It's so great to see old friends. It's even better to know that I can be myself.
I get so caught up sometimes in trying to be the person that I assume people want me to be, that I miss out on a big fact of life: people want you to be yourself. That's what I want in other people, so why is it so hard for me to do it in my own life?
I remember back to my second semester of college, when this was a big struggle for me. It was the end of my freshman year, and I was getting ready for a big transition (as if freshman year isn't transition enough). I had been invited to work at a summer camp, and I was filled with a mix of nerves and huge excitement. Four years removed, I can say that this was one of the best decisions I ever made, but at the time it was a big deal to make this commitment.
I'm from the mountains--this camp was on the coast.
I'm a people-person--I only knew one person working at this camp (I had only heard two people even mention it in my life).
I know nothing about boats--this was a sailing camp.
In the midst of all this, do you know what my biggest prayer was? I desperately wanted to be able to be myself. I wasn't sure exactly what this looked like, but I felt like it was something along the lines of goofy, outgoing and confident.
I didn't find the answer that summer, and I still don't have it. I can tell you that I've spent the past few months taking an honest look at myself, and I've come to a pretty stark conclusion. I'm pretty bad, all-through, when left to my own nature. It hasn't exactly been a healthy state of self-image during this time, but I feel like I'm finally turning the corner toward understanding and "getting" God's grace more and more each day. It has been a real answer to prayer to experience it in different ways. Basically, you and I naturally suck, but God loved us so much that He couldn't stand by without changing that fact.
This means that I'm accepting help, charity, welfare--but it's beautiful. It's making me come alive, and it's so refreshing. Amazing grace. I'm starting to view that phrase as less and less of a cliche. I pray for the day when you and I can humbly accept and rejoice in this truth together.
There's so much more that I want to write! I've already written and erased twice as much that's written here, so this is probably a good place to stop. As always, thanks for reading. See you soon, friends--and hopefully as a humble, real version of myself :)