Encouragement From Me to You

(Photo by Selma Komisky)

Encouragement From Me to You

By Grace Lee

As a tween, changing schools and finding friends that I can trust was the hardest thing. It was far more challenging than studying for any test or running any mile. The feeling of not being accepted by my peers was most troublesome at that age. This was more prevalent in the church setting because I wanted to impress church friends more than any other ones. This is because I knew they would be more permanent and stick around far longer than the school friends that I would make. This was burdensome because as a shy, timid, and introverted youth, I had a hard time engaging in new friendships. It was only later on in my college years that I realized I needed to step up and take initiative.

To all of you beloved tweens battling with adjusting to change, here are three tips from a soon-to-graduate college senior:

  • Find your worth in Christ
        • First and foremost, find your worth in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It sounds so cliche, but that also shows how vital this component is. One of the reasons many youths in the church struggle with finding their identity is that the concept of God’s unconditional love has a difficult time becoming real to them at that young of an age. Pray daily. Read the Word daily. Engage in true fellowship with a community of believers frequently. Even at the ages of 10-12, God can still move and transform you in powerful ways. Seek to attain your identity in Christ, because God doesn’t love you based on your “good looks” or achievements, but He loves you because you are His child.
  • Be the approachable friend.
        • As a tween, it’s hard to be the one to approach other youths first because we focus too much on how we look or talk. I know we’ve all had that urge inside of us telling us we should approach that classmate sitting by themselves during lunch but never follow through because we don’t want to seem like a loner. I urge you to do the exact opposite! Be that classmate who approaches others first because you will make a lasting impact on their lives forever. Be the tween that isn’t afraid to be the first one!
  • Pursue excellence and diligence in everything that you do.
      • Old habits die hard. Whatever you are doing, whether it’s studying, sports, instruments, clubs, even friendships, pursue excellence. Not because you want to show off and receive acknowledgment from others (though that will come naturally), but because you want to be the best in what you’re performing and in doing so, to set an example for others to follow. In other words, be a leader. Start young in your earnestness and perseverance, and you will find in your later years that your diligence and excellence will lead others to pursue the same.

So, no matter where you are right now or what insecurities, uncertainty, or self-doubt you may be struggling with, just remember to seek God in all that you do and to fight to be excellent in all that you are. You will get through this!