First things first: It’s 1998 week over at vulture.com! In which I am reliving the awesome pop-culture world of my freshman year of college. It’s all there: YM magazine, Dawson’s Creek, Chumbawumba…man.
I normally do not like to think about the kind of person I was then. Not because I was this horrible person or anything, but because that person was so different from who I am now. I guess that’s the definition of growth, but back then, I was really quiet, and very insecure. I was roommates with two very pretty, very social girls, one of whom was on the softball team and the other a sister in that sorority that only had hot girls in it. The softball player was from Boston – she had a great accent. But they talked about sex all the time and I had no idea what they were talking about. I had only just gotten my first kiss the year before from my best friend, this guy who loved me and whom I was totally was awful to. I said we could date all the time and then we’d go out and I’d call him right after I got home and tell him I didn’t want to date him anymore. And this happened, like, multiple times in a row. And then we went out on a date and we were walking through town, drinking hot chocolate, and I tripped and spilled all of my drink all over myself. So, karma, or whatever.
But then I was in college, and I made my parents come and get me every Friday that first semester so I could spend the weekends at home, because I couldn’t face this huge new life with just…myself to get me through it. I just didn’t fit into it. On paper, I did: I did fine in all of my classes – but the social aspect to it was really difficult. I did make a few friends (a couple of whom I’m still friends with today, 15 years later) and things got better; and I eventually found myself part of a community that was part of our school’s Campus Ministry.
I ended up graduating five years later (long story) with a really wonderful college experience behind me. And I am such a different person now: I talk to pretty much everybody I see, I’m not afraid to live my life. For the most part, I see opportunity instead of things to fear. (Part of that could be because, as a stay at home mom, I get bored very, very easily and am always looking for things to do that do not involve sitting at home all the time, and boredom wins over fear any day.)
Obviously, I’m not perfect. My husband could tell you that. If my son could talk yet, he’d tell you that. But I’m so happy that I’ve grown up from who I was back in 1998.
There are so many examples in the Bible of people that God chose who grew. There are those who seem already wise and grown when we meet them (like Daniel), but I love the stories of the insecure that God made firm (like Moses and Jeremiah), the sinners to whom He showed His mercy to time and again (King David), and the stubborn that He continued to show His love to, to soften them (Peter). They may have started out one way, be it timid, insecure, really bitchy (Jonah); but over time, they found out who God wanted them to be and were okay with that. And once they were okay with it they went on to do really great things.
I hope that greatness for you!