Hopefully your experience was different. But my middle school years were emotionally overwhelming and left me with no desire to return. In fact, each time my parents invite me to an event or concert that's held at my middle school, I'm quick to let them know ... "You couldn't pay me money to go back there."
No, I'm not kidding. Yes, it was that bad. The kids were so mean.
I have kankles ('fat ankles') and the comments and looks were brutal. I struggled with grades and my preacher's kid “family reputation” wavered. I was not in the 'popular group' and the condemning lies were enough to keep me isolated and lonely.
IDENTITY - SECURITY - BELONGING - PURPOSE
These are the foundations that our children and youth are walking on. This is what they are using to make decisions. This is what will steer their reactions and lead their passions. And I know, as the parents, we feel the pressure to do this right (and hopefully God's way). Parenting is such a humbling process, isn't it? I want to remind you today that:
God has not asked you to be successful. He only asks for you to be faithful.
And not faithful to the sports schedule or healthy meal plan or homework routine.
He is asking you to be faithful to Him (your prayer life, your time spent in His Word, loving the Body of Christ, your marriage ... Him).
There are so many resources out there (blogs, articles, books, social media groups, etc.) that can offer hope and help as we begin a new school year. But the truth is, that is pseudo help. It really is. The articles / books / blogs / groups ... although good, they are no substitute for the experience of being intimate (in the presence) of the Almighty God, Savior of the world.
The good news is, I don't have to go back to my middle school because my identity was not wrapped up in that place. It was built slowly ... at home; waking up to my mom faithfully reading the Bible, coming to the dinner table knowing that the conversations were real and centered around Jesus and His Word, and hearing my parents tell me who God said I was.
That's hope. It is never too late to begin talking with your child about who God says they are. And there's no greater need than when they are in middle school.