As if fifth grade wasn’t hard enough with all the work we got, at recess it seemed like I was always the last one chosen to play kick-ball. I wasn’t the best, but I was better than Shelly and she always got picked first just because she was popular!
Shelly wore nice clothes that she bought at really expensive stores, and her mom would take her to get her hair cut at a salon that was high priced, plus she’d get manicures and pedicures. I did my own toes and nails, and saved money to buy my own nail polish. Life just didn’t seem fair. Mom made a lot of my clothes, and other things I got as gifts. There were four kids in our family and Shelly was an only child. I never complained to mom about my clothes because I knew how hard she worked trying to make nice ones.
- WHAT’S THIS ALL ABOUT?
Maybe you have a Shelly at your school too, or even in your own class. Well, I was pretty envious of Shelly because of what I saw and believed to be true. Until one day I overheard some girls talking in the restroom. I was in a stall and didn’t dare go out until they left.
The one gal said, “Shelly’s mom is never home. Her grandmother takes care of her and tries to make up for it by taking her shopping and to the salon when she gets her own hair and nails done. Shelly just talks about her mom doing it, because she hurts so much. I just go along and act like I believe it.”
The gal added, “So don’t you dare tell anyone or say anything about her mom not being around, and that her grandmother is raising her.” They both left the restroom.
- WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY?
Wow, that put a new spin on things in my world. I told my older sister about it. She was pretty neat and active in her high school and our church youth activities. She said that I really needed to pray for Shelly. That being envious is a sin, and she quoted me a Bible verse, and I even read it and underlined it.
*”Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.” 1Corinthians.13: 4
This is where Paul shows us that Love is the greatest of all gifts. You’ve probably heard folks quoting a lot of those verses. It was written by the apostle Paul. He was talking to the people in Corinth when he was teaching. Well, I knew if it worked for people since Paul's time and the Bible is our guide for living today, that I should remember those words.
THIS IS WHAT HELPED ME:
- I read that verse often and also prayed for Shelly.
- I was always nice to her and didn’t act better than anyone else. I realized that would be against the words that God gave the Apostle Paul.
- I started to baby sit and do extra chores and Mom let me buy some of my own clothes so I felt like I was growing up. I also realized how nice it was to have a Mom who sewed and made me things, like I had my own style of designs.
In a few months the whole experience with Shelly was almost forgotten. I remembered how important it was not to believe everything I heard, and that some people hurt so badly they have to make-up things to feel better. Eventually Shelly and I became friends, and she also talked about her grandmother. That was cool.
There were other popular girls in junior high and high school that I’d notice and hear bragging about things. It didn’t bother me anymore because of that first experience and I knew that there were probably a lot of Shelly’s around. And guess what? You have some in your school too.
CHAT IT OUT
Adults grab a tween you love. If you're a tween, grab an adult. Please do it gently, adults squish easily. Let's talk about these issues.
1. Share with each other times where you've been jealous of someone.
2. Discuss why that person may have been acting like he or she did. Could they have had a bad day? Did they have a self image problem? Were their pants filled with jell-O?
3. Can you think of someone like Shelly in your life who might need prayer?
Meet the Author: Diane Dean White:
In surviving grade school, middle school and high school, I've learned that the Shelly’s of this world are just as important to God as everyone else. You can read one of my stories “Evening in Paris, Tangerine Lipstick and Sandra Dee” by going to my website at www.DianeDeanWhite.com I love hearing from my readers, and especially tweens, you're among my favorites!
I've been blessed to have a wonderful husband - we'll celebrate forty years of marriage this July! We have three great grown kids, a daughter and two boys. I was a busy Mom!! We also have three grand gals who are 7, 12 and 14. So as well as remembering my tween years and our daughters, I know what tweens today are going through first-hand.