It was happening again. The moments where my knees trembled and my stomach turned.
It would happen like it did EVERY time. The whole group would fall away and I would be left… Maybe with the kid with really thick glasses, with extra weight, or special needs.
It would be the worst for the introvert in me. The crowd would be stripped away, I would stand alone, and I would feel every eye on me.
I was going to have to try to figure out how to run and kick at the same time, and the ball was going to be MOVING!!! On top of that, I was not CHOSEN. I was already insecure, but everyone saw that insecurity and hoped that their team wouldn’t be stuck with me.
It always happened that way. Kickball would never be my strong suit.
I was everyone’s last choice for sports. I always have been, and frankly I always will be.
In 6th grade it got worse. Classmates who didn’t want me on their team now didn’t want me to be their friend.
I was the smallest. I was the shyest. I was the scared-est. I’m not saying their was much to see on the outside, but on the inside was a fiercely loyal, and giving girl that most overlooked.
But then Tiffany happened to me!
At the same time things got worse for me socially, things were about to change for the better. In fact 11 year old Christina had know idea the lifelong gift she was about to receive (in more ways than one).
It began as Tiffany’s mom reached out to an old church friend (my Mama) for before and after childcare for Tiffany.
Tiffany and I hit it off right away. We looked very different. Small and shy Christina was paired with tall and confident Tiffany.
Tiffany was good at sports. She was strong and determined, but she was absolutely beautiful to watch. Her body moved like a graceful gazelle in response to whatever position of whatever sport she played. I can close my eyes and see her move across a softball field or a volleyball court. She could even kick a moving ball in kickball, EVERY TIME. 😉
Tiffany was also good with people. Classmates loved her. She made everyone feel valuable. If you met Tiffany today, you would love her. She is THAT likable, and still has that special ability to make you feel loved.
SO… 6th grade started with Tiffany at the top, and me at the bottom. And honestly it should have, and could have stayed that way, but it didn’t. At some point and then over and over again Tiffany chose ME.
When others said they wouldn’t be her friend if she was friends with me, she chose me.
When others picked on my clothes or my hair, she helped me get ready in the morning (She even helped me fix my bangs… Don’t judge.) She chose me.
When she chose teams I wasn’t ever last. She chose me.
When 6 ft sixth graders (I wish I was making that up) wanted to treat me badly, she would stand up for me. She chose me.
And when I punched “Tom” in the eye for pulling me down hard on a chair, she cheered me on for standing up to him. She chose me.
I began to have confidence that Tiffany was always going to come through for me. She chose me.
What’s the point? Is it to tell a heroic story? Is it to sing Tiffany’s praises? Is it to make you feel sorry for me as a child?
The point is Jesus (in case you haven’t noticed I kind of harp on Him).
1 Peter 2:9 says that we are chosen.
And much like Tiffany, God left His place for us. He laid down everything to come to earth, and then He gave up His life, too.
He changes us from the inside out.
He chose us for His team, not because we were worthy, or even because we would be an asset. He chose us because He knew His ability was enough to compensate for our inabilities, and He wanted to share His victory with us.
When giants stand in our way, He is there to defeat them.
When we begin to see victories, He cheers us on.
We can have confidence that God will see us through anything.
We could argue about how He accomplishes this, but there is no denying that He has.
So today, if you feel as small as 11 year old Christina, remember someone CHOSE YOU. He’s stronger than you. He’s came to your level. He’s changing you to be His pure and spotless bride. He’s sharing His victories and defeating your giants.
My friend Tiffany still chooses me today, and my Heavenly Father does too.
May we live this day… Chosen!