Outside Looking In
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“Outside Looking In,” New Era, May 2008, 46

Outside Looking In

“Welcome to Podunk, USA,” I thought glumly as I sat on my back porch. It was a warm day for February, but I wasn’t enjoying it. I was too distracted by the sight of the cows 50 feet away.

My parents had moved, with my three sisters and me, to Jefferson City, Missouri. My eyes filled with tears as I thought of the distance that now separated me from the comfort of my friends and my old life.

Just the day before we had gone over to the high school to meet with my counselor. She smiled sympathetically and informed me that I was too late for cheerleading tryouts and that my new school didn’t even have a show choir. Those two activities meant the world to me, and the thought of not being able to do them made me want to walk the 1,000 miles back to Maryland.

“How will anyone get to know the real me?” I thought . I wouldn’t be the same person now that I wasn’t going to be on the sidelines at the games or singing with my friends in the choir.

“I am officially a nobody from nowhere,” I concluded.

I stared blankly at the scriptures on my lap, hoping for some peace from my depressing thoughts. As I flipped through the pages, my eye landed on a scripture I had highlighted: “The Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).

I realized that when Heavenly Father sees me cheering for the team or singing on the stage, that is just part of my outward appearance. Those activities don’t determine who I am. He sees the real me, His daughter, someone who is trying hard to make the right choices and be a good example for her sisters.

The next day when I started at my new school, I walked confidently through the crowded halls. I realized that the Lord knows my heart and that I’m never alone.