Friday, December 7, 2012

Mean Girls

Sorry, movie fans.  But this post is about real-life mean girls.

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!


6 comments:

  1. I was bullied a lot in middle school. It was awful! Tell her that it actually does get better, she will find supportive friends who will love her for who she is, no matter what.

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    1. Thanks Kim. I hope she emerges from this with grace and strength. It seems you surely have! :)

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  2. My oldest daughter has had similar issues. In 1st grade (1st grade!!!) she had problems with a girl and the school counselor had to mediate. And now she gets teased by a certain girl about her fashion choices (which I think are great, eccentric, but great). I just keep telling her to be herself and to not let what others think get to her. Your cousin is blessed to have you to look up to. Sometimes girls will listen better to someone other than their Mom, so keep dishing out that love and advice to her!

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    1. Thanks Christy! Way to encourage her to be herself. She will be stronger and better for your encouragement and love.

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  3. Ugh. Hate to hear this. I'm going through a similar situation with one of my baby sisters. Poor girl looks just like my 9-year-old self, so I'm sure the playground and school bus are battlegrounds on a daily basis. And knowing what is still ahead of her... hurts even worse.

    All we can do is pray. Not in hopes that the bullying will stop, but that our precious baby girls overcome it with the grace and strength that the bullies obviously lack.

    In the meantime, I make several phone calls home and mix CDs full of "Girl Power" songs. :) Your cousin is blessed to have you.

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    1. Ohh girl! I remember some mean girls we encountered in school...and I hate that your sweet sister is going through that. They are so precious! I pray for Cait all the time. It's a crossroads for sure between this situation killing her confidence or building it up. I would LOVE to know some of your power girl songs! PS. I still can't read Martha without wondering who is it. You'll always be Sissy to me. :)

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