You are settled in a little bit more. You aren’t the youngest or smallest in your school anymore. But now what?
When I was a sophomore in high school, it was a GREAT first part of the year. I got on this soccer team that traveled and was ranked pretty high. I was playing/ training 6 days a week, had so many friends, and was enjoying the school year. Then, within a month, I decided I did not want to play soccer anymore. I look back now, and I see that in the Lord’s sweetness, He took the desire to play soccer out of my heart. It was such a weird FAST shift that I don’t even know how it happened other than the Lord bringing me back to Him. After that, my identity crumbled. What I had put my identity into for so long is now gone. Who am I? What good am I anymore? What gives me value?
This is a shift in sophomore year as well, because in freshman year you are figuring out what you are good at, what you aren’t good at, new things you like, and things ending that you had done your whole life. So now, you may be stuck with nothing at all. You may be wondering who the heck you are! Your friends may have changed since freshman year of high school, as well.
Well, I stopped playing soccer and tried finding my identity elsewhere. School and grades? No, I was never that smart or determined. Getting into my dream college? No, we didn’t have a lot of money so soccer was my only chance at that. I knew I would be going to the local junior college. Boys? Okay this might work.
I soon became overcome with needing the approval of the guys around me. This is a story for a different day, but the point is, I tried to find my identity and worth in something other than Jesus.
Looking back I would have given myself a few pieces of advice….
Don’t look to worldly things & people for your worth, identity, or value. Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” The transformation happens when you read scripture and allow Jesus’ truth to transform the way you believe about life, Him, yourself, and those around you! So spend time in the word daily and cover yourself in truth so lies don’t overcome you!
Go deeper with your friendships! 1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” When we are in community with one another where we are HONEST with ourselves and others, we are allowing others into our process with Jesus. Don’t try to hide things from your friends, be honest with them about what is going on in your heart.
Choose your friends and your words wisely. Be careful, friends! People in high school, especially 15 or 16 years young are still figuring themselves out and who they are! Gossip is very common throughout high school so be careful about what you share and to who! Ask God for wisdom and discernment when it comes to who you open up to! (Proverbs 13:20) Proverbs is all about wisdom and where to get wisdom from! God is faithful in giving it to you!
When there comes a time to compromise your morals, don’t do it. I know it’s difficult feeling the pressure to fit in, but continue in what you are doing. Continue pursuing what God is leading and guiding you to do! You don’t need the approval of others, Jesus already has saved you and chosen you to be set apart in Him. Doing the “popular” thing will only get you to disappointment and farther away from Jesus! Be on guard for temptation.
Throughout the rest of sophomore year, I kept hitting a new low. Crying myself to sleep almost every night and wishing I was prettier, skinnier, cooler, etc. But if I would have followed these steps, it would have been so much better. I wouldn’t have struggled nearly as much. Highschool feels like a never ending ocean that you want to drown in and especially without Jesus guiding you.
Keep your eyes LOCKED on Jesus, sister.