As a teenager, my mind treated the words as one in the same. If I wasn't accepted, I didn't feel loved. Or I thought how could someone who loved me, not accept me? The confusion led to endless struggles during the days of junior high.
Though we graduate from middle school and eventually leave the braces behind, we still empty our lockers and take some things home. It's not just the pictures and memories, but our way of thinking too.
As we grow and mature, we still worry and wonder. If I say this, she'll think I'm crazy. If I do that, will she ever talk to me again? If she knew who I really was, she'd lose all respect. The thoughts go on and on...
Until one day God shows us it's not other's opinion that matters or their approval I need. And even though as women we long for acceptance, it's really love that we need. Ultimately from God and then from the people He puts in our lives.
And as I've learned, our "real" friends will always love us even when they don't accept or tolerate what I do. The pain those feelings create hasn't changed, but my perception has!! The truth can hurt, but eventually it always helps.
Remember acceptance, takes us for who we are and love helps us become who God created us to be.