Beautifully Bullied – Today I Smile
I have been bullied but despite unpleasant circumstances, I am still beautiful.
The teenage years are rarely pleasant for anyone, especially during the four dreaded years of high school. My story/testimony of my high school years is not unusual. The first year, in particular, I was bullied by a squad of multiple mean girls/bullies. I expressed what I was going through to the staff at the school that I was at during those years and they had little interaction/interest in finding solutions as to bullying, especially as I was victim. I eventually stopped sharing with anyone what I was going through. I joined the Tribe and it became my personal mission to be a loving friend to everyone who was, too, victims of bullying within the walls of the school. As I had great intentions, I did not know how to take care of myself when helping others. I carried the weight of the world on my small and weak back without ever handing it to Jesus. In despair, one month before my 17th birthday my best friend saved me from suicide. I slowly began healing after this incident and today, over two years later, my life has completely changed.
I have learned that what sets one apart from being a victim of bullying and overcoming bullying lies in where one places their identity. It can be placed in the actions and words of others, or the actions and words of Christ. The desire of a bully is to tear you down but the heart of Yeshua is to love you.
In my walk I have been bullied for a variety of reasons and as a young women what has scarred me the most were the comments about my personal appearance. Weighing a little less than 100 pounds as a 15 year-old girl I was considered “fat” by the standards of my bullies. They also said that my eyes were ugly, creepy, etc.; the list could go on. I conclusion, I was not beautiful. I couldn’t meet the impossible to achieve beauty standards’ that my bullies made for me, even though they couldn’t even achieve them themselves.
Eventually, I began putting my identity in my outward appearance because that is where my bullies put my value. As a young lady, I have come to the conclusion that girls and women feel best about themselves, and are productive when they feel good or beautiful on the outside. If I was not academic and was considered to not be beautiful outside, where did my value lie? This is when I became a victim of bullying — I put my value in the words, thoughts, and actions of others.
Within, and after this season, I learned a couple of lessons about bullying that is important for all victims to become overcomers.
Words are powerful, but only the kind ones should have the power to influence you, and the actions of Christ should only define you.
First of all, you are a child of God. The same God who created the stars in the sky and the beauty of nature, also created YOU. Psalms 139:13-14 states:
For you created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.”
When you personally discover the beauty of this you can achieve self-confidence, identity in Christ, and the power to overcome. Not only did He create you, He created your bullies, too. I truly believe that if we all realize who we are in Christ, bullying would not be an issue that almost everyone has dealt with. Remember, the Creator put something special in you that the world needed. In the walk of following Christ, we were not meant to be victims in this world, but to overcome through the blood and works of Jesus.
I have the choice to be bitter or to forgive and use my story as a tool for empathy towards others who are in the same position that I was once in. My identity is no longer in the experiences that broke me, but instead made me stronger.
You may be wondering where I am today. I am 19 years old and I stand tall and strong. God has taken my testimony and made beauty out of it. My personal blog has grown. I have readers worldwide and I have the privilege to share hope with them. Additionally, I write a column specifically for hurting or broken believers in Discovering You Magazine. I recently took a step of faith and became a part of a talent development company. I am training to be a singer, actress, and commercial model. I also volunteer at a local coffee shop and am slowly learning how to be a barista.
I would not be able to move on from my past if I hadn’t taken the steps needed to be an overcomer through Christ and more importantly I would not be able to have the ministry that I have today. I would live with a heart of bitterness instead of joy. I have been beautifully bullied; I am not a victim but today I am smiling because I am an overcomer. If you are a victim, I promise you that you can certainly overcome whatever darkness that may be haunting you from your past.
“…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.” – 1 John 5:4-5