By Hannah Brzozowski
Was middle school hard for you? That was a stupid question, of course it was. I feel like anyone who has ever lived can acknowledge that ages 12-14 are some of the most awkward, difficult years. You smell bad, you’re socially inept, and you spend 3 years trying to figure out your place in the world.
In seventh grade, I have a vivid memory of my best friend telling me that my face was going red. This is my first memory of blushing. I probably blushed before but I never realized that it was supposed to be embarrassing before. And you know what happened after she pointed it out? My face got redder. All the heat from the room felt like it got sucked into my face and it was as red as a heart on a Valentine. I don’t remember what made my face go red, but I do remember the shame that happened because of it.
Later on that week, in typical middle school fashion, I returned the favor to my friend. I told her that her face went red and the same thing happened, her face got redder and she was even more embarrassed. I felt slightly vindicated but later on at lunch that day, we made a promise that I will never forget: We will NEVER tell each other if our faces go red. To this day, I’m grateful for that promise.
If you don’t have this problem, let me explain it to you simply: it’s basically like a big sign on your face that says: “I’M UNCOMFORTABLE WITH THIS RIGHT NOW!” and everyone in the room knows it. At least that’s how it feels, in reality, most of the time, people don’t notice it and even if they do, they don’t care nearly as much as you do.
The other day, I googled “How to stop my face from turning red” and something kept coming up. One of the most common solutions was to acknowledge the blushing. If you call out the fact that your face is going red, it helps you calm down.
This got me thinking: I wonder if it’s the same thing with the internal shame in our lives. If we’re able to say out loud “I’m ashamed of _______.” Could this take the power away from this invisible things that can so quickly slow us down in our lives. If we can take time to confess things we’ve done wrong, I believe it helps us acknowledge the pain that we’ve caused and it takes the power away from that feeling.
James (Jesus’ half brother) talks about confession in his writings:
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).
There is power in confession and there is power in admitting weakness.