Hey guys! I hope everyone is doing well. 🙂 I want to give everyone an update on how I’m doing in college. I have officially been here for a week now, and let me tell you….it has not been easy. Somewhere in my mind I had painted a rosy picture of just becoming this new person, automatically making a ton of new friends, and meeting the man of my dreams. But let me tell you something; none of that has happened. It has actually been quite the opposite! lol I feel more single than I ever have as I see guys flirting with all the pretty girls on campus while I’m gaining the freshman fifteen by eating at Chick-fil-a again. I’ve met some nice people, but I eat alone in the dining hall. I walk to my hall alone. I can even be in a crowd and feel alone. That brings me to the next point. I’m not a new person. I’m the same girl that I was when I moved in. I have the same fears, limitations, gifts, love for squirrels, and self-esteem issues. This reminds me of a conversation I had with my grandpa one time. He said that before he left home as a teenager, his mother had told him these wise words: “Wherever you go, there you will find yourself.” I have found this to be incredibly true as I sit here (alone lol) in my dorm room. No matter how hard I tried to fill all my boxes and bags with things other than Jessica Dugdale, I’m still here. I can’t run away from myself. The past week has been a major wake-up call as I’ve come to realize the truth of what my great-grandmother told my grandpa. I’m still Jessica Dugdale, and I’m here at college.
But before you think I’m like the most negative person on the planet, I’d like to tell you what this realization has taught me and what hope I’m starting to find. I will do my best to be clear in what I’m saying. Here goes.
There are parts of all of us that can never and should never be changed. I’m introverted, always have been and always will be. It would be wrong of me to try to become extroverted. It would just be terrible. So that is one part of me that can never change. Here’s another component of Jessica Dugdale. I have always been and will always be analytical. I can’t pretend not to notice things. That is just something that won’t go away. That’s part of the person God made me to be. It’s easy for me to think that these two characteristics are what is causing me to have so much trouble meeting people (and guys lol…). But that isn’t it.
There are some parts of me that CAN change. And here is the biggest thing: lack of confidence. I have spent so much of my life hating the way I am and squirming in my own skin. Sometimes I just feel so uncomfortable. In my mind, it feels like everyone is looking at me and thinking I’m ugly, fat, and stupid. But the analytical gift of mine has revealed that most people are so consumed with what they’re doing that they really fail to notice most other people. Only analytical people like me would actually sit and watch me and make these judgements. It just doesn’t happen. My point in saying this is that the lack of confidence is something that can be fixed by the Grace of God. I will always be prone to these feelings (just like I’m always going to be prone to eating Chick-fil-a more often than I should), but God is always faithful to be strong when I’m weak.
Another thing that can go is this belief that I’m not good enough to have friends. That is a lie that I built from failed friendships in my past. I was praying earlier and really just pouring my heart out to God about how badly I want community. I told Him that I knew I had things to offer. We all have things to offer, so it’s dumb for me to live my life alone because I think that I’m not friend material.
Last but not least, fear needs to go. Remember the verse that talks about how we weren’t given a spirit of timidity? (was that in one of the Timothys???) Well, I belong to Jesus Christ, and His Spirit is within me. Why would I be afraid? I spend SO much of my energy being terrified of what people think of me and I spend hours fearing that I’ll never have friends. What does that accomplish other than fueling the negativity and brokenness inside of me?
I hope I’ve been clear in expressing some of the things inside of me that I brought with me to college. Some things have to stay, but others must go. I would encourage each of you to maybe just spend some time in prayer and reflect on who you are. We have God given abilitites and traits, which are wonderful when we live them out in our lives. But we also live in a fallen world where Satan lies to us and we then begin to put other things into our hearts that were never meant to be there.
Thanks so much to all of you who actually read this. It’s nice to feel noticed. This brings me to my final point. I’m beginning to see that God really does answer our prayers. I was talking to Him earlier about how lonely I was. I just felt so invisible. Well, there was a super nice student working in McConn tonight who not only noticed me, but called me by name, asked me what I was doing with my evening, where I lived, and what I was studying (oh, and if I wanted whip cream in my frozen hot chocolate). She noticed me.:) GOD HEARS OUR PRAYERS AND KNOWS WHAT WE NEED. If you’re feeling discouraged in any way at all, let God know. And it won’t be long before He starts providing relief.
One last thing, and then I promise I’ll shut up. Remember how much you are loved by the Creator of the Universe. Maybe you feel unloved by people in your life who have let you down and broken your heart. But He loves you. Seriously. Peace out, and watch out for squirrels.