Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I would tell my thirteen-year-old self....

....That you don’t have to be afraid to walk outside and bring in the garbage cans simply because older teenagers are walking by on their way to the school bus.

They probably don’t even notice you as they are laughing with their friends. No, Heidi. No, their laughing just as they passed by you was about what happened during their third period class at school yesterday; it’s not about how you have to drag up your trash bins into your side yard or about what you are wearing or about the fact that you aren’t wearing shoes.

Even if they DO see you and actually notice you taking in your trash cans, they probably don’t think you are weird. Even the teenagers with the chains swinging from their belts or the ones with their pants halfway down their behind have to take the trash cans in and out at their house too.

AND, even if they DO think you are weird, they will only think about it for one minute and then they will pass by and their minds will move on to the next thing that grabs their attention.

Because, little thirteen-year-old, although you think about yourself and what everyone else might think about you almost every second of your day, you are the only one that does. You see, most people (especially those scary teenagers) are doing the same thing you are doing. They, too, are thinking about themselves and it leaves very little room for them to be ultra-concerned about you and your trash can duties.

I hope I don’t sound too harsh, dear Heidi-at-thirteen. It is just that I deeply wish you could experience the freedom to walk outside and smile freely. To walk outside and enjoy feeling the warm morning breeze playing with your blond hair. To simply enjoy the feel of the warm concrete on your bare, calloused feet as you roll those trash cans into the side yard. To enjoy sitting on top of the wooden fence-entrance to the side yard for a few minutes and dream and take in the morning. I wish you could enjoy all this as a couple of teenagers walk past on the other side of the street as much as you enjoy these things when no one is in sight.

I wish your mind felt free to thank Jesus for the beautiful day He has made instead of repeating the phrase, “God, get me through this. God, get me through this. God, get me through this. God, get me through this…” over and over in your head.

It’s ok, dear Heidi-at-thirteen. I understand. I truly do. Remember, I was there. And even if you don’t believe me now, trust me that someday you will be able to walk past a group of teenagers, without even wearing make-up, and give them a genuine smile and tell them to have a great day.

I know that sounds really scary.

Maybe even impossible.

But it will happen.

I promise.

Do you have any fears, small that they may be, that you don't think you could possibly get over? What are some fears you have found victory in?


  1. Interesting perspective on this one. I remember being so concerned about my appearance at that age. Every step and word was calculated beforehand to yield acceptance by others. I was terrified of being rejected.
    Though I would like to say, I don't care about what others think about me anymore because I go through life without carefully calculating my every step and word, it has morphed into another monster. As a man, I want to gain acceptance through achieving greatness. I try to mask it by telling myself that I am doing what I do for the kingdom of Heaven. However, when you get down to the core of things, I am still concerned about other people's opinions because I am terrified of rejection.
    How little we can grow in such length of time.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I love how honest you are Adam!
    Thanks for sharing...I really like the perspective you bring.
    As you know, I am also so afraid of rejection. Thankfully, I know God will keep working on this area as long as we let Him!

  4. I wish that we could all go back in time and tell ourselves the things that we know now. When I was thirteen I was scared of just about everything, they way I looked, what people thought about me, talking in front of a group, and most importantly, doing anything foolish in front of people. I know that I have been able to push past my fears since then and take steps of faith for God, but I know that there are still times when I let fear control me. Thanks fos sharing!