I read something today that really touched my heart. It was a story on yahoo about a women who had been bullied as a child. She came from a bad home situation, and to make her life even worse, she was bullied by her classmates. That was years ago, she is a grown woman now, and she wrote a poem and posted it on the reunion page for her class. Apparently not only did many of her former classmates apologize, they raised the money to fly her to the reunion. As someone who was bullied mercilessly as a child and teen, I know her pain. It doesn't end when you graduate. It lingers. Maybe not in the everyday things, but it's always there, in the background. It affects how you interact with people, sometimes in ways that interfere with life, and sometimes in very subtle ways. It's there when you say or do something wrong, then wait for the teasing that is sure to come. It's there when you have to do something you feel unequipped for, then wait for the criticism that you are sure you deserve. It's there when you aren't sure what to say in conversation, then wait for people to drift away. It's always there, pulling you back from life. Bullying doesn't stop when the bully walks away, it can be a lifelong hurt.
Luckily, we have Someone bigger and stronger than any bully. We have Someone who can take all that hurt, and all that pain, and never let it touch you again. I read somewhere that if you start to listen too much to the enemy's lies (and that is really what bullying is, isn't it, satan using people to hurt each other?) you should do this exercise: take what you are hearing, and follow it by "in JESUS' name" if it makes no sense (eg: You are ugly...in JESUS' name. Makes no sense right???) you can freely discard it, because it's not from GOD, and we don't have to believe anything that is not from our GOD. HE only wants to build us up and encourage us, HE will never tell us anything that would hurt us. HE might tell us stuff that is hard to hear because it is convicting, but never something that is meant to hurt us.
So if you were bullied, or bullied someone else, or if you know someone that is or has been bullied, remember, that is not GOD's plan for any of HIS children. If you were bullied, ask HIM for healing. If you bullied someone, ask for forgiveness, and pray for those you bullied. If you know someone who has suffered from bullying, tell them about the hope that GOD offers, the healing that can come from a relationship with HIM. And say a prayer for everyone who's life is affected by bullying.