Ding Dong! The door bell rings and Mom makes her way to the front of the house to answer it. My six-year-old curiosity forces me to quietly investigate. I leave my room, dropping my toys along the way, and hide around the corner. Mom opens the door. "Oh, hello Dad," she says, surprised. I crouch down so I can see them, but they can't see me. Grandpa! I want to run to him, but some gut instinct tells me to stay in place.
"Hey," He gives Mom a small smile, "I was wondering if Derrold would want to go fishing next Friday."
I want to go fishing! My mind briefly wanders to the last time I went fishing with Dad. I had caught more crappie than he did and I had been using my little Dora poll. We ended up coming home with a cooler full. Mom seems to read my thoughts. "Could Bridges go with you? She loves fishing."
"It was going to be a guys day…" Jealousy boils up in the pit of my stomach.
"Well what are you going to do with her then? You can't just do something with one and not the other."
"I'm not going to do anything with her. She's not my priority. You can take her fishing."
My eyes got wide. I felt cracks slowly working their way out from the knife he just shoved into my little heart. "Not a priority?!" Mom's voice is defensive, protective.
"She's not as important. The girl is not worth my time," he replies, twisting the knife further into my heart.
"The girl has a name," Mom nearly yells as she slams the door. I hurry off to my room, before Mom even has a chance to realize I was listening. I close the door, and then I cry.
Those words became the foundation of many insecurities that plagued me as I got older. I became afraid that I would never be good enough for my friends. I feared being rejected by the people I loved. I became terrified of opening up and letting people see the real me, the dorky me that has a hard time understanding her emotions, likes to run and read, and is always thinking. I built walls around my heart to keep people out. I became afraid of love. I am terrified of love because how could anyone love me? Aren't I worthless? No one could ever think I am important. Those are thoughts that still hit me square in the face sometimes. It's dumb. I know, but hearing those words spoken so confidently from someone I loved and looked up to cut deeply into my soul.
Those words stuck with me for a really long time. Not a priority. Not important. Not worth it. Whenever I saw my grandpa after that, I strived to gain his attention. I wanted his approval. I wanted to be important. I wanted him to notice me. I tried so hard to impress him every time he came around. Then one day, I just stopped. I was tired of trying because I failed every time. I knew I wasn't getting anywhere. So I gave up. I believed his words. I thought I was worthless. I felt unimportant. I became scared that no one besides my parents would ever, could ever think of me as a priority. All because my grandpa, a man I had looked up to, said I was not worth his time.
And to make it all worse, I never told a soul. No one knew I had overheard that conversation until the summer of my eighth grade year of school. I carried that burden all alone for a very long time, but that summer, I went to my first week long church camp. One evening at that camp, we talked about mean words. The meanest words we had ever said to/about someone, and the meanest words ever said to/about us. My youth minister asked me what the meanest thing I had ever had said about me was. That was the moment I couldn't hold it in any longer. My story poured out. Next, I told my parents, and we all cried.
But it wasn't the crying and the sympathy that got to me the me most. It was the look of hope I saw on their faces. My youth minister sat me down after I was done talking to my parents. He sat across from me and looked me dead in the eyes. "You are placing your worth in the hands of you're grandpa, and that is wrong. Your worth cannot be found in the words of a man. Your worth can not be found on Earth or even in the universe for that matter. Your worth can only be found in one place." He squeezed my hand. "Your worth is found in God, the creator of the universe, the holder of the stars. That's where you find your worth. And you want to know what is so great about that?" I nodded my head and he continued, "He thinks you are worth more than gold."
It's my youth minister's words that I repeat in my head whenever I am doubting myself. I have never heard truer words, words that are true for all of us. We are "fearfully and wonderfully made" because he created us (Psalm 139:14). And not only did he just create us and throw us onto this planet, but he created us for a purpose. "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord. 'Plans to prosper you and not to harm you.'" (Jeremiah 29:11). In God's eyes, we are valuable possessions. He chose each and every one of us, saying "You will be my people" (Jeremiah 30:22). In God's eyes, we are without a doubt worth more than gold, because we are his priceless masterpieces.
