When I was a young girl of eleven or twelve years old, there was a group of kids at my school who made fun of nearly everything I said, everything I did, and most certainly everything I wore.
No, I don’t mean they teased me. I mean they made fun of me; they had fun at my expense. They laughed not with me but at me. If I changed my hair, they laughed. If I wore a different pair of shoes, they laughed and pointed. If I messed up the cheer at the pep rally, they laughed and called me “Sleepy.”
I now know what I didn’t realize then: that group of kids came from nothing and as such had nothing. My family lived modestly but in comparison to their nothing my little looked like everything. I’ve also lived long enough to know how cruelty sometimes masks envy. I know because I’ve done much the same; I’ve denigrated another in order to sooth my gnawing jealousy over their good fortune.
Still, it hurt–I don’t have to tell you that. All of us were twelve once and surely we’ve all felt the stinging wound of words intended to cut and cut deep.
I’m older now–by decades, thankyouverymuch. No longer do I walk across a gym floor to the laughs and catcalls of kids intent on hurting me, but sometimes, often, I am very much that same insecure little girl wondering what I will do next to bring about derision, ridicule or plain ol’ dislike.
Certainly not merely because of that group of kids–though they no doubt contributed to it–but it seems like I’ve always felt like the square peg in the round hole. On the outside looking in. Unsure of my place and doubtful of my reception. Convinced you probably don’t like me or, if by chance you do now, you won’t later.
I am forty years old and, yes, this is still my struggle: Uncertainty. Insecurity. Not to mention the loneliness that accompanies both.
I told someone recently that being forty was good and it is. I told her that with forty years comes a greater sense of self assurance, of knowing who and what I am and being okay with that, and it’s true. Really. It is.
The who and what I am may be slightly more confident, a little more sure of herself, and, yes, more comfortable in her own skin than in times past–yet she is still sometimes the silly, insecure girl of 12.
Though I grow weary of my idiocy and insecurity. . . though I fervently wish to feel like I belong. . . though I sometimes wonder where exactly square pegs like myself fit. . . I’m learning to be okay with it. My insecurity, if viewed properly, becomes a gift when it propels me to the Only One secure, to my Rock and Refuge, to Jesus Christ, unchangeable, unshakable.
Apart from Christ, I am indeed insecure. Anything and everything I attempt to rest my security on will fail if it is not Christ Himself. He endured far more than a few catcalls and insults to purchase my salvation and security. He redeemed me with His precious blood; now I belong–to Him. I rest secure in Him as His beloved child, a square peg of a sinner saved by His glorious grace.