All my life, I've wished for just a few things: to be accepted, to be successful, and to be loved. I think this is something most people want for their lives. We fight every day for a sense of belonging, trying to be a part of something that will make us feel alive.
This year has taught me so many new things about myself, about how growth isn't just a forward motion; sometimes it blows with the wind. My growth, in particular, has become a windmill of excitement coupled with fears and stress. But as I've been going along this new beginning, one of the major changes I'm looking forward to is putting behind me the act of letting go of the fears and being proud of the moments I'm currently in.
Sometimes, we can be so worried about the next thing that we forget to thank God for where we are now. I titled this blog post "Growing Pains" because of the rush this world places on our elevation. It leaves us no room for making mistakes and no chance to become better; we already have to be better in the eyes of the world.
"Growing up isn't a beautiful, soft experience; it cuts you deep, steals your joy, and can make you hate yourself at times."
When I decided that I wanted more for myself, I created a space where I wanted to belong. I desired connection, openness, and laughter. I wanted more friends and acceptance, and frankly, I was hoping for an escape from my reality. I had no idea of the impact I could make in life. I thought of money as my answered prayers and relationships as my safe space. Deep down, I created a false reality where my heart and mind never connected. I gained trust in spaces that drained me and invited me into worlds that took.
This part of my journey was the beginning of my awareness of how easy it is to lose yourself. We waste time trying to fight the inevitable, which of course is old age or death. We get stuck in cycles of comparison, trying to keep up with trends but losing ourselves in our false identity. We paint pictures that erase the true beauty in our minds. We don't live up to our fullest potential; we simply just live.
I took a month off of social media to realize that my addiction was haunting me. My addiction to popularity and being well-known was killing the very dreams I had for myself. It took me 26 years to understand that the more you fight for a cause, the more you open your mind to new possibilities, and express your true nature, and the more people will accept you for who you are.
People can see straight through the armor you put on, and the world you thought you created will come crashing down.
So, I decided it's best that I take space in a new way. The Bible tells us that the moment we accept Christ, we are a new creation (1 Cor 5:17); we have been rebirthed into our new selves. When I became a believer in Christ, I truly believed in the things Jesus could do, but I lacked belief in myself. I had no concept of pride. I accepted the thoughts I assumed other people had about me and made them my own. I bathed in beauty and accolades, have been ravished by words of encouragement, and with all my efforts, I have forgotten the difference between what was true and what was meaningless.
I gave in to fleshly desires, tore my heart into pieces to be admired, and fought fights not meant to be won.
I compromised my soul for washed-up dreams and lost the ones most dear. I forgave the ones who hurt me most but placed them in spaces of distrust.
I've loved and laughed, but still held close the pain inside. The world was dark, and night was cold.
I've turned my back and fallen short.
But today, I start over.
I have taken the memories, the lies, the fears, and the rejection and drowned them in tears of love, Spirit, and truth. I bring Christ back to the center.
So what does this mean?
No more hiding behind the cocoon of the enemy (or myself). I write the pages, I tell my own story. I have emerged.
Thank you all for those who have been along with me on my journey.
Stay Blessed, Be Blessed