Yesterday I took an outdated pack of crackers to the back yard. The crackers probably would have been OK for me to eat, but I thought, “I want to be outside for a little while. I’ll throw the crackers out for whomever–ants, birds, or squirrels–will eat them.” So I went out back, and as I tore the crackers up and threw the bits on the ground, I stopped, soaking in the beauty and quiet of the winter woods. I walked towards the big pine tree, taking note of the patterns of the bark on the maple and cherry trees, and watching the creek as it wound its way. I thought how nature just “is”; it doesn’t have an agenda. The creek gurgled along; the deciduous and evergreen trees stood tall. As I went “sightseeing” in the back yard, the peace and quiet of that moment settled in me, and it remained there for a long time, even after I went back in the house. I could feel that peace smoothing over the rough edges of living in the tumult of man’s world.
I don’t have fond memories of my school years. I was picked on from about second grade through eleventh grade. I never knew what would bring the teasing on–perhaps being the only person in second grade to have to wear glasses? (This was long before contact lenses.) Or maybe it was my shyness–often I couldn’t think of anything to say in peer-to-peer conversation, so I was quiet. (When you are in school, any little difference from what is considered “normal” makes a person ripe for picking on.) Maybe the teasing of the moment revolved around my non-existent athletic ability (if a team had to pick me, the kids groaned and I wished for the ground to swallow me).
For today’s kids, cyber-bullying is an ever-present possibility. At least when I went to school BBC (Back Before Computers), I had a break after school hours, weekends, and summertime. No smartphones, no texting, no tablets, no internet, no cyber-bullying.
When I was sixteen or seventeen my dad told me, “This is the best time of your life!” I was horrified. I remember thinking,If this is the best time of my life, you mean the rest of my life will be worse than this?
Many years later, my answer to my question is NO, my life now is better.
My life taught me this: after you graduate, you realize your world is so much bigger than what some kids put on Facebook or any of the other social media out there. The world celebrates youthfulness, but getting older allows you to realize the things people say about you don’t have to cut to the quick anymore. You put boundaries in place, shrug it off, and live your life. You gain maturity and a saving grace–perspective. You can gain faith in the God Who loves you deeply and want to give you new opportunities and confidence.
To any young person reading this who lives in dread of bullying and wonders if things will ever get better, my answer is YES, things will get better. Hold on, don’t give up. When I was sixteen or seventeen life didn’t look good, and I went through some dark periods, but I can tell you: There is life after high school.
Author’s Note: To anyone reading this who thinks, I want to check out of this life; it’s not worth it., please talk to a friend, a pastor, someone you trust, or a counselor. Call a suicide-prevention hotline. Your life matters.
In the USA, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting Talk 741741. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s website is: www.afsp.org. It has many resources available, for those considering suicide, for family and friends who want to help someone, or for people who want to get involved with suicide prevention. The AFSP has local chapters, and sponsors the Out of the Darkness Walk. Due to COVID-19, some walks have been canceled, but some local walks in memory of loved ones are held.
“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.” (Genesis 1:3-4)
Weary Christian ~ The Darkness Cannot Overcome You
Before time began, God spoke light into existence. He ordered light and dark ~ day and night, and He continues to do so. Darkness may not go where God says it may not, and even the tiniest pinprick of light can penetrate and push back the darkness, in nations, in families and in the battle-weary soul. Do you feel battle weary today? Do not forget who, and Who’s you are! You belong to the Light of the world, and as His, you are the light of the world. (See Matthew 5:14-16)
Reading through Isaiah, I came this morning to chapter 8, where I find a people who felt overwhelmed, blinded…
Duchess–“Why did you shine that light in my eyes? I’m sleepy!”
Duke–“I’m so sleepy!”
Duchess–“I’m alert now!”
A friend adopted Duke and Duchess awhile back. They played vigorously with each other, toys, and the furnishings, fell asleep where they were, then woke up and were at again. They had fun; we had fun watching them. Nothing like watching kittens for stress relief!
Help me to guard my heart against the intrusion of the world.
Guard my mind to keep it focused on You.
Help me remember and act upon the fact that everything – everything – will fall into place as long as I recognize You as Lord and center of my life.
Protect me from the clutter of materialism, the rubbish of anxiety, the frenzy of busyness, the weight of bitterness, and the vanity of perceived control.
I commend this day and all the days of my life to You.
Jude 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Hey friends, how are you today? It is another beautiful day in my neck of the woods. Today’s high temperature is a marvelous 87° under a brilliant, bright, blazing, beautiful sun. I love days like these and thankfully, praise the Lord, lately, we’ve had quite a few days like these. Days that remind me to ‘look up”; days […]
The coffee is hot!
It’s ready – I’m not –
to face the day that’s ahead.
Many chores to be done
before setting sun,
but my feet keep turning toward bed.
I cannot go out
with a victory shout
when my body is struggling to rise.
My hair is askew –
these wrinkles are new! –
affirming I’m nobody’s prize.
On day like these
I fall to my knees
and call to my Father’s heart.
I need His great love
and His strength from above
to keep me from falling apart.
Lamentations 3:21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Psalm 27:The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength…