Can I be honest? This is my hardest post to write so far. I've been wondering and wondering how to write the next part of my story. And truth be told, I've been afraid. Afraid of saying too much, afraid of not saying enough. Afraid of going too deep, afraid of being too explicit.
So I said a prayer before I started writing tonight. I'm surrendering this post to Jesus. And I will not be afraid.
I left off with my story in the middle of my first love. I really did love this boy, this boy who was a part of my life from age 15 to just before my 18th birthday. Those are pretty crucial years, if you ask me. I watched him grow up right before my eyes. We met when he was a freshman, and his scrawny self sure looked like one. But as the years went by, boy, did he bulk up. You look at the pictures from our first winter formal to our last prom, and it's like bam. Boy to man.
I loved him, but I didn't know how to. I was so young, and so selfish. I didn't understand that a relationship is not based on what can I get, but what can I give.
The relationship ended at the end of my senior year. His family was moving to Texas, and I was going off to college. I lost a huge chunk of my identity that day we said goodbye. I had no idea how much of my security was put in being this man's girlfriend until I lost that title. I was tasked with the mission of filling that gaping hole in my heart. A hole that I now realize was always there to begin with, longing for identity and security.
I went off to college with every intention of getting plugged into a Christian organization on campus. But that wasn't my top priority, joining a sorority was. I walked into this brand new world of independence surrounded by thousands of peers experiencing the same thing, and Jesus quickly became the farthest thing from my mind.
The girl who had never had a sip of alcohol in her entire life had her first sip on her very first night of college, at one of the biggest party schools in the country. I swore I wouldn't drink in college, or ever for that matter. But the hole that was searching for identity quickly found it in the party scene. I became a drinker, one who could hang with the best of em'. I would boast about my drinking abilities, and the boasting would take my mind off of the aching heart that was still recovering from a painful break up.
Actually, I take that back. My heart wasn't aching from my break up, although it may have appeared that way. My heart was aching for Jesus. And it was aching bad.
I was plopped into a world where blacking out, throwing up, raging hangovers and casual sex were normal. It was a world that I lived in for a long time, and to be quite honest, it was not a world I belonged in.
I don't say that because I'm better than that world; believe me, that's not the case. I legitimately say that because I sucked at living in it. I was a horrible drunk. All sorts of emotional, always hit or miss with whether I would be fun, or an angry/jealous/crying mess. The alcohol was a horrible inhibitor with my eating disorder, and the few relationships that I got into were horribly unhealthy.
I am not better than that world, I was actually worse than it. Some people could handle their alcohol, I could not. It took me 6 years to accept that, but I've finally come to terms that me and alcohol just don't mix. Praise the Lord for helping me realize that.
So why do I tell you this? Am I bashing on the party scene? I sincerely am not.
I tell you this because I want you to understand what my life looked like before 2012. I am not going to tell you that I am better or worse now than I was then, because I'm not either of those things. I was a sinner then, and I'm a sinner now.
But, there is no way to deny that my life looks radically different now, than it did prior to the day I surrendered my life to Jesus on January 1, 2012. And that radical change had nothing to do with me. It had everything to do with Christ.
He is real, folks. He changes lives. He saves lives. It's just what He does.