Friday, December 14, 2007

everybody hurts

7th grade was probably the worst year of my life. i had grown tall in a time where tall was not "in". i was skinny and lanky...waif-like...when skinny, lanky and waif-like was not considered beautiful. my arms were long and my legs were longer before the clothing industry came up with the idea that every girl's body type was, indeed, not the same. the guess jeans with the zipper at the ankle was all i ever wanted...thinking they would make me cool...only to find out that the guess jeans with the zipper at the ankles would be about 3 inches too short for me. i would wear them anyways because i thought they were better (in my mind) than the knock-off palmettos that had the same triangle on the back pocket. i was proud of my jeans...don't get me wrong...but they didn't make me shorter. and they didn't make the cute boys look at me more. and they didn't make the popular girls want to be any more my friend. misguided, i was. my mom had a rule. i could wish for the popular things...the guess overalls, the liz claiborne purse, the jeans with the real guess triangle on the pocket...but she would never buy them for me right away. even though we had the money, i had to wait. i had to wait until christmas, or my birthday, or for another reason that warranted buying them. she knew then, what i know now...that "so i would be accepted" was not a reason she wanted to promote. what she also knew, that i know now, is that it wouldn't work. several moments in time stand out vividly in my mind from 7th grade, as if they were yesterday. one, when the most popular boy in my grade, whom i had had a crush on all year, came up to me in the hallway. my excitement was so off the charts that i'm sure it was seen on my face and heard in my voice. had he finally seen me? he must have noticed my jeans! only to have him ask me to tell my best friend, catherine that he liked her and to find out if she returned his feelings. obviously she would. second, when my stomach would start hurting so bad and i would feel so sick that i would go to the nurse and she would have to call my mom to come get me. i would lay on the couch the rest of the day, wondering what was wrong with me and my mom would have a worried look in her eye and a loving touch in her hand. then my stomach would start hurting upon time to leave for the point of tears...and she took me to the doctor. she knew i wasn't lying. the doctor said it was stress. that something was going on in my life to promote the physical response and that this was the way my little body and mind were handling it. my mom wondered what, on earth, i had to be stressed about. see...this was before "stress" in children became better understood. and third, when i was accused of something that i didn't do by a popular girl and everyone believed her. i was at my locker and kids were saying mean things to me and hurling insult after insult until they felt i had had enough and believed the things they were saying. little did they know...i already believed the things they were saying. i didn't need their help to feel bad about myself. i didn't even stand up for myself. i guess i felt like i wasn't worth it. nor would anyone listen to me anyways. i was never gonna be who i wanted to be...even though, at the time, i didn't even know who that was.

fast forward through high school, college, and grad school where i finally hit my stride and had enough accalades to bury the deep hurt and memories from 7th grade deep down inside. fast forward through tall and skinny becoming what girls want to look like and the clothing industry making clothes geared toward our body type and the short people having to hem them to fit. you'd think that would make up for those bad memories. just so you doesn't. i've learned to be okay with my weight and celebrate my height...but the demons are still there. as an adult, my clothing is not attacked anymore, but my character has been. not often...but it has happened. and those memories and feelings that i had when i was in 7th grade come flooding to the surface. i'm still not good enough. i'm still not accepted. i still need to change who i am to fit the mold that will make me worth it. i still want someone to know exactly how i comfort know me.

last night i was sitting in the darkness of my living room, dealing with hurt feelings...where the only light came from the twinkly lights of the christmas tree and garland on the fireplace. i could barely see the nativity scene on my mantle and the baby Jesus being held by his mommy. i thought about him as a baby, and a boy, and a man. i thought about how other kids may have made fun of him and then i started thinking about how he was ridiculed and mocked as a man. i thought about how he had human emotions and how he must have felt. if i felt hurt by being misunderstood, how must have he felt...when the whole world misunderstood him? it wasn't just the kids in the 7th was most everybody. he knew he was the Christ. a King. the great I AM. God in the flesh. the savior of the mockers. the one who came for us. He knew what He was here to do for us...

and He hurt.

just like i hurt.

He knows me...

and i was comforted.


Anonymous said...

I agree with you 7th grade was not fun. I also believed that a pair of guess jeans would make you accepted. I was the short girl with acne. With the pretty best friend that all the boys liked. Funny how even though you can be a mother and wife. But those 7th grade feelings come back. Thank you for pointing out what Jesus must have felt. I had never thought of it in that terms. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Your thoughts, writings, and feelings have tremedous wisdom in them. Thank you. You brought a new perspective to Christ and how he was human. I've needed some good encouragement this week and this blog sooo helped me. I loss a dear friend in high school this week. Its been an emotional week. I loved the words God gave you for me to read/hear... He hurt, just like I hurt, He knows me and I was comforted.
Thanks Mindy.

Anonymous said...

Mindy, in 7th grade, YOU were who I wanted to be.

Anonymous said...

Mindy, what is important you have always had--from birth to now (even through 7th grade) and it can never be taken from you. That is the unconditional love and devotion you have toward your family, friends, and your God. What a blessing!