I’ve been all over the map with the social scene. Early in High School I was firmly in the “out crowd” and by my senior year I was lucky enough to be in the “in crowd.” Same girl… different year… different crowd. For the most part I’ve always had a solid confidence no matter what crowd I was in. I’m sure I can give the credit for this to my parents and in part to a great youth group at my church. I had solid friends outside of school, which made me less dependent on the ups and downs of popularity within my school walls.
I had a great solid confidence right through college. Again, I was a part of several good groups of friends, good roommates, president of this club, RA, leadership programs… etc. I was IN & I never really thought a lot about what it would be like to not be part of the “Hip crowd.” Not to say that I didn’t reach out to others… but in that I didn’t understand the toll it takes when you feel like you are decidedly “out.”
I moved overseas for a year. That year I was decidedly the odd-man-out & there were no other groups to join. There was a limited number of other American’s that spoke my language & I did not fit in even a little. When difficult moments came up (& man did they ever!) I was alone and very far away from the support of my friends and family. Things eventually got difficult enough that I left… even when I returned back it was difficult for me to to feel my normal self again. It took almost a year until I regained my old joyful self and the confidence with it. That time just wiped me out.
WHAT DID I LEARN?
Looking back on that experience I discovered something vital to my faith. When we place our trust and hope in anything other than Christ, we will always be disappointed. I was making relationships an idol (Exodus 20:4)… people and popularity had become my God. That painful truth hit me with all it’s weight and force square in the face. That I had made an idol out of something as false and fake as “status & popularity.” Popularity honestly isn’t even a real thing.
The truth is we all seek status, fame, popularity, being accepted. A longing for acceptance is part of our make up just like our DNA. So there is good news! God, the father has already accepted you! In fact he sent his only son here as a ransom for you. YOU are that important to Him (the GOD of the universe). You will never be loved more than by Him, you will never need more than Him, and there is no love that can compare to the love He gives. Read Psalm 139. He created you, He knows you, & He thinks of you often.
There are so many who need to feel loved & accepted. Once we realize the truth of how treasured we are & once we put our hope and trust in the ONE who will never disappoint us… then we can pour out that love to others who need it & no longer focus on what we can get. Or on what our fleeting “status” is at that moment.
Who in your world can you show love to this week? Who can you invite to coffee, lunch or a movie with only their needs as your concern? Trust me- the rewards will all be yours. There is no better gift than the gift you receive when you show love.
“Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.” 1 Samual 12:21