"Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's might hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:6-10
Things in DC...well, they've changed. My internship is great, my class is fine, but I no longer feel welcome with the people I thought had become my "group." They quit inviting me to things, and I think it's because they don't like the fact that I don't go out and party with them on the weekends because that's just not me. I've never gotten drunk, and I don't plan on doing so any time soon. But it's the smaller things, too. They don't even let me know they're leaving and walk with me to events and stuff.
So all of this combined with a lack of sleep got me feeling pretty down on myself this evening. I felt like that scared little girl in high school who was constantly told she was worthless and not good enough and if she just changed she'd be better. That girl's visits are coming less and less frequently, but when she shows up, she's still pretty hard to shake. When you go 4-5 years being told the same things over and over again, you start to believe them, so I guess that it's understandable that that's still my thoughtless instinct reaction.
But now I know different. I knew I had to bury these feelings, and quickly, so I did what I knew would bring me some instant comfort. I called one of the amazing friends I've been blessed with that I knew would give me a reality check, and he definitely delivered. He got me focused back on what I know in my heart is God's truth about who I am, and by the time we got off the phone, I felt confident again.
The truth? I'm fine the way I am. All those thoughts I was having earlier - the ones that I need to be "normal," that I'm not good enough, that I have to change if people are going to like me - were nothing more than satan preying on my insecurities and my desire for acceptance from others. He saw me vulnerable, and he did was he does best and clamped on to that. As my friend so bluntly but eloquently put it, "Mallory, if they're mad because you don't want to go out and get drunk with them, are those really the kind of friends you want, anyway?" Like, really. I am so dense sometimes.
The people who really know me - Matt, Ryann, Taylor, Alex, Amy, Elizabeth, Brennan, Michal, the list could go on - they like who I am. Clearly, because it takes a special kind of person to put up with me the way those kids have. ;) I figured out a while ago that the people that really matter and really care about you will never make you apologize for being who you are. That friend that I made up with last week actually had to tell me to stop apologizing despite the fact that I legit felt like I had screwed up.
I'm not going to apologize for not going to parties. I'm not going to apologize for spending my time studying for this class instead of spending the entire weekend drunk. I'm not going to apologize for being ME. I'm just not. Doing that would be undermining the perfection that God created when He made me in His image.
I am loved, not just by the King of the universe, but finally by people who surround me with love, remind me of God's presence, truth, and unending grace, and are never too shy to help me see that I am never alone.