Saturday, July 17, 2010

Desperately wanting to be myself

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 :)

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