Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

I remember when I was little, I'd wake up on my birthday and expect to all of a sudden feel older. I'd expect to feel a year older and I was always I little disappointed when I didn't suddenly feel old. Now that older I realize that I am in fact one day older then I was yesterday, despite the fact that my age has changed. The real difference between feeling 16 or 17 for me is when I look back over the year. How I felt, who I was, when I turned 16 is different from now turning 17. Tonight at work I was closing with Gavin and he asked what my plans were for the weekend. I told him tomorrow was my birthday and he asked how old I was turning. I told him and his words were and I'm not kidding you, "Oh, you're still just a little fawn. A little baby dear." I laughed so hard, for some reason I had it in my head that I was 17 and that was pretty old and mature. He put it into perspective for me. I am so young still! I'm only 17, I have years of my life and years of learning still to do.
When I look back over the year I see the changes I used to expect in a day when I was young. This year has been a huge one for me for growth. Last year on my 16th birthday I was still sad about my best friends moving away to the point where I didn't want to make any more, I was depressed, and enough that I didn't want to do anything for my birthday. I was having issues thinking past tomorrow, let alone down the road. I was afraid to show who I really was for fear of rejection. I was still cutting. I did everything in my power to blend in and go along with everyone else. I'm not saying that everything is different. I'm still scared to tell my parents how I really feel about them. I'm still struggling everyday to make the right choices. I still have moments when I question if life is even worth it. I still hurt about my friends leaving, even though it doesn't have a major impact on my life anymore.
Not everything that happened this year was great, and not everything was obvious growth. I went through some pretty dark times. I still struggle to stay with God and to live for Him. I still struggle with depression, and I think it will be a small part of me forever. I still hate myself and my body. I am still scared to talk to either of my parents. I still suck at dealing with pain in my life. I still try to blend in to the crowd. BUT... there has been growth. I don't think about killing myself everyday anymore. I don't worry as much about what people think of me. I'm less scared to express who I am. I can handle my pain in a healthy way. I no longer cut. I am not taking meds for depression. I got baptized. I spend everyday striving to live for God. I understand that when times get rough if I turn to God it's better then turning to drinking, drugs, or self destruction. I am able to cry again, which I hadn't for a long time. And all in all... if I think about it... I'm happy. That's something I couldn't say a year ago.
Every year marks a year of growth. It doesn't mean that suddenly on your birthday you are more mature. It means that everyday is growth. Everyday if a struggle and changes who you are. Every time it hurts to be you, every time you wish you could undo something, every time you are proud of what you've done or ashamed of it. THAT is the growth. Growth happens in the littlest moments, from choosing to do something for someone else, or realizing it's time to do something for yourself for a change, that's when the growth happens. You can't see it right away but it's there. So as I lay in bed at one in the morning, hopefully I will grow to learn that I need to go to sleep before midnight. For now... I'm 17. I have a lot more growing to do. I may have done a little more growing then the other people my age, or maybe just in different ways. Either way, I am alive today, against some odds, and I am proud of who I am. The crazy, goofy, protective, sometimes smart, and loved person I am. It just took me some time to become me.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I am getting Baptized tomorrow. I am not sure whether to scream or peacefully sit on my bed and enjoy this moment. There is so much going through my mind I can't begin to put how I feel into words. When I first decided I want to get baptized I wasn't sure who to tell or what to do. I just felt incredibly strongly compelled to get baptized. The amazing thing is the NEXT WEEK at youth the pastor told the group if anyone wanted to get baptized they were having a youth baptism. Coincidence? I THINK NOT. I signed up and felt really at peace with the decision. After that my life went a little downhill. I wasn't doing great, I was still hoping God would help me but I was being shaken up and pushed down from every direction. At history maker though I was just renewed with feeling the incredible love that God had for me and I'm happy to say it's been two weeks and I still feel that love and happiness just as clearly as I did surrounded by all those people. I think I've learned how to lean on God when times get tough as opposed to getting depressed. God is all I need. Crazy thought huh? GOD. Is. Everything.
I was just flipping through my bible and I landed on Romans 6. I felt the need to read it and this is some of it:

"Or have you forgotten that when we joined Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death?for we died and were buried with Christ in baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, NOW WE MAY LIVE NEW LIVES." Rom. 6:3-4

"Since we have been united with Him in his death we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose it's power in our lives. WE ARE NO LONGER SLAVES TO SIN" Rom. 6:5-6

The capitalized part isn't actually capitalized in the Bible but I thought is seemed like a good way for me to express how I felt about it. Isn't that crazy? Just when I need a sign even more about how amazing what I'm choosing to do is there's my sign. There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever. The enemy loses this round. God wins. I choose the path of righteousness. So tomorrow as I connect with the death and resurrection of Jesus I will be in absolute awe (as usual) of how AMAZING our God is. Truly.