It’s a time that isn’t easy. Everyone’s changing, from height to attitude. Friends may have started leaving you out. Homework isn’t like it used to be. School dances now exist. Recess is a thing of the past. People start wearing makeup (my mom only let me wear clear mascara at first).
If I could rewind to those years, there are several things that I wish I had realized earlier:
Love God. Realize that He formed you from the start, He knows everything about you, and He has made you in a specific way for many different reasons. You are made in His image, a beloved Child of God. Love your Creator.
Spend time with your family. If you’re a social butterfly like me, it may always seem like there are better things to do. But the time you spend with your family is so special. Don’t talk back when your mom makes you stay home for dinner.
On that note, don’t talk back to your mom at all. I was a ~rather disrespectful~ adolescent (“terror” says Amy Dear), and I wish I could have seen how she had my best interest at heart from the beginning. Chores will teach you work ethic, so do them. Doing your homework will teach you responsibility, so do it. And when she tells you to put on more lipstick, trust her.
Show so much respect to your dad. He may be a little nerdy, but he works SO hard for your family. He spends every day working to provide for you. At the same time, he wants to teach you so many life lessons. When he wants to teach you how to change a tire, listen. When he wants to watch Harry Potter with you, do it. Be intentional and be respectful to your dad, because he’s the best there is.
Be nice. Life isn’t fair; it’s better to learn this now. No matter how mean others may be, show kindness to everyone around you.
Start spending time in the Word. Study it every day. Start in Luke or Romans. Take note of how Jesus served and lived.
Don’t spend hours and hours obsessing over boys. Chances are that they have yet to mature in the first place. Guard your heart!
Find friends that share your values and love Jesus. They’re out there, I promise.
Never shun someone because of a decision he or she has made. Show grace.
Write down your prayers in a journal. If you’re like me, praying in your head looks something like a thought to another thought to another thought to falling asleep. A prayer journal will give you the chance to go back and see how God has answered prayers. It’s special.
You are not fat. Be grateful for the body God has given you. The Creator of the world formed you with purpose in mind. He makes no mistakes. In addition, there are so many that would love to have your healthy arms and legs, no matter what they look like.
IT IS OK IF YOU DON’T MAKE THE CHEER SQUAD. And that’s coming from someone who thought her world stopped when she didn’t. I grew so much from learning that my toe touch got a maximum two inches off the ground. And that’s the same for any sports team. You’re young enough and God is good enough to open your eyes to your other passions and talents and gifts.
Your sister is probably as rude as mine is, but there’s nothing like having a built-in friend. You aren’t getting rid of her, so choose to love her even when she burns your arm with a hot cookie sheet. And then call her out on your blog 9 years later.
Don’t focus on what you don’t have. Gratitude is everything. And it brings praise to our Heavenly Father.
Get involved in your church’s youth group. My best friends were the ones that were sitting in the chairs beside me on Wednesday night.
Be kind to your teachers. Can you imagine teaching a group of adolescents? Me neither. They are working hard to make sure that you can locate Kentucky on a map and notice a dangling participle. It is worth it to listen to what they have to say.
Turn your heart to God. And never look back. When others look down on you for not giving into peer pressure, trust that you are following the right path. If it’s the narrow path, then it’s probably the right path. And while it isn’t easy, there is no road that is more rewarding to be on.
Everything is changing, yes. But the One who formed you is not changing. He’ll never change. Trust in the consistency of His goodness. He was good to Moses and Abraham; He’s just as good now. Middle school may not have been easy for me, but if I had spent more time in the Word and less time in the mirror, I would have had a much better experience. There’s no time like the present to start a relationship with Him.
Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek Me and you will find Me when you seek Me with all of your heart.”
Give Him your heart. Surround yourself with people who love Him and want to know Him. Study His example in the Bible. And know that though season isn’t always an easy one, He is holding you in the palm of His hand.
If that girl on the right can make it through middle school, you can, too. Seek Him and you will find.
And that girl on the right would love to help your middle school experience get better and better and tell you more about hers. Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.