21 For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, 22 who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; 23 and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.
I have spent a good portion of my life to this point building into the lives of junior high and high school students. If there is anything I know now, it is that the junior high years are tough. I know from my own experience that it held some of the hardest times for me, I have seen it in the lives of the many students I've had in youth group, and I now am experiencing it in new and even more deeply felt ways with my daughter, Ellie. The junior high period is typified by some of the most overt expressions of self-centeredness (as it is before we learn to hide this ugly part of our humanness), and junior high girls can be especially cruel in their struggle for acceptance and self-worth.