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Feeling invisible?

From the teen series: Trending - September 9, 2020


TeenConnect: Trending

My family moved a lot. Between kindergarten and the end of high school, I ended up going to eight different schools. Most of the time I attended small international schools. However, when my family moved again before my junior year of high school, I transitioned to a huge school with nearly four thousand students. 

Total culture shock. I was used to being in welcoming environments, surrounded by students who were going through similar things. But on my first day at my new school, it was like I was invisible; not a single person spoke to me all day.

When I got home that afternoon, I burst into tears. My parents comforted me, and we all assumed things would quickly improve. But as days passed with almost no change, I realized that waiting this out wasn’t going to solve my problem. I needed to pray. 

Not a single person spoke to me all day.

I had learned in Christian Science Sunday School that I could always turn to God for help. What came to me to pray with was the Lord’s Prayer that Jesus gave us. Mary Baker Eddy, who loved and followed Jesus’ teachings, describes the Lord’s Prayer as one that “covers all human needs” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 16). So I knew that my need for friends and community could be met by praying this prayer. 

Every day, as part of the morning announcements, my school gave us a moment of silence for prayer. So I took this time to pray the Lord’s Prayer. The line that really stood out to me was “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). 

I’d also learned in Sunday School that God is Love, so I knew God’s will for me and everyone had to be only good. It had to include everything that’s an expression of Love, including friendships, connections, and all of us being able to share our goodness with each other.

As I prayed with this idea, it occurred to me that I didn’t need to tell God how many friends I needed, or how many parties I should be invited to, or which clubs or teams I should be welcomed into. I could simply trust God’s goodness and pray to see that God’s will was being done—no matter how things appeared on the surface. I also realized that humility was important, because whatever God was giving me might not look the same as some plan that I had laid out for myself, and I needed to stay open to that. 

I didn’t need to tell God how many friends I needed. I could simply trust God’s goodness.

This was a huge turning point. I’d experienced many physical healings through prayer while I was growing up, but this was the first time I’d prayed for myself about this kind of problem. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I became more willing to let God show me the blessings that came from Him and must always be present. Rather than feeling invisible, impatient, and anxious for things to change, I felt patient and peaceful, and I was able to recognize the good that was going on around me, where before I hadn’t been able to see any at all.

I continued to pray the Lord’s Prayer every morning, opening myself up to new inspiration. And things began to turn around. I made wonderful friends, grew to love my teachers and classes, and became involved in some really fun clubs. I graduated from this same high school, and my senior year, the yearbook editors selected a huge photo of me to be on the front page. What a change from my first, upsetting day!

This experience made me realize that we really can turn to God for anything. We are seen by God and known to God—never invisible, but always cared for, provided for, and loved.

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