Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. – Romans 5:3-4
Coming up on my 25th birthday, I have been wrestling with the concept of “not being who I used to be”. My Mom said something to me the other day that really stuck with me. She said, “Well, of course you feel different. You are different. Our experiences shape us”. My husband and I’s experiences (both positive and negative) in the past year and a half have re-shaped who I am. My core is still the same – I am passionate, outgoing, upfront, pushy, clumsy, empathetic, driven, restless, etc. – but my perspective has shifted. When your perspective changes, your behavior changes. Your attitude changes. Your life changes. My friends are different, my daily routine is different, my definition of a good time is different, my recognition and acceptance of responsibilities is different. Some of these transitions have been difficult but most of them placed me in a period of NECESSARY GROWTH and consequent maturity. Growth is never easy or comfortable but it is (or, should be) a constant aspect of a believer’s life.
I’m never going to be exactly who I was two years ago, and that is a GOOD THING. I may be less bubbly, but I am more thoughtful in my words and actions. I may be less outgoing, but I can now enjoy restful and quality time at home with my husband. I am definitely more picky when it comes to friendships, but I now have a group of supportive, encouraging, thoughtful and healthy girls by my side (and also in Norfolk, but by my side in spirit). I am no longer upset that I am “not the same as I used to be” but I instead thank God that He has gotten me through a period of growth and maturity! He is shaping me into a fiercely faith-driven person who wouldn’t be able to fully mature without the struggles and experiences that have shifted my perspective. Let us delight in the struggle that will always produce hope!
Our experiences may shape us, but they don’t DEFINE us. God can take your scars and mold you into someone who is confident, secure and mature. He can help you stand up straight… to see your worth through His eyes. All you have to do is allow Him! Listen and persevere.