I had many friends and have great memories of times of middle school and high school. Yet, in the quiet moments… with the voice that only I and God could hear, I was not confident, felt alone, and was not sure where I fit in.
I was always overweight, pale, and freckled. As far as middle school goes, that wasn’t a great combo. I was made fun of by boys quite frequently, but learned to deal with it through humor. I was already funny, but honed the skill through trials at a young age.
I remember going to a community school dance. My friends told me that a certain boy wanted to dance with me. I was a little uncertain, but they insisted he did. I went over to him, assumed the teenage awkward dance position, and listened to him say the only reason he was dancing with me was because they made him. To this day, I can not hear Madonna’s song “Crazy For You” without feeling the humiliation of that moment. The last formal dance that I went to was the 8th grade banquet, and I went by myself. I never went to a homecoming dance or a prom because I never had a date and was lacking in self-esteem to go it alone.
I say all of this because I’m sure I wasn’t the only one that had hard times. Though, at the time, I felt like it. Times change, we grow. Life happens and we settle into ourselves. I’m pretty satisfied with where I am now. God has done amazing things to and through me. I am confident in who I am… at least, I thought I was.
Last Saturday, my oldest son had a baseball game against his previous team. The one that let him go for reasons no one can figure out. I was so nervous about that game. His current team is new and still working things out; his old team is usually a dominant force. There are still kids and parents on that team, whom I love dearly.
Part of me wanted to walk to “the other side” and hug the necks of the families that I miss dearly. The other part still feeling the rejection and sting from three people on that side. For some reason, even though it wasn’t me that didn’t make the team, I felt those same middle school feelings all over again. I didn’t want the eyes of three people to meet mine. I didn’t want to feel like I wasn’t good enough… like my son wasn’t good enough…
The game ended, my son’s team WON! I couldn’t believe it, I mean I could because it was true, but… you know what I mean. Relief set in… my anxiousness subsided. I wanted to go hug those necks now, but I didn’t want them to feel like I was rubbing it in. I decided it didn’t matter, but by then they were all packed up and heading to their cars.
I was sad that I missed speaking to them. I knew there was no easy way to explain my feelings of unworthiness. Mostly, I was ashamed of myself for allowing three people, whose feelings about me don’t matter, come between me and the many others that I love dearly. So, if those of you that I am speaking of are reading this… please know that I love you, I miss you, and I’m sorry that my feelings of inadequacy kept me from letting you know that.
“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.” Hebrews 10:35