Over the last few years I have worked to become a more confident secure person in who I am. Before it was a struggle everyday to be secure in who I was as a person. I tried to be a friend in elementary school and until third grade I did pretty well. From kindergarten to third grade I had two best friends. I loved them and we spent hours and days playing together. Then they both moved with in two years of each other.
I began getting picked on and since I wasn’t very confident to stand up for myself I became the kid who looked down at their shoes. Looking down was easier than looking up and knowing I didn’t belong. I went through the rest of my school years like this. Every once in a while I would find a few friends here and there, but somehow I always ended up alone and what felt to me, unwanted.
In high school I read a lot, it kept bullies away and apparently I played my part well because recently I was asked by someone I graduated with if I was a book worm. Which I was, but only because I was able to hide and exist in a world that wasn’t actually in the reality I was in. I was safe in my books and I was able to breeze through and survive.
When I went to college I was wild and free. I was no longer confined by who I use to be. I could chose to be whoever I wanted to be. I could be brave, confident and reach out to other people. Something I would never have done a year before. I could hold my head up. I had oodles of friends and parties almost every night.
The theme throughout my life has always been, alone is safe. When I am alone I don’t offend anyone. Friendships to me are scary, because the pain of having friends walk out of my life is painful. It seems like I have never measured up to other’s standards.
I use to pretend like I didn’t care. I would give myself a pep talk and I would talk tough, but on the inside I wasn’t tough. On the inside I was hurting and wishing I didn’t have to be so tough. When I say, “I don’t have time for that or their not worth my time”, I still grieve and cry. Honestly, I want to be worth their time and I want to have enough time to sort out friendships.
Maybe it’s another part of my leadership journey I will learn, to let people and relationships go. It’s sad to me, people matter to me, friendships are important to me and I am loyal to the death. When you are my friend you have a warrior by your side for the rest of your life. I give my all to everything do. I am all in, including my heart.
For a while after college I turned my heart off. I didn’t allow myself to feel and I walked through life smiling and trying to let Jesus fix me. Yet, when you turn your heart and emotions off, I ignored the knocking Jesus was doing on my wounded soul. Turning my heart and soul off to the world, also turned it off to Christ. I walked around like the girl in the movie ’10 Things I hate about You’. I had friends tell me if I wasn’t a believer, I would be her. I could see it and I was proud of it. I was a christian walking around giving everyone the finger. My face said, Nope, not letting you hurt me.
But…I was hurt. I was a wounded girl walking around wishing I could let those around me love me. I knew I was lonely, it was why I didn’t like being alone with myself. If I was alone with myself I would have to take responsibility for my pain. So I had close surface relationships. Every once in a while, praise the Lord I had friends who would see through my candy coating surface. God would use them to get to the chocolate center of my soul and he would begin to tell me of his love. He would begin to slowly crack from the inside out, my heart I had turned off.
Even now as the candy coating begins to chip off, it’s scary. The Lord has begun to bless me yet again with real, close, amazing friendships. I find myself as I did in high school wanting to hide. I am afraid I will hurt those closets to me. Afraid one of my new, awesome, loving friends will get mad at me and I will be ashamed I hurt them. I will have to morn another broken friendship on earth. I hate that, I hate broken relationships.
I guess I’m grieving broken and lost relationships. Learning to accept what I cannot change and doing what I can in the things I can change. Relationships are scary, they’re messy and yet they are wonderful. I am working to trust Jesus with my relationships. Working to be ok with pain.
A friend asked me to go out for coffee and I was terrified. I almost called her and canceled, because if we enter into a deeper relationship, it could end and it could be my fault. Even if it’s not my fault she might get tired of me and go away. In the spirit of my commitment to keep trying even if I am afraid, I went and I had a marvelous, wonderful, soul satisfying time. I hope to have more moments just like the one today and I will begin to trust God with whatever happens.