The following is a "journal entry" from a 19 year old girl who has recently accepted Christ and is struggling to find a personal sense of worth and acceptance:
I am so sick of myself. I disgust myself. I am ugly and insecure and strive to be like those girls in the movies who say the same about themselves and them somehow quickly gain the self confidence that every girl should have that makes them glow and makes others attracted to them. Why can’t I be that way? I am pathetic, and I try not to dwell on my own inner unhappiness. But right now it is extremely hard. Here I am, a sad, pathetic excuse for a 19 year old, crying in her hotel room supposedly on a vacation, in a room that is bigger than the apartment that she calls home... and wondering how she is going to make it out alive. I feel like my world is slowly but surely crashing down onto my shoulders, and that I somehow have to make it all work out as best as it can. But what am I to do? I’m basically still a child... whose been forced to grow up too quickly. I need help to do all of this! The problem is that when people do try to help me, I then feel like a “charity case”, which I loathe because I have grown so accustomed to being an independent person. I have a hard time accepting others’ help, along with their compliments and their advice. I am ridiculous. I want to help the world and I won’t even help myself. I distract myself with other things and other people in order to avoid working on myself. Plus I am extremely emotional and empathetic... anything at all can make me cry and for no apparent reason. Maybe it's all because I am just a sad person.
I am so good at hiding it all behind my facade: I smile and pretend that I am confident in who I am. But I am not. I am so insecure and don’t believe I am at all beautiful, by any standards. I wish I could really say that “own” all of who I am. But that would be a huge lie. And envy is something I am most guilty of. I envy people whose parents are happily married, and yet who take it completely for granted; I envy people who are absolutely, without a doubt, beautiful, yet deny it any time they are complimented; I envy people who have an amazing talent, yet don’t use it; I just envy.
How am I supposed to go off to college in a month? If I can’t even accept who I am, how can I expect anyone else to?
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
After reading this "journal entry":
What would you like to tell this girl?
How would you encourage her in her (new) faith?
I'm curious to see what you would do and say because this girl isn't just a fictional character. She is a real person who truly felt this way as a young Christian. None of this was fabricated for the sake of my blog... it came straight from the pages of my journal. And the truth is that, while I have become a new creation since the day that entry was written (praise the Lord!), there are currently plenty of young girls and women who struggle daily with the same feelings of self-condemnation, insecurity, unworthiness, and even self-hatred. As "older young women," I believe that we have been given a responsibility to speak truth into the hearts and lives of those younger than us, encouraging them through the Scriptures and out of our love for Christ.
Once we begin to understand that we have the power to positively influence a generation of God's daughters for the sake of the kingdom, I believe that there will be a turn in our culture. Young girls will come to truly KNOW that their worth is found in Christ alone, not in cultural standards. They will love what is good and hate what is evil. They will see injustice and stand up against it. They will seek God wholeheartedly. They will have a hope and a confidence that I, at age 19, did not.
Many of us blog because we want to encourage one another, right? Well that is a beautiful thing! We see a need and seek to meet it through the internet where literally anyone in any place around the world can read our words - crazy! But now, I challenge you to take a look around and see if there are any girls in your family, your community, or your church... is there one that could use some of your encouragement tangibly right now? Is there someone that you could be praying for constantly, to know their worth and value in Christ? Is there someone you could personally mentor?
I don't think that we need to wait until we're "older" to begin mentoring those younger than us. We have each faced our own hurdles and struggles that God has faithfully brought us through, and it would be naive to think that there aren't younger girls facing similar things right now. I think we've been given our testimonies for a reason. So let us encourage. Let us model the way. Let us mentor. Let us love the Lord with everything that we have as we seek to bring others closer to Him.
Now share your stories!! Whether this - seeking out, loving on, and mentoring younger girls in their relationships with God - is something you've done in the past, are doing now, or hope to do...
What has that looked like?
What has worked well and what hasn't?
What has worked well and what hasn't?
What advice do you have for those of us who may be nervous about or new to mentoring?
Let us learn from one another and move forward in our seeking to bring glory to God in our relationships. Praying for you who are reading this, that your hearts may be stirred and that action may soon follow.