Megan shuddered when Mrs. Horton assigned the topic of the essay. “I would like each of you to write about your best friend.”
She ran her friendships through her mind and wondered if animals counted. It seemed like all the girls she knew hugged and laughed together. They fit in, they were popular. Megan on the other hand was the last one picked for sports. At lunch time, she would dread finding a place to sit. She wasn’t close to anyone.
She walked home after class trying to think of a way to come up with an essay about a fictional person. What would she want in a best friend? Someone that loved her and thought she was special; a girlfriend that she could talk to and tell secrets. Someone she could spend time with that enjoyed her company.
Megan didn’t know anyone like that. Most girls gave her dirty looks or walked by her like she was invisible. She had for the most part learned to deal with it. In her neighborhood there were some kids that she hung out with, but they were mostly boys.
At home, she sat on her bed and stared at the blank paper in her lap. She had always been a decent student and always had completed her homework. But this was uncharted territory, a topic she knew little about. She was always looking at friendships from the outside. The reality that she didn’t have a best friend was glaring, as if there was a big red neon LOOSER sign above her head. She felt like a reject of society.
She tried to write some things but each time she ripped up the paper and threw it at her garbage can. Finally she sat there and cried. What was it about her that made her different? Even girls that she thought were strange or funny looking seemed to have good friends. Why did people dislike her?
These thoughts made her cry even harder. She didn’t notice that her mom had walked into the room. “Megan, what is wrong?”
“I don’t want to talk about it mom, she replied, turning her back to her mother.”
“Something is wrong and I want you to tell me,” Laura said as she sat down and put her arm around her daughter.
Once Megan started telling her, it all came pouring out. She felt ashamed as she looked up at her mother after spilling her guts.
“This may surprise you, but I have felt the same way. Do you know what made the difference for me?”
“What,” Megan said wiping away her tears?
“When I was your age, grandma told me the same thing I am going to tell you. Megan, you are loved and you are special. I know it’s hard to look past what you are seeing at school each day. But don’t you realize that God loves you? Each Sunday when we go to church, have you been paying attention? The bible is not just a book of history we are learning from. Jesus is real and he cares about you. Have you talked to Him about how you are feeling?”
“Mom -- what, is He going to do, make a friend for me out of nowhere,” Megan remarked as she rolled her eyes and started to cry again?
“Let’s pray about it. Sitting in your room crying isn’t going to help. Let’s go to the one who can help you.” Laura said, kneeling on the floor and looking at her daughter, extending her hand.
“Mom, why do we have to get on the floor, can’t He hear us from here?”
“Megan do you really want His help? You know what He did for us, right?”
“Fine-uh,” Megan replied as she kneeled down letting out a sound like air deflating from a balloon.
Over the next few days, Megan started talking more and more to Jesus. In a matter of weeks, a new girl, Amy, became the target for everyone else’s dirty looks. It wasn’t long before the two girls became good friends. Megan completed her essay just in time, but she didn’t write about Amy. She wrote about her new best friend Jesus, who she finally realized was indeed the best friend anyone could have.
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