My faith has definitely taken me on a journey or two – some amazing and exciting, some difficult and heartbreaking. One journey I’ve been on for many years is the one where I find out who I am and what I am made of. That journey took me to a Christian college, to Rwanda, back to Wilsonville and into a life of ministry. And now, I get to be a part of a new journey – one where a bunch of brand new teenage girls get to start the same kind of journey. I don’t think any of us will ever really be done with it.
Something I hear from middle school girls on a daily basis: I wish I had as good of style as her; she is so smart; I can’t believe he did that; I’m just not cool enough to . ; if only I was . . It’s SO SAD. But, It’s partly sad because I remember saying those exact same things, and I’m willing to bet you did too There is something inside every woman that wants to compare, to rate, to measure up. And it starts so young and seems to never go away.
Lately, I’ve been feeling stirred to address this urge inside of me. So my middle school girls have launched me into a new adventure of truly being comfortable and proud of exactly who I am and what I am made of. I’ll be totally honest – it is so, so, SO hard not to look at other people and what they look like, how they handle stress, how they decorated their house, how put together they seem, and NOT compare myself to that. It’s unfortunate that I feel and think those things, but I do! I see these young women I work with starts to form those patterns, too.
I really have no idea how we totally kill all of these thoughts – the thoughts of not being good enough. I’m not sure I have ever met a woman who didn’t do this. But I know there are things I can do to help drown out the noise the world likes to make. Every day, I find myself reciting all of the things that I know are true about me.
I am loved. (1 John 3:1)
I am capable of great things. (John 14:12)
I am called to love others. (John 13:34)
I am PERFECTLY MADE. (Psalm 139:13-15)
I try to recite these things to my middle schoolers, too. One thing I have learned so far is that we need to fight this from the get-go. As women with a little more life experience under our belts, we need to fight for the girls following our footsteps and tell them who Jesus says they are too. This starts by banding arms and really striving not to compare ourselves to other – because they are watching us to see how we interact with the world, and they will follow suit.
So lately, anytime those thoughts of comparison wiggle their way into my mind, I just remind myself:
Who do I think am to argue with Jesus?
And you should ask yourself the same question. Join me in this journey toward loving ourselves simply because Jesus loves us and says we are ENOUGH.
I’m Emma Weaver! I’ve been a part of Grace Chapel since 2001, and have been working with Ardent Youth since 2011. My favorite thing in the world is learning from junior high students more about who God is. In the last few years I have lived in Rwanda, graduated college from George Fox, gotten married to my best friend, and have been hired for my dream job! It’s been crazy but the most amazing, challenging, fulfilling time of my life. I’m excited to see what God does next in our lives!