The Fictional Self: Coping with Bullying and Finding Confidence in Christ

The Fictional Self: Coping with Bullying and Finding Confidence in Christ

Bullying is a harsh reality for many children growing up.

It can leave lasting scars that are difficult to heal. As a child who was bullied, I know this all too well. But I found that my imagination was my greatest tool in overcoming the pain and hurt of bullying.

Whenever I was bullied, I would create a fictional version of myself in my mind. This version of me was robust, confident, and always stood up to the bullies. He was athletic, outgoing, and good-looking. He was the complete opposite of who I really was. But I realized as I grew older that I never let go of that fictional version of myself.

This fictional version of me became someone I aspired to be.

He had darker skin, whiter teeth, and bluer eyes. He was brilliant, creative, and could play the guitar. He was the person worth telling stories about, the one whose success was limitless and who could change the world. He was the person I secretly wanted to be.

But this version of me was not the real me. He was a creation of my imagination, a character I had built in my mind. I knew I could never truly be him, but he gave me hope. He gave me something to strive for.

Many people create a similar version of themselves in their minds. We all desire to be someone great who makes a difference in the world. But the reality is that we are all imperfect. We all have flaws and insecurities that hold us back.

It's easy to question why we were made imperfect. Why did God make us this way? It's a difficult question to answer. But I have realized that God did not make a mistake with you or with me. We were made to be imperfect, but that does not mean we are not valuable.

When I create this fictional version of myself, I seek perfection.

But the truth is that excellence, purity, and perfection can only be found in Jesus. It is in Jesus that I find acceptance, meaning, and significance. He helps me to live in the body and mind that I actually have.

Ephesians 2:10 - "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in

I still struggle with insecurity and self-doubt but I am learning to overcome them. Jesus has helped me to see that my significance comes from Him. He has written me into His story and wants to use me for His purposes.

Bullying can be a painful experience, but it does not have to define us. We can use our imaginations to create a better version of ourselves, one that inspires us to be the best we can be. And we can find hope and meaning in Jesus, who loves us despite our imperfections.

Psalm 139:14 - "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well."

If you are struggling with insecurity and self-doubt, I encourage you to turn to Jesus.

He can help you see that you are valuable and have a purpose. He can help you overcome the pain of bullying and live a life of significance.

God loves me. I was not made perfect, but I was made to be perfect. When I create this fictional Payton in my mind, I am seeking perfection in myself. A perfection that will never be truly found and embodied. Excellence, purity, perfection can only be found in Jesus.

Psalm 139:16 - "Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them."

It is in Jesus that I find acceptance, meaning, and significance. This might sound like a call to the altar, but this is so much more than that. This is freedom from the imprisonment of insecurity.

Jesus loosens the shackles of self-doubt and helps me live in the body and mind that I actually have.

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