God is love. (1 John 4:8)
We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
For God so loved the world... (John 3:16)
And these three remain: Faith, Hope, and Love. But the greatest of these is Love. (1 Corinthians 13:13)
Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. (Matthew 22:37-40)
God doesn't take love lightly. To Him it is important. He makes sure that we know we are loved by Him always. This message is riddled throughout the Bible. I know all my examples from above are from the new testament but even in the old testament it is very evident that God loves us with an ever burning passion. "Do not be afraid because or them for the Lord your God goes with you. He will never leave nor forsake you." (Dt. 31:6) This verse may not straight up cry "I love you", but it sure does show that we are loved. Here we are promised that God will never leave our side. Even though we mess up and are rude and moody, we are promised that God will always be there.
In our society today, the four letter word that should carry the importance bestowed upon it throughout the Bible is tossed around like it is nothing. We use the word LOVE in a way that diminishes its importance. Its like taking a flower and one by one handing a single petal to a friend. By the time you are done using the flower for your simple purpose, there is not a flower left but merely a stem. You have taken something beautiful and meaningful and turned into a nothing.
If we go through each day using love as a mere word and not as a something so much more, then what is the point of saying "I love you"? In the Bible, love is depicted as something more then an emotion, something more than an adjective used to describe how much you like pizza, something more. It's important. It's valuable. It's the greatest of these. "If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to the hardships that I may boast, but do not have love, then I gain nothing." (1 Corinthians 13:3) If we do not have love, if we do not find the kind of love that God has given us, then we gain nothing because love is not to be taken lightly.
Because LOVE is GOD. (1 John 4:8)
If everything you had were to suddenly disappear, what would you miss most? If you lost your family, your friends, your possessions, your feelings and emotions, everything, what would you miss most? As teens, we tend to take things for granted. But it isn't just us teens, it is also adults and everyone else out there. I take a lot of things for granted. Love, friends, family, school, freedom, etc. But what would I miss most? LOVE. I'd miss love most, for many reasons actually.
1. Love is God. God is love... Therefore, without love how could we truly know God? We wouldn't, and that would be awful because He is my everything.
2. The feeling of not being loved is not a feeling anyone should ever endure. It's awful and empty. Love has a way of filling each and every dark corner of your being and making you feel whole.
3. Love is the foundation to, well, lots of things. Love is the foundation to compassion and without compassion we would live in a sad world. Love is the foundation of generosity and without generosity we wouldn't ever get anywhere because everything has to start with someone. Love is the foundation of kindness.
4. Love is beautiful. Seeing two people in love is one of the most beautiful sights there is (at least to me anyways). But not just that kind of love. The love between a mother and her child, the love between a father and his daughter, the love between a mother and her son, the love between sibling, the love between best friends...It is all so amazing. Its what keeps the world going.
5. Without love we wouldn't be complete.
"As she opens her eyes, it all comes back in one giant wave. The good the bad. More bad than good. She sits up. It's easier to face reality when you're looking out over the world. At least then you can see the punches coming. But not only that, you can also see the sun rising at dawn. The light overcoming the dark. Good winning over evil. That's how its supposed to be. A single candle scares away even the darkest of shadows, and that is why even when her world is falling apart, she still smiles."
-excerpt from a book I'll probably never write.
I spontaneously wrote this last night and sent it to a good friend of mine. I really like it because many of us find ourselves facing numerous trials and tests. Our world is filled with so much despair, and sometimes this makes it hard for us to see the stars shining in the darkness, but we have to keep hope. No matter how dark the world gets we can't give up on the good. Light V.S. dark. That's always been the battle. If you light a single candle, leaving it in the distant edges of your vision it is only a little glint in the night, but if you bring it closer and focus on it, eventually everything you see with be cast in a glow. Life is the same way. If you keep at the good and bright things that happen at the edges of your mind and focus only on the things that bring forth feelings of despair, you will find yourself surrounded in a think black veil, but, if you focus on the bright and good things, eventually everything will be cast in light.
