When I was asked to write something for the blog I was so ecstatic! So I figured I would write a little guide to get you through these tough years of your life.
Being a teen means going through new and exciting situations, but along with these new experiences can come many issues. At times you may lack self-esteem, others are bullied, or sometimes you just feel out of place. Now, if you feel these I promise you, you are normal! Teens go through these all the time... does that make your situation easier? Well no, but knowing you are not alone helps in a HUGE way! Acceptance of yourself is very important.
Many teenagers suffer with self-esteem issues, and well, how can you blame them? We live in an age where people post their best selfies to Instagram, they make their snap chat stories look like they always lead an interesting life, and they write posts on Facebook for the likes and shares. How can you compare yourself to the "best" version of what someone is trying to portray they are every minute? (And trust me I struggle with doing this all the time, so again do not feel alone haha.) It's just important to remember to not compare yourself to what you think someone else is going through. It's okay not to fit in, to be the most popular, to have the coolest clothing, car, etc. We need to remember the plans that God has for us, and to stand firm in our beliefs. In 1 Timothy 4:12 it says, "Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity".
Body image is huge especially with the unrealistic standards that we face, having the best bodies, best clothing, and best hair. Now if you don't care about any of these and don't struggle with body acceptance than more power to you and I envy you in every way, but for the rest of you we have to look into the word for our help. Many times we fall into feeling like we have to look a certain way and act a certain way to be liked and as much as I wanna tell you that won't matter after high school (from what I hear anyway) it probably always will unless we listen to what God says to us.
In Ephesians 2:10 it says "For we are Gods masterpiece, He has created us anew in Christ Jesus so we can do the things he planned for us long ago". The first time I heard this verse was actually in a Bible study through our youth group and I immediately fell in love with it. I wrote it on a note card and hung it in my room, I wrote it all over my chalk board and I even put it in my Instagram bio (go look if you think I'm lying...haha). I was able to find a verse to help me get through what I was feeling. Okay, okay I get it... not everyone can fall in love with this verse even if I really, really want them too, so my challenge to you is to find a verse in the Bible about God's love for you and fall in love with it. Not to just read it, but to truly believe it. God wants us to know that we are perfect no matter what anyone says. He tells us that you are a child of God. You are perfect in every way. In Psalm 139:14 he says "you are fearfully and wonderfully made", Psalm 17 He says "I am the apple of his eye", In Deuteronomy 7:6 God tells you that you are "a special treasure"....and honestly I could go on forever listing different verses about what God says about us but I think you get the point now. Going through life not feeling God's love for you can be very, very hard, and trust me I've gone through that. Where you feel like there are people who tell you they love you, but you still feel empty and alone. That's when you need to reach out to God and remember all of those things I just mentioned that God says about us.
So again my challenge to you is to pick a verse, or a few and let it direct your path to feeling the love God has always and will continue to have for you.
Throughout your entire life you will experience hardships, I'm sorry, I truly am, but that's part of life and I wouldn't change that for you even if I could. We just have to remember that in 1 Corinthians 10:13 it says "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it."
Now you may be saying, "Yea Katie, I get that, but why do I struggle with "x, y, and z" but this person never struggles with anything". Well first, my parents have always taught me never to compare myself to other people. You can never truly know what someone else is going through because people are good at hiding their struggles. Secondly, you may be going through more of a struggle than others simply because of what the verse says "He will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able". Maybe you can handle something horrific, but the person next to you can only handle something as little as losing their job. We have to remember God had the ultimate plan for our lives. Trust me I know, easier to say than to do, and all I can really say is pray through it brothaaa and you will get through it I promise!
Katie Bauer xoxo