Sunday, October 20, 2013

A Life Without Fear

I keep staring at this screen, the blinking cursor screaming "SAY SOMETHING" at me, and I don't know why, but for some reason, tonight I'm just not sure what to say.  So forgive me in advance if this post is a little blah.  It wouldn't be the first time.

I've been thinking a lot about yestserday and what happened, and this line that I heard on a TV show has been bouncing around my head.  "DNA doesn't make a family. Love does."

I received all sorts of comments from yesterday's post in lots of forms: emails, texts, Facebook messages, so many words of encouragement from people I either have never actually laid eyes on or have met only since I became a Camel and stepped foot on this glorious campus.  And it got me to thinking about the reason I told my mom is why I call this school my home - because this is where I feel safe.

I mean mentally and emotionally safe.  At home, I have to walk on eggshells to try and prevent the Chelsea bomb from exploding, I have to be the kind of person that Holly actually likes and wants to spend time with, I have to be happy all the time for her so that she can have a bright spot for whatever length of time I am home.  It's exhausting, to say the least.

Here, I can be who I am without expectations from anyone.  More people than I can count have met me and taken me in just as I am.  They have loved me just as I am.  I don't have to try here.  There is such sweet, indescribable freedom in that.  I am as tired of living in fear of saying or doing the wrong thing as I am of being afraid of people.  And I'm simply choosing not to do either anymore.

The way I see it, fear is a wasted emotion.  When I think of Jesus saying that he came so that "[I] may have life, and have it to the fullest," that fullest possible life that I imagine doesn't include fear.  Of anything.  Of people.  Of not being good enough.  Of being shunned or betrayed or told I'm not worthy.  Because I have Jesus, I shouldn't have to be afraid of anything simply because I have him, because he gave up his life so that I could be declared righteous and clean.  He earned victory for me.

I've spent my whole life trying to be the person that I think other people want me to be.  For a while, I had myself convinced that I had let that piece of myself go when I escaped high school, but the truth is, I just replaced my classmates with my family.  All the effort I had put into trying but failing to please the peers who had spent years telling me I didn't deserve to be loved was simply transferred into trying but failing to please the family who told me that no matter what I did or how hard I tried, it wasn't ever going to be good enough.  They just did it more subtly.

For all this time, I have sought the validation that my heart yearns for from people who are just as broken as I am, some of whom don't know the unending love and grace of a Father who sent His son to die so that I could be made pure.  I have been a Christian for one year, six months, and fifteen days, declaring my allegiance to Christ but still acting as if the opinions of the people around me were the be all end all.  Oh, how I have been led astray.

I still remember what Brennan told me right before I got baptized.  That when I came back up from the water, my whole life would be made new.  My sins would be gone.  I would be made clean.  Simply because I made the choice to name Jesus as the King of my life instead of myself.  Jesus died to give me the security I've sought my entire life.  It's long past time I start honoring him like it.

The first step is to find my value in the person that God made me to be, and as the one that Jesus so desperately he gave up his life for, and to stop letting the people around me dictate the picture I have of myself.

I've spent 21 years, 4 months, and 5 days living in constant fear of not being good enough, believing the words of the broken souls around me more than I did the words of the God who gave up everything just to win my heart.

That ends now.

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