Dear Lindsay of middle school,

24 Apr

As a pastor who loves working with confirmation-aged kids, I catch glimpses of my own past middle school experience as the confirmation kids share their own experiences.  I slightly remember* what it was like to be awkward and a seventh grader.  It wasn’t easy.

I was so incredibly lucky to have awesome friends.  More or less the same awesome friends I still have now.  [Dancing Banana shout-out!]  But there was still drama.  There was judging.  There is terrible shit that goes on in middle schools.  And I can’t imagine it if one doesn’t have awesome friends.

There are a couple gals in my confirmation class that often only have lows to share in the rounds of highs & lows.  A lot of time, those lows are there’s just lots of drama at school.

Ugh.  Drama.

What I want to say to them is much like what I would say to my own middle-school self –

Dear Lindsay of middle school,

Being popular doesn’t matter for shit.  Forget those queen bees.  They suck.  You should just be nice to everyone.  [And probably not say people suck.  That wasn’t nice, future Lindsay.]

Be friends with the people who make you happy and people with whom you can be yourself and silly.  Form a gang.  Call it Oatmeal.  Make cardboard necklaces for everyone in the gang with raw oats glued to them.  Your name as gang leader shall be Raisin. **

The boys are pretty cute, aren’t they?  But don’t worry about them.  Just because they’re eye candy doesn’t mean they’re worth crying over.

School work is important but trying to get straight A’s isn’t worth sick stomachs and sleepless nights.  And hey – good job on that newspaper writing competition.

Please, quit wearing the over-sized flannel shirts and carpenter jeans sooner than later.

That one day, after school, when marching band rehearsal gets out late and everyone sprints back to the band room – hold onto your flute a little tighter.  Trust me.

The drama will end.  It will be okay.

Signed,

Future Lindsay

I started to write this post before confirmation met tonight.  I finish it after confirmation.  After the one confirmand who-never-has-a-high-and-her-low-is-always-drama had a high that the drama has ended.  Hallelujah.  Confirmation was awesome tonight.  Not only did every seventh and eighth grader have a high – if not many – we threw out our lesson for the night because all they wanted to do was ask questions.  About God.  About the Bible.  About doubts.  We tackled a few tonight the best we could and they made a list for next week.  Here’s to the freedom to ask questions and doubt in church.  Important stuff.

* I quite literally remember NOTHING about my seventh grade year.  It’s a blur to me.  I remember some of sixth grade and some of eight but seventh?  Nada.

** True story.

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