The past eight months of my life have taught me so much about myself. I’ve searched for things within myself that I’ve never paid any attention to and have grown so much in my walk with Christ. I like to think that if I were to look at myself this time last year I wouldn’t recognize the girl I saw, but I know the truth.
I know that I’m still a procrastinator and a pretty terrible student (i.e. I should be reading a book for one of my finals rather than writing this post).
I know that talking to strangers still makes me uncomfortable and beyond awkward.
I know that I’m still a picky eater and I still catch grief from my friends about it.
I know that I still love to jam to intense music when I write or study because it gets my blood flowing.
And I know that I still feel incomplete without a guy to spend my time with.
I hope you gasped/cringed/gawked at that. Because it’s true. I feel broken and extremely insecure without a boy to boost my confidence and fill my life with heart eye emojis and good morning texts.
I know, I know, everything I just said basically sucker-punched feminists in the face and made me sound uber desperate and unfulfilled in Christ, but if we’re being honest, I think every girl finds herself in this place at some point, if not long phases, of her life. Something about the way we were raised, always talking about ‘when we get married’ with our moms, or reading Sarah Dessen and Nicholas Sparks novels throughout middle and high school just embedded the idea in our minds and we feel like it’s something we need. It’s a next step. A part of the future.
I’ve caught myself daydreaming in class (more proof that I’m still a bad student) of what my wedding day might be like, or replaying conversations with a guy in my head and beating myself up for not saying the right things, or imagining scenarios that might happen in the future and going through the entirety of each possible conversation flow. I spend so much of my time focusing on what did happen or what might happen with guys in my life and I know I’m not the only girl doing this.
One of the things I’ve learned about myself in the past eight months: my love language. I had never heard of love languages until last fall, and even then I wasn’t too preoccupied to learn about my own. During this time of personal growth I’ve found that 3 of 5 tie for first in my book–quality time, physical touch and, the most prominent, at least at this point in my life, words of affirmation. It’s when these words of affirmation come from the opposite sex that I find myself feeling the best.
I’ve always been one to let words affect me–the sticks and stones thing never proved legit in my life. I take the things people say to me very seriously, positive or negative, and they have a real grip on my heart. As I’ve grown closer to Christ, I’ve learned that people will hate me (Jesus was hated enough to be crucified) and that I can’t allow foolish words of bitterness to affect the joy I’ve found in Christ. Yet I still seek positive reinforcement from the people around me.
So I seek. And search. And pray for guidance. And pore over Scripture. And keep searching for the affirmation of humans, of guys.
I know better, yet I keep searching in the wrong places. By wrong places, I don’t mean places that are dangerous, I mean finding my worth in the words and thoughts of other people. I mean not feeling valuable unless I find out that a boy notices or compliments me. I mean not finding my worth in God’s sending His son to die for me because He loves me unconditionally–not because of who I am or what I’ve done or what I look like, but because of who He is. And because He has purchased me, I am more valuable than gold.
These are the words of affirmation I will store in my heart. I will read them every single day, memorize them, remember them both when I’ve hit my lowest point and when I’ve made my greatest achievement. There exist no words a boy can speak to me that surpass the beauty of those from my Savior, my God. I have completed my search because my answer was found on the cross over 2,000 years ago.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for all you do flows from it.” Proverbs 4:23
“Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Matthew 6:26