A Conversation With My Childhood Self

My skin is soft. The world is as big as my neighborhood. And my school. Everything spoken to me comes in without a grain of salt. It is truth.

But that’s because I am 5 years old.

School. It’s where I first hear the question,

“Why are you so short?”

That’s when my neighbor, David, starts standing in front of me and saying over and over,

“Leave her alone.”

And that’s when I know I need protecting. Because something about me is wrong. At least that’s what my world is telling me.

The question turns into jokes. And then the jokes turn into accusations:

“You’re ugly and you’re short.”

And my little mind tries to understand, tries to reason,

“Am I ugly because I am short? Or am I short, so therefore I am ugly?”

Then one day David and his family move away and I learn to stand at the playground alone.

My world becomes a little bigger in middle school. But my height stays relatively unaffected. As small as I am, I am unbelievably noticeable to everyone.

That’s me on the left. I’m two years older than my sister standing next to me and one year younger than my cousin on the far right. PS I have not shown this picture to anyone in years but pulled it out just for you!

I walk home in the evening hunched over from the weight of my big backpack, hunched over because of this question I cannot answer – and why does everyone keep asking it?

“Why are you so short?”

My mom and I cry together at the end of each day as I recount things said to me. And I keep asking for David.

My height stays the same but my mind grows. My world grows. My emotions grow.

I meet Jesus. He becomes my new David. He protects me with His Word. Which I devour each night for a bit of comfort.

Today I am 5′ 1″ tall. Today I embrace my height. Today when someone asks (and yes, people still ask),

“Why are you so short?”

I know how to answer.

But my height did define my early years on this earth. And it played a part in forming who I am today.

I’ve spent some time thinking about what my current self would say to my 5-year-old, 10-year-old, and even 15-year-old self. Would it be,

“Just ignore them.”


“You’re beautiful because you are made in Jesus’ image.”

Or something clever about words being so weak …

None of those seemed to affect the young Bri I was talking to. But then I realized I knew what I wanted to tell her, what I wish she had done.

I would say,

“Don’t throw those rocks back. And don’t use those rocks to build that wall, either.”

I’d say,

“You are going to be small for the rest of your life, sweet girl. But something more important in you will grow. And that is your heart. You don’t need to be tall to love like He does.”

Going back and talking to younger me is not an option. But I take what I’ve learned and I tell it to the young children in my life who I know feel alone. I tell it to my sponsored child every time I write her. Because until she meets Jesus, I can be her David.

Because she doesn’t have new clothes and maybe that makes her feel less valuable.

Because her home doesn’t look like the homes of her classmates and so maybe she feels forgotten.

Because maybe poverty makes her feel alone in her little world but I can be that voice that stands next to her. I pray in those moments she hears,

“Jesus loves you, yes He does. And He is near. And He won’t ever leave you. And anytime you ever have a question about who you are, you go ask Him. He won’t ever let you down.”

If you could go back and give your childhood self a little advice, what would it be?

Blog Month assignment one is to write a blog post to your childhood self like Brianne did today. Get the full details for this week’s assignment at compassionbloggers.com.

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After you write the blog post for assignment one, don’t forget to enter your blog post URL in the Rafflecopter widget below.

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8 Comments |Add a comment

  1. Lola M September 8, 2013


  2. Lindsay September 5, 2013

    I wish I could go back and give my younger self a little advice like this. It’s beautifully written.

  3. Godlove September 4, 2013

    Great article
    I am glad I was able to read this article
    It got some really important information
    And good English writing, easy read down.

  4. Amber Van Schooneveld September 3, 2013

    Beautifully said, Brianne! My husband was short growing up (still is) and it profoundly affected who he became. What a great reminder of how much our words matter and to take every opportunity to encourage others, especially young people.

    1. Bri McKoy September 3, 2013

      Thanks, Amber!

  5. Bethany September 3, 2013

    This is such a great idea! I’m proud to be a part of it.

  6. Katy Causey September 3, 2013

    Beautiful, Brianne. Thank you so much for your vulnerability and willingness to share!

    1. Bri McKoy September 3, 2013

      Thank you so much, Katy! So grateful for your words 🙂

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