Lately my junior high friend, Vicky, has been on my mind. A lot.
You see Vicky and I met when I moved from the suburbs of St. Louis to the “small town” life of central Illinois. I was a freshman, she a seventh grader. We lived a few houses apart, we each were the oldest in our families, and we both hated our hair. Beyond that our lives were very different. She came from what many would consider a "well-to-do" family; she owned horses, wore designer clothes, and, well, you get the picture. My family fell into the low- to mid-income range and the year my family was renting the house near Vicky was the first time I had ever been in a neighborhood with a country club.
Every time I think about Vicky I see her as she was then, a young girl who believed she was awkward, ugly, and unloved. An individual with all the great characteristics of a "best friend" but who was desperate for friendship. Those looking in from the outside only saw her family's financial status. They never saw what was going on inside the home, inside Vicky's heart. But I knew because she often shared her insecurities and fears. I hugged her when her parents told her they were splitting up, I tried my best to encourage her as she moved to Chicago with her mom, far away from the father, home, and horses she loved.
It makes me sad to think about Vicky. During my junior year she died in a tragic plane crash along with her father and two siblings. She left this world never getting to grow into the beautiful woman she most likely would have become with her striking skin tone, beautiful eyes, and yes, even with her wild mane. Whenever I encounter women who view themselves much the same as they did during those awkward early teen years I think about Vicky. I think about the old me.
Much like Vicky I believed I had little value or worth in this world. I felt ugly, unlovable, and largely insecure. I carried the burdens of my past as if I couldn't live without them. I was destined to live my life overwhelmed by my own inadequacies. Unlike Vicky, I could make a choice to think different.
Over time I began to replace the lies of yesterday with the truths of today. I recognized that to feel different I had to first act different. It's been a slow process as I've forced myself to look at the positive qualities I possess, to choose to believe I have much to offer and to look in the mirror and honestly believe I look better than good.
I want how I feel, how I see myself today, to be the way every woman views herself. Loved. Valued. Beautiful. I want to put my arms around every "Vicky" I encounter and love them into loving themselves. Where my arms are inadequate, God's arms are sufficient. Only through His point of view can any one person become whole.
Do you have a "Vicky" complex? Do you need to receive the truths waiting for you? If so I'd love to be able to encourage you today.