My middle teen years were some of the hardest of my life. Trying out for various sports teams, meeting new friends, going to high school and figuring out who I was….scratch that… I knew who I was. Rather I knew Who I belonged to, and that wasn’t normal. And chances are if you’re reading this, you don’t fit the norm, either. But you and I are alike, you know. We belong to the same person; we belong to Jesus.
So hello! I’m an almost 30-something year old woman who, half her life ago, was you. Girl, the spot you’re in is hard. But I’m here to tell you it gets harder…. Then better. Because Jesus is just so much better.
But today you’re in the pit of loneliness. So let’s start there.
It’s hard to walk down the hallways knowing you’re different; knowing you’re choosing to follow something greater. Whether you actually talk about Jesus to your friends (which is super hard to do) or silently claim Him in your heart, your actions set you apart. It’s what you do and don’t do that makes it obvious. You are a Christian and pretty much everyone knows it.
Most of the time you’re called by other names. You do your homework and you’re respectful to your teachers and they call you a brown-noser (seriously, what’s wrong with being nice to your teachers?). You don’t go to parties and they call you goodie-two-shoes (honestly, what’s wrong with having friends that don’t party?). You choose not to sleep with or mess around with any hot guy that looks your way and they call you a prude (for real, I was so prude that when someone called me that in high school I had to go home and look up what “prude” was). And those names hurt. But by being called those things, I also got good grades and had great college recommendation letters, I woke up Saturday mornings and I remembered what I had done the night before and I didn’t walk away with regret for giving my body up when that just wasn’t how it was meant to be. And by saying “no” then, I got to say “yes” later. I got to say “yes” to being pure. I got to say “yes” with a clean heart. And I got to say “yes, take all of me” on my wedding night. And do you know what? It was the best sex I’d ever had; because it was the ONLY sex I’d ever had. And waiting for my husband was the most precious gift I have ever given.
But right now, you’re lonely. And loneliness majorly bites. But in that loneliness, God in His goodness grants you some really powerful words of hope. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12. Whoa. So it’s not just about you sticking to the rules and being lonely for it. It’s not just about you checking the “can-not’s” off of your list and calling it good. It’s about something bigger than just you. It’s about being bigger in the name of Christ, setting an example in your difference from this world and counting it as joy when you find yourself hovering in these times of loneliness (James 1:2).
So keep running towards Christ, girl. Run hard and run fast. And in your loneliness, remember that He has already chosen you. And you are just so worth it.