Sometimes, your past creeps up on you at really bad moments, moments you didn't expect old wounds to start aching again, moments you didn't expect to be reminded of pain you thought you had long gotten over.
I spent a good bit of time texting with a friend of mine today. This is a friend who has been nothing but sweet, supportive, and just there for me in the time that we've known each other. This is a friend who has given me no reason not to believe that there is a legit, mutual care and respect between us. This is a friend that I am so incredibly grateful for, that it still blows my mind I've even been blessed with a friendship like this.
And somehow, in the middle of our conversation today, it all just came pouring out of me. I said "I'm just not used to people like you." And that opened the floodgates.
Because you know what? I'm not used to it. I'm not used to people actually caring about me. I'm not used to people truly being my friend. I'm not used to people giving to a friendship with me and not expecting something in return. I don't know why I'm still not used to it, when my life has been filled with friends like this for the better part of two and a half years.
I don't hate people. I think it's physically impossible for me to hate people. I don't hate the people who tormented me in school. I know in my heart that I don't harbor resentment for those people, in fact I'm friends with some of them on Facebook now. I honestly don't believe that is what could be holding me back.
So if that's not the reason, what is it? Why does that stupid little voice of paranoia pop up in the back of my head at the least expected times? I mean, I can see how different my life is now, and how different the people in it are. Exhibit A: the friend that this all came out onto didn't freak out or get mad or think I was crazy. This friend just said "oh okay. I understand." like it was no big deal. These are real friends I'm dealing with now, not the fake friends I used to have. I have friends now that have seen me through some pretty epic screw-ups, and they forgave me. That's love. I have love.
I'm so grateful that that stupid little voice didn't blow up a friendship that I care a great deal about. But does this voice mean that I'm still scared of people? I thought I was past this. I really thought that part of who I was was over and done with, as evidenced by the security I now feel with my relationship with Matt, and the amazing people I met in less than 96 hours in Nashville that now feel like family to me.
Brennan always tells me I'm overthinking things and JUST STOP THINKING SO MUCH. Maybe that's what I'm doing here. I know who I am now, and I know that the people I love know the real me. My past did affect me, but it does not define my future. And I have the love and grace of a Father who heals all wounds. He's healed so many wounds from the bullying I experienced, and this could be nothing more than satan trying to prey on my weakness when he thought I wasn't looking. I know that God will protect my heart as I deal with all of the new relationships that have been put in my path lately, because that's what He does.
I am free. There's no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The grace that I have accepted from God releases me from the chains of doubt, fear, worry, and pain that once held me down. I just need to quit thinking and enjoy it.