I don't know if it's something mainly middle children deal with, but I'm sure a lot of you have experienced something similar to what happens to me somewhat often:
My dad has been wanting me to learn this song called "River Flows in You" by Yiruma, but without the sheet music and only by ear. I've been putting it aside for a while (although I loved the song and had wanted to learn it for a while, I was just so busy), but a few months ago I finally decided I'd actually do it. I learn about ten measures, more or less, and I play it for a while to make sure it sticks in my head.
And no one notices. No one takes the time to realize I've just learned a brand-new song without reading the music. Sure, my family stop by to talk to me about other things, but no remark about my latest accomplishment. And no - I'm not doing it just to be praised, but it is encouraging just to hear one short comment about it, even a negative one, to show that they realize I'm here. My dad even has the time to yell my name so I can help with groceries, but nope, no "great job! You started learning the song!" comes to my ears.*
This is something that seems to happen a lot - not just with family but with friends, too. I watch while everyone around me seems to get praised for so many things, but me? I'm invisible. Everything I seem to do is a mistake. I feel like I'm that girl who's "allowed' to tag along - but only if she has to. I'm "her sister" that the other girls don't really care about. Some days I feel like no one would even notice if I never showed up again. I'm that girl no one wants to take the initiative to talk with. The girl who gets invited to things just because her sisters are invited and they have to be polite, where the invite says "she can come if she wants to." The girl no one bothers to acknowledge. The girl who is asked to take the photo, but never be in it. The girl that has to say something to remind people she's there - and normal. I feel so alone somedays, as I watch all these teens around me getting praised. Admired. Loved. Somedays I wish I could just go and be with my Savior and leave all this pain and loneliness. I feel like so often, I am skipped over. Because I appear more emotionally stable, more joyful. Appear. I feel like people don't bother to encourage me or love on me because I seem so "perfect" already.
But maybe that's 'cuz I've gotten good at hiding it. I'm like those babies at orphanages who have stopped crying because no one ever came over to help them. Or more like one who never cried out, because of reason they themselves don't even know. I feel invisible sometimes. Like no one cares. Like I'm a piece of dirt no one wants to include in their conversations.
Do I even matter? Is there anybody out there who truly cares? Who will take the time to listen and encourage me? Someone who can actually relate to me, who knows how to comfort, encourage, and pray for me?
Do I matter?!
Sometimes I even wished I could break a bone or get some serious illness or something, so that maybe people would notice me. I've spent my whole childhood seeking love- and not just the kind of love from boys- and affirmation. It's a constant battle that I feel I'll never be able to win.
But here's something my dad told me recently that helped me (in my own words):
Okay, so God created the whole universe, right? It's so big, so VAST, we don't even know where the end is! And in that VAST universe, He chose to put a whole bunch of stars and galaxies. And He made a special galaxy, our galaxy, which we call the Milky Way. And in that VAST, HUGE galaxy, God created a sun and a whole bunch of planets, asteroids, and other space wonders. And amongst those eight planets, he chose to create our earth, at perfect distance from the sun, perfect tilt, perfect temperature - He thought of everything! And in our teeny earth, when He could've chose to leave it like that - and maybe there would be no sin to this day and everything would still be perfect just like he created it- and make the stars even more majestic or something cool like that - no, in our HUGE galaxy, in our even HUGER universe, God chose to put me - you- on the earth at this time period, in a certain family, in a certain country, state, county, street…with a certain group of friends, in a certain church (I love you guys!!), and so on and so on!! He did the same for you! And He predestined me to be a child of GOD!! He cared so much that He was willing to send His own SON to die for us!! To live like a nobody for me! For YOU! God cares!! And He says that I DO matter!! He's willing to leave the ninety-nine and come find that one lost sheep!! And if the God of the UNIVERSE cares about itty-bitty me - why should I be chasing after other people's affirmation? Approval? Love? GOD loves me! GOD loves YOU!!
And yeah- maybe I don't matter to other people. So what? I'mma walk on cloud nine million cuz the God of the universe says that I do matter to Him!
Here's another thing to chew on: sometimes, people are simply too afraid to walk up and say hi or talk with you. There's a lot of fear in the generation, but in the name of Jesus every stronghold will break!! Really, though, people often do care but either are too scared to say it or don't know how to communicate that to you.
But regardless of whether or not people think you matter or are important and worthy of their attention, I pray that you will always remember what GOD says of you!!
*side note: now that I'm out of the moment and out of my self-doubt relapse, they actually do praise me a lot - I just don't remember it. I guess, it's kind of in my nature to focus on the negative things people say about me than the positive things. And don't get me wrong- I love my family (and friends) to death and would never trade them for anyone else! I just experience "middle child syndrome" sometimes.
"I have said these things to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but take heart;
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"I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all of my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds."