By Brenda Yoder
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
Your teen years are some of the most exciting yet confusing times. Your emotions are random, intense and all over the place. You feel alone or misunderstood. You feel like you can’t do anything right or that no one cares. Do you ever wonder if why you feel the way you do?
If you do, you’re not alone. In fact, here are five universal truths about being a teenager.
- Your feelings will lie to you. The emotions you feel are more intense during adolescence, especially in the middle school and early high school years. Your feelings are often magnified, making you feel out of control. How you feel in the moment is not always an accurate assessment of a situation.
- When you feel insecure and awkward, you’re still okay. Other kids feel that way, too. Even the popular kids.
- You won’t always feel this way. Feeling awkward, insecure, lonely, confused, or unsure of who you are is normal for your age. These feelings diminish as you get older. But don’t be ashamed of your feelings. If they’re affecting your school work or relationships, don’t keep them inside. Talk to someone about them. If you have thoughts of self-harm, talk to a trusted adult or friend or seek help. You’re not alone.
- Be comfortable with who you are, not what others think you should be. It’s tempting to change who you are to fit in so you’ll be accepted by people, friends, or a boyfriend. If you have relationships with people you feel like you can’t be yourself with, they probably aren’t people you should be hanging out with.
- Don’t alter your character and beliefs to be part of a popular group. It’s tempting to go along with the crowd even though they talk about or do things contrary to your values. Changing your beliefs in the moment can negatively impact your future. If your gut tells you “don’t do it,” then don’t.
As a teen, you’re traveling the road between childhood to adulthood. Don’t go it alone. Be careful with whom you travel. Seek God as you make decisions big and small. He cares about you and loves you more than any person around you. If you feel alone or that no one understands you, your Heavenly Father does. When you mess up, He forgives you. When you’re scared, He gives you courage.
Broken and Beautiful: Brenda has a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, and a BA in Education. As a Parent, Counselor and Educator her ministry is helping moms and daughters navigate the tough stuff of life. Have a question for Brenda? Email her at [email protected]