When I was 12 years old, I entered those life changing doors of Jr. High. I was a skinny nerdy girl, who was terrified of the unknown. I of course made lifelong friends in there. But I also realized, not everyone was going to like me. And I learned that very quickly.
It was the week just after the first snow of the year and I had gone sledding that weekend. As I entered the doors of the classroom I saw a girl, who I had seen at the park. So with a smile on my face, I turned to her and said, "Hey! I saw you sledding!" I thought I was about to make a new friend.....oh no, that was not the case. She must have heard me wrong. Now, this girl was much taller and larger than I was, and she glared at me with so much anger, I instinctively just started to RUN! She then began chasing me screaming horrible names at me and things she was going to do to me. I ran into the bathroom and hid in a stall. She came bursting through the door, still screaming. "I KNOW YOU'RE IN HERE! I'M GONNA HURT YOU SO BAD!" I was shaking in absolute fear, wondering why telling her I saw her sledding made her so angry? I heard the 2 min bell ring, and I prayed she would leave so she would not be late to class. "I'M NOT LEAVING UNTIL YOU COME OUT!", she screamed. And then the toilet in the stall next to me began to overflow, seriously this moment just kept getting worse. Until, a voice yelled back at this girl that was threatening my very life saying, "SHOULDN'T YOU BE IN CLASS? GET OUT OF HERE AND LEAVE HER ALONE!" The girl in route to my very destruction tried to argue back, but this voice won the argument. I don't remember what was said, but she left. She actually let me live! Then there was a knock at the stall door, "Hey are you ok?" I unlocked it. Her name is Erin, and she walked right through that toilet water that was all over the floor and rescued me. She hugged me and told me she would walk me back to my class to make sure I would be safe. She was my hero! And I bet she does not even remember that moment, but I will never forget it, and I will always be thankful to her for the rest of my life. Because though I don't think the girl would have actually killed me, I would have been injured for sure. So Erin, Thank You! From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!
Jr. High was not an easy place for me. But there were always those people who made it better. Who were not the bully's. I had other moments in Jr. High that were not pleasant, but thankfully that was the only time my life ever felt threatened. And with great parents and faith in my Father in Heaven and my Savior and a few friends, I made it through all in one piece.
So I ask you, who are you going to be? The one who traps someone in a stall? Or saves the one hiding? There are always going to be those who strive to put us down. But we can make the choice how we choose to react. I for one hope to always be willing to help the one in need. Because I think it is what our Heavenly Father and Savior, Jesus Christ would want us to do. Be the hero, not the enemy.
There are times in our lives when we feel scared and threatened, beat up and put down, lost and angry, sad and lonely, helpless and afraid. But in those times, if we turn to our Heavenly Father in prayer, we can make it. We can overcome the battle that has brought us down and get back up. Will it be easy? Probably not. But it will be worth it? Yes. I look back at my many challenges in life, and though I wish I never had to go through any of them, I am who I am because of them. They made me stronger and more understanding and compassionate to those around me. And I know there will still be challenges ahead, and I pray daily that I can have more strength to overcome my weaknesses and more strength to make it through it all. Life is scary, but it is also beautiful. Remember we are NEVER alone, we have a Savior who loves us, and has felt and experienced our pains. He will be there to buoy us up in our time of need. This I promise you.