My cousin (12 years old) is currently being bullied at school. She is quiet, which means she only has a couple friends. And a mean girl is trying to bully her out of her "only" friend. This breaks my heart. Not only is my cousin the most precious-hearted young lady, she isn't doing anything to provoke the situation.
|The two of us on my birthday. I was 13 when she was born. People thought she was my daughter...which embarrassed teenage-me. Now, I'm glad she is my "mini me."|
This whole situation has got me thinking about a few things.
1) How hurtful words are. I know I have talked about the power of the tongue before, but man is it evident here. I'm currently reading through Proverbs in the Bible, and I just came across this verse about the tongue:
The tongue can bring death or life; those who love to talk will reap the consequences. (Proverbs 18:21)
My cousin is so affected by these hurtful words, she doesn't even want to go to school. I know those mean girls will eventually "get what's coming to them" but their words are bringing so much hurt. I hope I tame my tongue. And not only my "verbal" tongue, but also my tongue online. I know it is SO easy to get snarky and rude online, but those words can hurt just as much. I pray that my words bring healing, not hurt.
2) How a little confidence goes a long way. My cousin is shy and a bit insecure. I mean, she is a shy teen girl...but if she felt empowered, she could tell this bully to stop. I want to empower her. But not just her, I want to empower those around me. I feel like I have a tiny bit of influence leading my Zumba class (mostly women) and I want to empower them. They should feel confident and in charge. I feel that way...but if I can instill that power in others, then I want to be intentional about doing that.
3) How scared I am to be a parent someday. I know I faced bullying as a kid...but no where compared to what goes on today. There was no social media, and we didn't know all those ugly words. In fact, the meanest bullying I remember was a girl making plays on my last name. She was calling me Brittney Shellfish...or Brittney Selfish....or Brittney Savage (making plays on my maiden name Selvidge). I was so hurt by that. That is NOTHING compared to what my cousin is facing now. The world is scary, and if we are going to try and be parents someday, I need to be praying NOW for wisdom to face these situations.
4) How I wish I lived a little closer to home. I wish that I could be there to hug her and tell her it gets better. That those girls are only as pretty as what is in their hearts...and their hearts are not very pretty right now. That she doesn't deserve friends like that. That she is worthy of love and kindness. That she is a wonderful child of God and that He loves her. That she is a walking miracle, and that Jesus died for her (so who cares what these mean girls think).
Heck, I want all of YOU to know that.
I don't like bullies. If you have children, please teach them love. Beth Moore just tweeted this and it couldn't be more true for our situation.
"Parents, be vigilant w/glimpses of meanness in your children. Come down on it (wisely) as hard as you would the gravest sin. Steward kindness."
My prayer is this: Lord, brew kindness in my heart. Let that kindness bubble over and spill into the lives of those around me. Amen!