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Becoming the spark of change

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Today, I engaged in a Facebook conversation with a heartsick mother whose daughter was being bullied unmercifully by others at her school.

They call her fat. They tease her about her acne. They make fun of her overall appearance.

Yet, her mother described the teen as a “bright light” who attracts a lot of people. She’s a spark of enthusiasm that soon engulfs others around her. That seems to happen wherever darkness is present.

But, unrelenting bullying by the “popular” kids is taking its toll by wearing the girl down. The beautiful young lady has started questioning her own worth.

I’ve been there myself.

I was bullied every single day of my middle school experience. I was beat up by someone every day. I was pushed into lockers. I had my things stolen or destroyed. I even had my arm broken by one of the more athletic boys at school who was showing off by picking me up over his head and slamming me to a wrestling mat.

I figured that’s just how boys acted. Until I had three daughters of my own, I had absolutely no idea how mean and nasty teen girls could act. They will literally devour each other in some sort of silly attempt to elevate themselves.

My heart goes out to this delightful teen.

I encouraged mom to let her daughter know that her father in heaven loves her just the way she is. He created her for a specific reason and equipped her just the way she is to carry out that mission.

I urged mom to remind the girl to draw close to God and rely upon HIS strength to stand up to the insults of others. The Holy Spirit will give them both unique insight and strategy to deal with this situation.

Mom told me her daughter is the one person in class other kids will go to with their problems simply because she has such a beautiful and open heart. Those kinds of magnetic people are often the most vulnerable to ridicule.

Here’s what I know to be true:

This young woman is already a far better person right now than most of her fellow students will ever be.

She stands above the crowd. She is her own person. She refuses to be bullied — and to bully others.

Consequently, because she refuses to follow the crowd, she’s going to attract LOTS of negative attention just for being “different.”

Satan seems to work overtime to wipe out people who are anointed for a special purpose. The spiritual harassment seems to intensify against people who are fatherless.

Satan doesn’t just want to take fatherless children – and adults – out of the game, but rather to crush their spirits, diminish their light, and enslave them to bondage of fear and addiction as they try to soothe their pain.

Yet, a teenager with a heart for others has a future is as bright as the sun!

Small-minded and hurting people will always hurt others, whether intentionally or unintentionally. They build walls around themselves, and hide behind those walls to lob stones at people who try to get too close.

I know it hurts the girl now to be rejected and bullied, but I know she is going to emerge stronger than everyone else at that school.

It took decades, but I know I did.

If this young woman will ignore the mockers and continue reaching out to other hurting and rejected students and seek ways to build them up, then something will happen.

Very quickly, she will have way more supportive friends than those insulting, mocking, ridiculing dipsticks who are presently making her life miserable. Together, they will be transformed from insecure, doubting teens into a supportive tribe of lions who will work together to ward off the wolves.

There are far more young people who lack confidence and desperately want a friend who supports them unconditionally than there are members of the various cliques.

I wish someone had told me that when I was 12.

By the caring actions of one person, this bright young lady could become the spark of change for an entire school!

Even the mockers may eventually turn to her for hope and healing of their own broken hearts and broken spirits.

If not, then she can rest assured that in just a few years she will never hear from them again. There is always a light at the end of even the longest dark tunnel.

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Greg Gerber

A native of Wisconsin who moved to Arizona in 2009, Greg Gerber is a DODO -- Dad of Daughters Only -- to three grown daughters. He worked as a journalist for many years before pursuing a career as a faith-based writer, author, coach and speaker. Greg is the author of Pornocide: How Lust is Killing Your Faith, Stealing Your Joy and Destroying Your Life.

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