As I put-zed in the kitchen, slowly stirring the brownie mix, I listened carefully.
Thirteen seventh grade girls, sharing their heart on the topic of relationships; relationships with family, friends, authority figures, and even “those that don’t fit into the friends category.” It was our church’s annual discipleship weekend, and our family hosted this group of girls in our home for two days.
Wow, was it loud, yet so full of life, laughter, hope, passion, silliness, but most of all, girls whose desire was to know our Savior more. Girls whose hearts were pointed to Him, yet struggled to understand that true identity.
Do you remember seventh grade? So many tangled emotions. Things seemed so complicated; pressures overwhelming.
Friendships were a sensitive matter, and parents didn’t know a thing. (I try and remember that perspective, as the battle wars for the hearts of my own children.)
As I continued stirring, I processed confidences the girls shared around their intimate circle. By opening our home, they were able to open their heart. This tech savvy’s generation deals with failures on such a heightened level. When I was in seventh grade, slight verbal gossip behind ones back, is now this generations’ Facebook status. Humiliations are public fodder, and emotions are continually fragile in the wake of the all knowing cyber world.
I continued to listen.
Comparison, loneliness, popularity, fitness, self image, self worth…
“I don’t measure up.”
These were no longer seventh grade girls voicing immature concerns, these were the cries of women of all ages. Struggles whispered throughout the generations. The packaging may be smaller, but the tape being playing is the same whether 12 or 112.
How is it that the master manipulator, this father of lies, plants those seeds of inadequacy at such a young age? How can we break this bondage of lies that root so young? The fertilizer he uses burrows roots that dig deep and destroy. How can we counter those feelers that sprout in the oddest of places?
I ask the same questions we all do. Questions that echo again and again.
Only one way.
The girls turned to God’s Word and discussed verses that identified who they were in Christ. Do they understand the power in those truths? My heart cried. I wanted to shake them, and let them see into the heart of someone who knows these words are the only life affirming, life giving, life changing way to counteract lies with truth?
The only way.
The brownies had cooled by now; their stomachs and noses called as the aroma filled the air. I knew they’d demolish them in just moments, but as I cut each square, I claimed God’s truths for their life, for my life, for my childrens’, and yes, yours.
This weekend was about more than just a social bonding time (although I am all about that). It was about feeding their tummies, their souls, and encouraging a life long love affair with the Lord.
Through the eyes of seventh grade girls, life revealed struggle.
Through the eyes of this mom, experience notes only His truth can replace lies.
Truth that needs to be poured into ones Life. Truths that I need to repeat again and again.
Lord, I am Accepted.
I am Your Child. I am bought with a price; I belong to you. I have been redeemed and forgiven. I am complete in You.
Lord, I am Secure.
I am free from Condemnation, and any charge against me. I can find grace and mercy in time of need.
I am Significant.
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life. I am God’s co-worker. I am God’s workmanship. I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me.
Jen, from Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, writes as a woman whose life has spanned four decades now, but who often is just that seventh grade girl re-wrapped in a much larger body.
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