I've had several conversations with various people whose opinions and words I hold very high recently that have all sooner or later come back to this one recurring theme.
A new Mallory.
The first time I heard it, I took it in, but didn't quite understand what it really meant. But as it kept showing up again, and again, and again, I knew there had to be something I needed to see there.
And tonight, before I started writing this post, I went searching on the old blog to see if I had written about this at all, especially since my baptism. Well, through that, I stumbled upon this post from October 2010. Yeah, I don't believe in coincidences, either.
The first thing that jumped into my head as I read that? My heart wasn't in it. Yes, I meant what I was writing, but I didn't really believe it. I didn't believe that God would actually make those prayers come to fruition. I was in the very beginning stages of coming back to God, I had no idea what I was doing or what I was getting myself into, I didn't know where to begin. I still didn't believe that God would take all of that trauma and turn it into something beautiful.
Four months and one day later, I met The Vespers, and I began to see what it meant to be sure of who you are and live unashamed of your faith.
And then Ryann told me she appreciated her life more because of me.
And then other friends started telling me what they learned.
And then Callie told me the four of them had learned how to find the joy in life despite things getting hard because I managed to find the joy in life.
Everything started piling up in front of me in a way that I couldn't ignore it anymore. Looking back on all of that, I can't believe everything that's happened since the day I met Bruno, Taylor, Callie, and Phoebe at school. And here's something I don't think I've ever written on here before: a few days before they came to Campbell, I heard they were coming, so I went to their website to check them out, and as soon as I clicked on their page and looked at the picture of them, I thought to myself, "This could be what you've been waiting for." I had no idea why I thought that. Let's face it, I have some pretty weird thoughts sometimes.
Now, I do. That was what I was waiting for. I was waiting for a catapult that would throw me back at full force flying towards God, I just didn't know it. God used them to help me. Nobody would've guessed that me pouring out my story to Bruno, a stranger, at a crowded lunch table, would lead to me being baptized with Bruno and Taylor as witnesses in Nashville fourteen months later. Forming relationships with those four have changed my life and was one of the smartest things I've ever done, no question. But this post isn't meant to be about them. This is about the fact that I am not the same girl that met them on February 2, 2011. Furthermore, I'm not even the same girl that I was on April 5, 2012.
Taylor was actually the first person to call me out during one of our phone chats. "You know what, this sounds like the old Mallory. You're not the old Mallory anymore. Be the new Mallory." Thank you for that, Taylor. When I got off the phone with him, all I could think, besides that he was so right about what he said, was, "So I wasn't making all the changes I've felt up in my head."
He is changing me, y'all.
I still have so far to go (don't we all?), but I'm falling more in love with Christ and chasing after Him with every day. I'm feeling more sure of who I am and Whose I am every day, the same way I remember watching those four be the first day we met. I woke up today feeling an overwhelming sense of peace about all of the issues that had been weighing on me.
I'm finally the Mallory that can say with 100% certainty that I know that God has got my back, that He is going to take care of me, and that He is in control. I've never been more sure of anything in my life. I see it, too, in how I'm not shy about telling people I'll pray for them (and then actually praying for them), in how I love to tell my story (Bruno was the first person to ever get the full story from start to finish, random fact) because I love to help people, in how I'm not ashamed of being who I am and living my life the way I truly believe God is asking me to.
I am not the same Mal that's inhabited this blog over the past 3 years. I am changing. And you know what else I know with 100% certainty?
I don't ever want to go back.