When I left primary school, 5 good friends of mine had moved within the last two years, so I started secondary school without any of my close buddies to navigate through the new and exciting, but scary, challenges of year 7. I found it quite difficult to make friends in the first few months at school. I was used to being popular and having lots of friends, and now I felt pretty lonely and missed all my old friends; it didn’t help that there weren’t many girls in my year, yet alone many girls that I felt were very similar to me (nothing against having boys as friends but we all know how immature 11 year old boys can be!!)
I prayed so often for opportunities to make new friends and for confidence when chatting with people (I’m a shy person, even small talk makes me nervous!!). Often, I felt like it wasn’t worth it, because I still felt so lonely, or because friendships hadn’t developed the way I’d hoped. I thought a lot about moving school, but worried that I wouldn’t be able to find friends there either! It was a time of uncertainty for me; I didn’t know where I fitted in at school or I if I would even stay at my school. I just had to wait and try to trust God.
I’d love to be able to write that I soon made fab new friends, but that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t until i was in year 10 that I felt I’d found people who I could truly be me around, who I really clicked with. My friendship group now is pretty tight and I’m dreading leaving them in the summer when we finish year 11!
It’s so easy to forget all the good things in our lives and all the good things God has done, and is doing, for us when we go through tricky and tough times. I want to encourage all of you going through difficult times to:
focus on the positives – when I felt lonely at school, I learnt so much about persevering and pushing myself out of my comfort zone, which helped me become so much more confident.
Stay trusting God – I promise you it won’t always be this hard, and being able to chat to God about the hard times truly helps. God is the same today and everyday, and remembering this helps me whenever things in my life are changing or uncertain because I know that despite all these confusing things, God still loves me and still has good plans for me. Romans 8:28 says ‘we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him’ and this is SO true and reassuring because it means that our difficult times are never pointless.