P.S. Sorry. I like metaphors of light and dark...
When I was a little kid, I loved puzzles. Something about putting little pieces of color together to form a greater picture intrigued me. I'd sit at a card table in our living room for hours and put puzzles together. But what I hated most was when I was missing pieces or when other puzzles where mixed in. I hated it when the picture couldn't be completed. I now realize why puzzles held my interest back then. I liked the idea of knowing the bigger picture even when all I was given were tiny pieces of it.
Sometimes, I find myself contemplating life. Actually, it's a regular activity for me, and today it is all about puzzles and life. Life is like a puzzle, except there is a big difference. Puzzles come in a box. On the box is the picture of what the puzzle is supposed to look like. Except, life doesn't come in a box. There isn't a picture to tell us what our life is supposed to look like, what decisions we're supposed to make. Have you ever tried to do a puzzle without the picture on the box? It's really hard. So I guess I should really say: Life is like a puzzle without a box. Sometimes the pieces don't always match up. Many times the pieces get jumbled together and all we end up with is a mess. Yet, other times, the pieces fit together and a picture starts to form. We don't have anything that tells us where to put each piece, but with persistence and determination, the puzzle can still get put together.
I don't know about you, but my life isn't perfect. It's messy and complicated and I don't usually see the greater picture. And as I said earlier, I like the concept of seeing the bigger picture. That's why I like puzzles. But you can't always see the big picture in life. You don't always know what is going on. It makes it hard. I mean my puzzle doesn't always fit together. I don't always know what is going on or where the pieces are supposed to go and it's really frustrating. I often find myself wishing that God would place the pieces where he wants them to go Himself, but that's not how it works. We have to figure it our on our own with a little guidance from Him. We have to push ourselves to figure it out. It's a challenge, yeah, I know. It's not always easy and a lot of times it doesn't make since, but I promise you (no matter how cheesy this sounds...) that in the end your life, no matter who you are, will make a beautiful picture once all the pieces are put together. All you have to do is be persistent, determined, patient with yourself, and willing to listen to that still small voice inside your head telling you what pieces to use.
Do you ever find yourself pondering something really really deep? Do you ever think about why your world is the way it is, why you are the way you are? As teens, we are in a very transitional stage. We are figuring out who we are and who we want to be. We are trying to discover our identity. We start labeling not only others but ourselves as well. She might be the beautiful popular cheeleader. He might be the smart football player. They might be the jocks. You might be the nerd or the geek or the loner. Anyways, what im trying to say is that as teenages, we are trying to figure out ourselves. And it intrigues me because we're pretty complicated. I think it is amazing how perfectly complicated we are though. It is what makes each of us so unique. We have so many layers, so many talents. No two of us are alike. This, though it is amazing, also makes it so much harder for us to understand ourselves. We have to learn to be patient with ourselves so we can peal each layer back one at a time. There are so many sides to each of us that we can't possibly figure them all out at the same time.
Something even more amazing though is the number of things that help craft us into who we are. There are so many miniscule moments in each of our lives that helped change us into the people we are today and that just blows my mind. I mean, I've been shaped and molded into me since day one everything that has happened since then has made me into well me.
Today i was pondering how complex we are. I dont know why. It just intrests me. If you have any thought on this subject id love to hear them in the comments below.
It's 11:41 and my mind is still not done.
Buzzing. Buzzing. Buzzing.
Words are pouring in only to fall out again.
The noise grows louder with in.
A waterfall growing in high.
So high is the tale that down below the world is pale.
Oh, the stories that could branch off such a tale.
My oh my, my mind is whirring.
Spinning and twisting, I can't keep resisting.
The thoughts inside are bold.
Italicized and underlined,
They're keeping my mind awake, making me blind.
By the thoughts hidden inside,
I am consumed.
In conclusion, I have a lot on my mind and I can't sleep. I also just remembered I haven't blogged today. I hope you liked my poem. I didn't know what to write so I just started typing...
