(Mean Girls: one of the best chick flicks my mom and I like to watch, it teaches an extremely valuable lesson that should be learned very early on in life.)
I was a mean girl. A bully. A self-righteous hypocrite. A b-word.
Have you ever looked back on parts of your life, or your whole life, and said, “What in the world was wrong with me?”
I know I have and, good Lord, I’m only twenty years old. I’ve already messed up my chance at “living life with no regrets”, because I have plenty of regrets. That is terrifying for someone my age especially, because it makes me look at the life ahead of me and think, “What else can I mess up?”
Thankfully I have Jesus now! I did growing up, but there is a big difference between your gracious mother forgiving you and our Lord and Savior forgiving you. My mother was always a fantastic example of God’s love, but I didn’t fully appreciate her example until I realized how much I had strayed from her path.
It wasn’t easy, at all, growing up with divorced parents. A mother can only do so much for her child who had a father that would rather pick up a beer than his child on the weekend. Nothing has ever gone the way my mother and I wanted, but we struggle together now. Before, I kept a lot to myself as far as depression and the things I’m about to discuss until early high school. Keeping those feelings buried inside for so long did a lot of damage.
To this day it’s hard to face those demons. Brace yourself, there are quite a few.
I was definitely a mean girl, especially in elementary school (cliques and bullies develop way before high school, despite what the teen movies display). In first grade I made a classmate cry when we were trying out for parts in our class’s play. I wanted the main role, especially since the two boys I liked and played with were the two other main roles. The teacher calmly spoke with me and the other girl, asking if we could maybe split the role (she does half the play as the main role, I do the other). Well, that wasn’t enough for me. I told her I wanted the role way more than the other girl, and the other girl said she didn’t mind. YIKES. Obviously she did since she walked off, crying. Why was I the girl responsible for that? It was just a play. Why wasn’t I the other girl who was kind-hearted enough to give up the role or to split it? Why was I the mean girl?
Fast-forward to fifth grade when things escalated. We moved around a lot because of work, but in fifth grade I was back at the same school I had been at two years before. During fifth grade it was boys versus girls in our class with crushes and little broken hearts. But, unfortunately, that was not the only drama. This was the year that the cliques truly sparked into existence. My “friends” and I paraded around the playground like we owned the place as we were the oldest grade in the school and seemingly the most popular girls. We also felt the need to let other kids know how they weren’t great like us. Think “Mean Girls” but about three-quarters their height. Yeah, it was as scary as that sounds.
It was bad. I had a very sweet friend that had been picked on for years because of her skin color and personality that could sometimes be overly energetic/friendly. Until fifth grade, I had been one of the only kids that treated her nicely. Well, being around privileged white girls and feeling way too good about myself ruined that. I remember looking at my sweet friend one day in computer class and saying, “I don’t like YOU. I don’t want to play with YOU. You’re DIFFERENT.” (Good Lord, that made me tear up just typing that.)
What. Was. Wrong. With. Me.
That same sweet friend I had hurt approached me in high school, sweet as always. I remember wanting to tell her how sorry I was, but I never did. By the time I had the courage and conviction, she suddenly stopped attending school. I’ll always regret that.
I was a mean girl. A bully.
The middle school years are a whole post on their own, so let’s skip to high school, shall we?
Ah, high school. Now we enter the realm “Mean Girls” takes place in. I hadn’t seen my classmates from fifth grade for years with the exception of a few months in between moves and schools. Now, I was back and had changed. Instead of being the stereotypical mean girl, I had become “little-goody-two-shoes” as they called it. Sounds better, right? Wrong. Let me provide a list of my famous catch phrases:
- “I don’t do that, that’s a sin.”
- “That’s really weird and wrong, don’t talk about it.”
- “No, I would NEVER do that. NEVER.”
- “I’m not like that. I’m not that type of person.”
- “You really shouldn’t act like that. That’s wrong and stupid.”
- “You can go to hell for that, so I wouldn’t recommend it.”
- “How do you do stuff like that? I can’t imagine that.”
- “Y’all are a bunch of perverts.”
- “Y’all are a bunch of idiots.”
- “No, I’m a Christian.”
One time I called a boy “Satan” for pity sake. That’s a whole post.
Not one “Jesus loves you.” Not one “Hey, I get it.” Not one “I’m here for you.” Not one “Can I pray for you?” And not ONE “We’ve all messed up, Christian or not, I need saving too. I may not know what you’re going through, but I want to understand. I want to love you, not judge you.”
How. Awful. My classmates thought I was nice, sure, at least compared to how I was in elementary school. I know that because they told me, which was a shock. However, the mean girl had been replaced with a self-righteous, hypocritical Christian. I thought I knew better than anyone and had to tell them the harsh truth. I had to tell them they were horrible sinners during the most vulnerable time of their lives.
Those tears I mentioned earlier are coming out now.
I will forever regret not using that time with my friends and classmates wisely and the way God intended. They needed God’s love, not His wrath through my mouth.
I was a self-righteous hypocrite. A b-word.
My mom taught me better than that, and boy had I failed. During the precious years of my life, I struggled finding myself and took it out on the people who I now miss the most. I let the devil take the reins in my life.
I’m taking those reins back now, and I’m working on handing them to God, who should’ve had them all along.
That mean girl still comes out, along with that self-righteous attitude. However, they’re coming out WAY less than they used to, which I’m grateful to my mom and husband for as they’re the ones that bring me back to earth constantly.
Without God, I was a “Mean Girl”.
With God, I can be His Girl.
It won’t be easy, but with Him all things are possible. My experiences can be used for good, though the devil meant them for evil. I hope they can inspire someone, young or old, to look at themselves and see their demons they’ve been hiding.
It felt…right…to expose mine, maybe now God can truly begin to work in me.
Thank you for letting me take my porcelain mask off.
Make Every Word Count,