To the Girl Who Hated Me in School {2 of 31 Days of Letters)

Dear Girl Who Hated Me in School,

When your name popped up in Facebook Messenger, I didn’t recognize it because you have a different last name.  Within a few lines I read:  This is the former {name here}.  And I thought to myself…

I did not get along with her.  She was mean to me, and I avoided her.  {Or that’s how my young eyes saw it.} But, I’d honestly not thought of you in 20 years.  I had no idea how you’d thought of me.

girl left out USE

Facebook suggested you send me a friend request, but instead you looked at my profile and thought…. Why is the person who I felt was incredibly mean to me my entire school career doing so well? How did she end up with beautiful children, a handsome husband, a nice home…

Oh, the life we present on Facebook.  You saw my smiling kids and my attempts at loving my husband well, but you weren’t at my house where life wasn’t as it seemed.  I didn’t lie on Facebook; I simply posted my highlight reel because no one wanted to see or seemed to care about the rest – and I was too ashamed to reveal it anyway.

And here our stories meet.  Just as I tried and prayed for a reconciled marriage – and felt God didn’t “come through”  – you tried and prayed for things that never came to pass.  You said….

I was so angry.  Angry at people I had wanted to love and to love me back, angry at God, angry at life.

Me too.

These words from you brought a measure of healing to my heart, knowing my feelings weren’t completely foreign to others.  Because of your words, I finally accepted that those feelings of anger I had felt – at those who failed me, at myself, at God, and at life – were OK.

But your next words were life changers for me:

Blame.  Anger.  Jealousy.  Resentment.  Life’s emotional cancers.

For the first time, I noticed all the blame, anger, jealousy, and resentment floating in my heart and head.  And these feelings are just that:  Cancer.   Your honest words made me look hard at my life – my person – who I am and how I represent myself.

You felt {at first} I shouldn’t be sharing Jesus – after all, how can someone so mean share and love Jesus?  I have often wondered the same as I’ve been hurt by pastors on a weekday only to listen to them on Sunday.  Doesn’t seem like Jesus, huh?

Except we are all human and fall short of His glory every, single day.

So, my heart wants to say two things to you:  I am sorry and I am grateful you humbled yourself and messaged me.  Beyond grateful.

I am sorry you perceived me as mean in school.  I never saw myself that way, but perhaps I was.  I had no idea what your life was really like, and knowing I overlooked you breaks my heart.  It’s not who I am. Any “advice” I give about Jesus is only sharing what He’s teaching me in an attempt to bring others to him – closer and closer – because I love Him so much.

I am grateful you taught me about forgiveness, humility, and reconciliation.  And your heartfelt sadness over my divorce speaks clearly of who you are.  I am sorry I failed to know that girl in school.

I am praying for you, as I know you pray for me.  And I thank you for continuing to read my words {even when you still hated me}, finding bits and pieces of a Jesus who died for you and for me.  A Jesus who can take ANYTHING – even mean girls – and make it new.  A Jesus that can take 20-year-old hurt and shine a light upon it, reconciling two people, teaching them forgiveness.

That’s the Jesus we follow, friend.  You keep on keeping on, being obedient and loving Him.  I am honored to know you.

Love, Sarah

______________________________________________

Friends…

Is there someone in your past with whom you need to reconcile?  Maybe they’ve already passed from this world, but you need to write to them, telling them how they hurt you and how you have forgiven them- because that’s what this is really all about.  When this gal messaged me, it was to tell me that she forgives.  Forgives me, other mean kids, those in her life who wronged her.  She shared with me that “God didn’t take away all her troubles”  – instead he changed her heart.

That’s what He does, friend.  He changes our hearts.  He frees us.

I pray you write that letter today.  Get it off your chest.  Kick and scream and yell and let the anger fly…but then…forgive.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  Colossians 3: 13

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.  Ephesians 4: 31-32

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Comments

  1. Last fall I encountered a former “mean girl” at a women’s event where I was speaking in my home town. It had been more than 15 years since we’d seen each other, although we grew up in the same church, where she still attends…I just moved away.

    It was a sweet time to remember the angst of teen-dom, the influence of other manipulative mean girls and share how the Lord continued with each of us on our own path.

  2. Thank you. It’s never fun to revisit people we have hurt, but encouraging that this encounter was so positive.

    • So true, Miah. And, I’ve been talking to her more after the post – it’s been a great lesson for all. Thanks for your encouragement.

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