I want to tell you about The People’s Climate March, which I was at this past weekend, but there’s something I really need to write about.
I use an app which shows me what I did on social media on this date over the past couple years and usually it makes me either laugh at the stupid things I’ve said and done (a year ago today I said “even in a room full of blind people, I could still make awkward eye contact,” and I laughed about that for 20 minutes,) or cringe at the horrible things 15-year-old Abby posted (5 years ago today I posted something very bitter about being the only person not going to homecoming. Goodness gracious I was a miserable 15 year old.) But today I came across a blog post that I wrote one year ago today.
I wrote this post while sitting between the door to my dorm and the door outside. I sat there repeatedly calling my best friend with tears in my eyes just hoping she would answer and that I wouldn’t have to be alone. But she didn’t answer. So I sobbed and did the only thing I could think to do, I wrote. I remember that night like it was yesterday, and it broke me all over again to read these raw feelings. It was an ugly time in my life that I don’t really want to elaborate on, but I’ll tell you a little bit about it.
I had been messing around with a boy who I knew I shouldn’t. He was bad news and I knew it. But he was around and I was so desperate to feel wanted that I would have done anything. I was so desperate to be seen and noticed and desired, and he was the first person to notice me. Well it was that night a year ago that he told me that things had to end. I wasn’t so upset about it ending as I was upset at myself for getting myself into this situation in the first place.
How could I have been so stupid? How could I have thought things were going to work out? How could I have thought things weren’t going to blow up in my face? These questions ran through my head over and over again as I sat there and cried. I felt so helpless, broken, and useless. I felt worse about myself in that moment than I ever have in my whole life.
This is honestly one of the ugliest moments of my whole life, but the end is why I knew I had to write about it.
I wish I didn’t have to go through this, but this is life. Life means failing and falling short and growing because of it. I don’t feel like I’m growing yet, and maybe it will take a long time before I will but it will come.
I couldn’t feel myself growing in that moment, but now as I look back I can see how much I’ve grown. I can see the person I was and I can see the person I am. I can see the scars that guy left on me fading with time. I can hear the words he said to me that made me feel so desired being replaced by words of the people I know really love me. I see the broken girl I was and I can see her standing again.
I was at women’s Bible study a couple weeks ago and these words stuck out to me so much that I had to write them on my arm and just stare at them:
Being found isn’t as beautiful if you don’t admit that you were once lost.
I don’t know about you, but it’s so easy to look at the hard times in my life and just say “I’m not that person anymore,” and to dismiss the times we messed up and that things were hard. But I’m realizing more and more that I am the person I am because of the decisions I’ve made, good and bad. I have to be willing to admit that I was lost, broken, and ugly to truly understand how found, whole, and beautiful I am. It doesn’t do me justice to just say I turned out like this, and it certainly does not do God justice. God is glorified in our stories, the beautiful and the ugly. I believe that deeper than I’ve ever believed anything.
So there it is. I was broken. I was lost. I still am some days. But the beauty is that I once was lost but now am found.
PS- I couldn’t find a good place to put this, but the last paragraph of that post really speaks to me.
This too shall pass. All things do. The good and the bad. That’s why you can’t be too attached to moments, because they are all so transient. Here for a minute and gone the next, never lasting long enough to do more than tempt us with hope and beauty or break us with sadness and bitter loneliness. This too shall pass.