I know that when it feels like the devil is ganging up on me, it’s because he is. But also because I’m on the edge of something amazing. Something from God. For God and because of God.
Losing friends is an unfortunate part of life. Whether it’s from a fight, disagreement or simply growing apart. It sucks when it happens and the last few years it’s happened more than I’d like. But it’s taught me two major things.
It’s taught me who really is in my corner. Who really is my ride or die friend. Through thick and thin. Regardless of the bad decision or rude comment. That person who offers to help hide the body kind of friend, hypothetically of course. The one you get a tattoo with, because you know no matter the distance between you both, you’re always in their heart.
And it’s taught me how my personal growth changes friends views of me. People want us to be who THEY want or need us to be, and when that starts changing, they may not benefit the way they’d like to anymore.
Change is not always bad, especially if it’s good, positive, healthy change.
I went through a period of my life, fairly soon after moving to Texas, and it was a really low point in my life. I was making terrible decisions on the regular, partying way too hard, and waking up less ashamed of my choices, complacent to how I was living my life. Like a callus was being created over my heart. When months before I’d be so disappointed in my choices, now it was just me being a normal 25 year old. Sleeping in beds that weren’t mine, next to men that had never changed my last name.
Looking back, I really did have a good time. I had some great girlfriends who were also single and wanted to party all of the time. But now I can acknowledge how sad, lonely and depressed I really was. I would constantly post on social media so the world thought I was living this incredible and happy life. The life of the not so rich and definitely not famous. Trying to meet what I thought was the worlds expectations of me. Because I didn’t feel like me, just who I was and as I came, wasn’t enough. But more so because I didn’t even know who that person was.
Now I know I was enough. Yesterday. Today. And tomorrow.
This has been a really hard lesson to learn. That I am enough. Not because now I have a husband and a new last name, but because my identity is in Christ. And I’ve found that.
And I have changed. I don’t drink at all anymore. Not because I had an issue with alcohol but because it didn’t provide me anything positive in my life, and because it allowed the devil a way to break me down when I didn’t have a sound mind.
Never forget that when the people closest to us start to tell us we’ve changed, and you know you’re starting to look more like Christ and less like the world, to take it as a compliment. We’re called to look and act different. And when people start to notice, you may be on the right track.
I am truly happy now. Not because of my girlfriends or my husband, but because I am wholly and authentically myself. I found a space where I could live my truth. Regardless of what it looked like to anyone else. Or what pushback I got from other people. I couldn’t have said that two years ago. Or even 18 months ago. But I can say it now. Because God has showed me who I am in Him. Because I’m a daughter of a king (Gal 3:26). Because I’m fearfully and wonderfully made like Psalm 139:14 tells us. Because I’m loved (Isa 43:3). Redeemed (Eph 1:7). Transformed (Romans 12:2). Saved (Eph 2:8-9). Cherished (Isa 49:15). Free (John 8:36). And not because of anything I ever did, but because of everything God did. And there is nothing I can ever do to lose that. I was chosen, and that was after He knew every bad decision and thought I ever had made.
I pray you have a moment where a friend tells you you’ve changed. And you can look inside yourself and smile, realizing you’ve grown and changed for the better, even if they don’t see it that way. I pray you have the strength to continue walking in your truth, towards the cross and away from the world. Living for Christ instead of for culture. I pray that your identity in Christ is louder than who the world tells you to be, and that you’re strong enough to stand up to it. I pray you never forget that the Lord will not fail you or dismay you, because He goes before us. Amen.
Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”