I remember being tortured by a girl my age when I was in junior high. One day we were great friends and the next day we just...weren't...for no apparent reason. She simply woke up one morning and decided she didn't want to be my friend anymore and encouraged all of her friends to feel the same way about me, as well. And so began a summer of torture between my 7th and 8th grade year. This group of girls took sick pleasure in harassing me, making fun of me, playing practical jokes, and so on and so on. I can laugh about it now, but truth be told...that was one of the most difficult times of my adolescence.
I remember my mother promising me things would get better. The older I got, she assured me, the better people would treat me. She believed with maturity, people would improve their behavior. And she was right to some extent. But along the way, I've realized...some things never change.
Little mean girls grow up into adult mean girls. Jealousy still exists and is probably more prevalent among grown women than any other group. The pressure to be accepted, to fit in, and to be acknowledged never goes away. Laughing at others' shortcomings is just too tempting. Doing whatever it takes, even if it means taking out a friend/co-worker/family member along the way, to rise to the top has become a normal way of life. And this is just me describing people I know in my sheltered, small-town, Christian, southern life.
Oh sure! Go ahead and say it's a southern thing. Go on and try to explain this is a matter just among women. Try to convince me it's because I live in a small town where no one has anything better to do.
If only that were true, but it's not. This is life. This is the world we live in.
And as a woman facing these issues everyday...can I just say? I.Am.Tired. It's just too exhausting for words. I was so looking forward to this phase of life as a woman where I had hoped I would feel more confident, more sure of myself, more proud of my accomplishments, and less needy of affirmation, attention, and acceptance.
Then, it occurred to me. I wasn't designed to feel any of those things. I wasn't made to be popular. I wasn't created to be famous. It was never part of the plan for me to achieve what the world wants me to achieve so that I could be boastful of my accolades and awards. What we find natural to feel and accepting to desire actually goes against the original plan from the beginning all along.
Yes, it's true. I was created with purpose. Yes I do, indeed, have a mission to fulfill. Of course, there is a job lined out for me to achieve. And the outcome is not a large salary or a perfect body or a brilliant personality. The reward?
His glory is my reward. I was created to love Him, to serve Him, and to honor Him. Is it no wonder that every issue the world likes to throw my way goes completely against the very reason God created me? Should it even surprise me that those things in which the world finds natural and accepting totally contradict the purposes and mission of God?
It is my hope that as women, we can lock arms together. That as women, we can look for ways to build each other up. That as women, we can decide that enough is enough! If we can all recognize the importance of our God-given individual purposes...then just think of what we can do for the cause of Christ if we would just decide to do it TOGETHER. YES, lives would be changed. This world would look and feel a little better. But most importantly...
God's glory would be AND is our reward.
Who is with me?