it. She is super-mega-smart and driven and I, to be honest, mostly like school because there are social things that come with it. I promise you, you’ll find someone that compliments you in the best ways. But she helps me be more active and I help her to be more spontaneous- it’s truly a great combination. In sixth grade, I wasn’t the problem. The problem was that I just wanted to be liked.
Continue to seek to know Christ, run toward the Lord and look around and see who else is doing the same. The Lord designed us all to be unique and special in our own way to know him and love each other through him.
You are loved, known, and wanted.
(Shout out to Jessie for being my blog model)