Abundant Joy: Christ-centered Friendships!


My heart swells as I write this. 

Sometimes, I still don’t know what to do with the amount of love God has brought in my life through the people He has so graciously placed in it. Yesterday’s bus ride (along with other times) was a testament to how I am now surrounded by such loving, encouraging, and supportive people. Up until eight months ago, I can honestly say I’ve never had friends who made me feel good about myself from the inside out. I believe that when one is constantly told the same thing about themselves, they start to believe it. For me, I was always put in the shadow of my “friends,” and they enjoyed bringing me down for the purpose of raising their own self-esteem. Over time, I simply believed what others defined me as: stupid, ugly, non-existent eyes, awkward, weak, weird-looking. When I doubted myself, everyone agreed. It was when that light at the end of the tunnel started to become visible; when I began to realize my potential and self-worth during the end of junior year, that every single one of my “friends” slowly abandoned me. All alone, the lies I had believed about myself started to become truth. And it wasn’t until the Lord placed me in the most authentic community that they revealed themselves as lies again. After all, Satan hides behind lies, and when you eradicate them with the truth, he is left exposed and weak. 

I am so happy to be in a community where people lift each other up. Yesterday, I was talking to one of my close friends, Giselle, about relationships and other personal topics. She pointed out that I don’t see enough good about myself; that I don’t realize how much value I could bring into a relationship, and she’s right. I don’t. Sometimes, when I put myself down, she’ll look at me with the most genuine disbelief in her eyes, that it makes my heart soar to the skies. Finally, someone who doesn’t agree with my insecurities. Finally, friends who see more in me than I do! When you’ve gone as long as me (not to make myself sound old, wise, or incredibly experienced in pain) in believing the worst things about yourself, the pain runs deep and heals slowly. I still struggle with seeing the beauty of myself, from the inside out, but having such encouraging friends to always speak truth into my life has been one of the biggest blessings! What peace, what peace for those whose confidence is in the Lord!

SO. MUCH. LOVE for this girl! <3