I'm a shy girl and I'm not very good at starting conversations with the girls at my church. Do you have any tips on how to start a conversation with them?
~ Ice Breaker
Dear Ice Breaker,
An amazing thing about making friends at Church is that you already have the greatest common point you could ever share - your faith in God! I know it might feel uncomfortable to use that as a topic of conversation at first, though. One great way to break the ice is to give sincere compliments! Complimenting a girl on her cute outfit or on an awesome youth group sharing brightens her day and may open doors to more topics. Asking questions also stimulates conversation. Breaking the ice can be/feel really awkward, but you need to push through the stickiness! You can do it, girl! And Jesus, our Best friend, reminds us: "Let not your hearts be troubled. Trust in God: trust in me also" (John 14:1). Jesus will always remain by your side and you can run to Him - especially when you feel lonely and disheartened (I know how that can be)! He is the Best friend ever! Talk to Him about how you feel and ask Him for opportunities to talk to your Church girls. He will guide you! Even if it seems like something like starting a conversation isn't important to Him, I know it is! Let His Spirit guide you. As Romans 8:14 says (my paraphrase), the Holy Spirit will guide God's children!
People at my school make VERY rude comments to me because I make it known that I am a Christian. Right now, I'm getting sick and tired of gritting my teeth and keeping my mouth shut. I pray as I walk down the hall and pass them, but my mind is swarming with comments to say to them. Help me please!
~Tired and Angry
Dear Tired and Angry,
I'm sorry you're having to deal with these rude comments. Remember what Jesus said? "No servant is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also" (John 15:20). But that's not it! He also promised "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you" (Deuteronomy 31:6). He also said that He would send us an Advocate - a Helper - who would strengthen us (John 14:16, 15:26). Now I know, that's all well and good, but it doesn't change the fact that these people at your school are bullying you. But I encourage you, beautiful daughter of the King, Take Heart! You are so beloved by Him and He is pleased immensely by your big heart and your faithfulness to Him! He wants to whisper words of comfort, a soothing balm to your soul: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad because great is your reward in heaven" (Matthew 5:11-12). It's still hard and chances are, it will continue to be hard. The fact that Satan is putting such effort into getting you down suggests that you are doing an amazing job of shining for the Lord, sister :) Please don't let the criticism those who don't understand get you down! I'll leave you with this: "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us" (Romans 1:1-5).
Did you know that Haylie, the editor, gave Nadia the nick name, Noodles?!