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.
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?