Written by Ashley Ramey, founder of Grace Extent
The second picked girl
Going through middle school was hard enough–I mean, the pressures of being cool, having the top selection of friends that everyone knew, and having the best hair and makeup so the girls wouldn’t pick on you.
See, I wasn’t that girl.
I wasn’t the girl with the expensive makeup brands, the expensive clothes, and really, I wasn’t the girl that fit in. I got bullied almost every day. I would come home crying at the fact that during school, there was this group of girls that would come up to me, whisper something to another girl and then, they would all walk away laughing at me.
However, this is really where I lost my joy.
I went to my friend’s sleepover that also included 7 other girls that would be staying over. My mom told me not to stay and that if she was really my friend, she wouldn’t be mad at me for not staying. I replied saying, “No mom, I’m going to go. I am going to show them.” Well, 4 am rolled around when I was trying to go to sleep, and this is where it went downhill.
At 4 am, I had shoes thrown at me, cat food thrown at me, and every single last one of them laughing at me. I was the laughing stock of the crowd. I called my twin brother, Justin, crying and begging him to come get me.
So, he did. He walked by himself on one of the busiest roads of Greenville, SC just so I wouldn’t have to stay in that environment any longer. I was hurt, mad, sad–I mean you name it, I was feeling it. This is what took my joy from me.
Every day, I would make myself so sick just going to school that I ended up being put on homebound. From 7th grade to 9th grade, I was the worst I have ever felt, and I wrote letters every day explaining that I didn’t want to be here, that I was better off dead than being like this.
Until 10th grade, where I got myself back
After returning to school, I had this attitude that no one was going to hurt me like they did for the past three years. I was determined to make something of myself. So, I did. I put in the extra work to get caught up in school, to make new friends that accepted me for me, and above all, I followed Jesus.
I finally got my joy back from an ongoing situation.
If there is one thing that I wish I would’ve known back then, it is this.
“Ashley, you don’t get valuation from anyone but from Jesus and Jesus only.”
I can’t stress this enough to younger girls. You weren’t meant to be on this earth just to be told what to wear, what makeup to buy, and what friends make you popular. You’re loved in so many ways by just being you and you only.
Jesus made you unique so that no one else can be you. He made you to stand out when everyone else doesn’t want to be seen. He loves you far beyond you could ever imagine.
Things on earth are temporary, so when I felt out of place or just alone, I would quietly invite Jesus to walk with me. “Peace be still,” I would think over and over and over walking down the hallways. This helped my anxiety more than anything. This was the one thing that helped me to see the good in life.
Just love yourself and be the BEST version of you that you could possibly be. Be original. (:
Founder of GE
Ashley Ramey is the founder of Grace Extent, a blog where she openly shares about her struggles with depression and anxiety. I encourage you to check out the Devotionals on Grace Extent, which are always enlightening and uplifting!