I have many more blessings than burdens. I may have dark thoughts more often than the average person, but it just kind of comes with my personality. I am a complete empath and that affects me greatly.
I am the type of person who spends the majority of her time inside her head exploring the worlds hidden within the corners of her mind, I guess you could say I am a very thought oriented person. This could be seen as a blessing or a curse. Blessing because I think about basically every aspect of everything, and it helps me to better understand things. It also helps me to better understand myself. But it is also a curse because I think about every aspect of everything. In other words, my thoughts are not always happy and joyful. I hold a vast expanse of dark things inside my pretty little head. And it is often these thoughts that plague me at unexpected moments.
"You wake up every morning to face the same demons that left you so tired the night before, and that, my love is bravery." -unknown
I do not know who wrote this quote, but I think about it often because it is so true. Bravery isn't always about doing some courageous act. It's not always facing your fears or standing strong in physical battles. Sometimes bravery is more about what your dealing with inside, your inner demons. And those inner demons can be real awful sometimes. They often give us more issues than anything else. They pull us down into a dark place where we can't always see the good in ourselves. It's scary how one little voice in our heads can whisper one little negative thing in our ear and it starts an avalanche. This quote is encouraging though. It tells us that we are brave when we face these demons. It tells us that we can overcome them. Maybe I'm reading into it to much but this quote always encourages me because it tells me I'm not alone. Everyone has wars waging in their heads. The only difference is who stands up to the demons who still puts a smile on their face, who continues into their life head held high knowing that better things are to come. That is the difference.
So, I'm kind of odd. At the age of 16, I have just now entered my first relationship. It's always been my choice, but I've never really wanted to date until here recently. I guess you could say I was waiting for the right guy. Well yes and no. Yes because I want to date someone who genuinely cares about me and who I genuinely care about in return, but no because I was waiting for myself to be ready to date. In this world where dating is thrown in our faces and is counted as a regular thing among us teens, I think it is important for us to realize that we aren't always ready to date. So ready or not, here is a list of things that I think are important to consider before we throw ourselves into a relationship...
(P.S. The list below can apply to both guys and girls)
I know my list is kind of short. But if you follow these and work on yourself a little before entering a relationship, I think you'll find that it was worth it. Sometimes waiting is a good thing.
+ No school.
Though I hate to admit it because education is super important, teens do not appreciate school. We groan at the sound of our alarm clocks going off. Just five more minutes! Right? Just the sound of the bell gives us the intense need to jump from our seats and leave the classroom. That is something school has branded us with. The impulse to jump out of our seats and leave at the sound of a bell. The lectures bore us to sleep, and the homework boggles our brains. Besides, who wants to do homework when there are so many other equally productive or unproductive things to do? Summer allows us to get a break from all of that. There are no bells, no teachers, no homework. Nothing, and it is great.
+ Late nights and sleeping in.
During the summer, we teens are able to toss aside our alarm clocks. We stay up until late hours of the night texting and instant messaging our friends, surfing the web, and playing games. We have no obligations that require us to go to bed at decent times. We also have no need to wake up early. We can sleep in. We can lounge around in bed for hours, only getting up when the steady rumble of our stomachs is too much to bear. We can settle into our teenage instincts that tell us to stay in bed until the sun in high in the sky.
+ No major responsibilities.
We don't have to do anything. Our biggest worries consist of social events because our biggest responsibilities revolve around school. We can be lazy and carefree. Lazy day everyday? There is no one to tell us no (except maybe our parents). Laying on the couch and watching Netflix can be our entire day. We don't have to go anywhere. There isn't even a need to get our of our PJ's (unless you go in public. Then you might want to think about changing...).
"Anyone can show up when you're happy. But the ones who stay by your side when your heart falls apart, they are your true friends."
I am Samantha, and my goal for this blog is to basically share my experiences as a teenager. Basically, I am a teen. I have many hopes and dreams, many fears and insecurities that I let hold me back. There is so much that goes on in my life. Sometimes it is a struggle, and that is what this blog is about.