As of today, I am officially done with middle school. During my summer before eighth grade, I was filled with nervous anticipation of my last year of middle school. I recalled that both of my brothers were not fond of eighth grade. Yet, I thought I could skip that, seeing as my sixth and seventh grade years were fantastic.
For me, my last year of middle school has been about me figuring out who I am. I know, that sounds extremely cheesy, but it’s true. And I feel like it’s true for a lot of my friends, too. We’re all still unsure of ourselves, unsure of where we belong. We’re beginning to discover ourselves.
However, this transition isn’t easy. Although, being a follower of Jesus has made it much less difficult than I’m sure it is for many of my peers.
I’ve discovered how messy I am. I don’t mean that I don’t have a clean room (although that is true). I mean that I’m messy on the inside. I don’t say that in a demeaning way to myself. I understand that I have many strengths. But you’ve got to understand: I’m also very flawed. I’m extremely selfish. I’ve messed up friendships because of my selfishness, assuming the world revolves around me. The list could go on of my flaws, but that gets me nowhere. The beauty of having Jesus is that he has forgiven me for those things and shown me endless amounts of grace and mercy that I certainly don’t deserve.
Honestly, if I didn’t have Christ in my life, I would be in deep doo-doo. As I start to learn more and more about myself (the good and a lot of the bad), I have the comfort of knowing in my heart and my mind that I am valued by my Heavenly Father– more than valued; I am cherished, treasured, and prized. Without that knowledge, I would be a wreck. I would be incredibly insecure and I would push away anyone who pursued me.
A tremendous part about being a Christian is that I have the Church. The community that I have through the Church is absolutely amazing. I can know that I am never alone. Ever. I don’t have to pretend to be put-together at all.
However, as fantastic as community is, I’ve also learned that people let me down, sometimes when it feels like I most need them. I’m starting to figure out, though, that when I feel like I most need people to help me with my issues, I really need Jesus. I need him so badly. When I feel abandoned, that’s exactly when my Savior is waiting for me with open arms. A theme of this year so far has been that I really need to rely on Jesus. I really can’t rely on people to solve my problems. They fail you.
Though the process of figuring out where I find my value isn’t my favorite, when I look at how I’ve changed and grown since even just six months ago, it’s incredible. I’ve always “known” you learn from experience, but I suppose I just figured I was just so mature and already knew everything about life. Silly me. And I’m only in eighth grade. Who knows what grand adventures God has in store for me?