If you could picture the perfect childhood, I lived it. I was involved in pretty much every church activity, I did really well in school, and I was surrounded by friends and family that loved the Lord greatly. A well-rounded and extremely busy schedule kept me on track and left me no time to get involved in anything that would bring me down. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to be molded in my younger days. Now some people may find that to be too much to force on a little child, but looking back on those days, I loved every single second of it!
Before I continue, let me introduce myself: Hi, my name is Lonely.
I believe that every single person eventually looks back to analyze their lives. Personally, looking back , I think mine was more of a gradual decline. I believe it started when I was 10 and found out I was moving to America. At this point, Full House episodes were all I had to go on. But let me tell you, there is nothing like a major culture change to make you question your identity.
My first day of school in America was quite interesting, to say the least. I was always Ms. Social butterfly. Breaking the ice and making besties on the spot came naturally to me. So going into this, I didn’t think I was going to have much of an issue. Until I walked into class and suddenly realized that I was totally out of my comfort zone. That was the first time in my life I recall being truly nervous! It was then that I realized those nice, carefree, familiar days were in the past and nothing was going to be the same again. It was time to make a decision: I could either get depressed about it every day or make an active choice to find a way to fit in so this wouldn’t be a daily struggle. This was my first mistake: choosing to change myself. First things first, I had to change the most obvious part of me that seemed different: my accent. Then my wardrobe, my attitude, my morals, my priorities, etc. This is when the gradual decline began. It continued throughout junior high, high school, and college years. But no matter how many changes I made, I still felt all alone, even in a crowded room.
Needless to say, my new persona took a toll on me. College became a whole new ball game. I moved away and finally got the freedom I was dreaming about for years. And then came my second major mistake: I allowed myself to find self-worth in a boy. Suddenly, I was beautiful even during my “blah days,” just because this guy had the power to make me feel that way. I found myself thriving off of it because it was exactly what I thought I wanted.
Over time, that blissful relationship had to face my conscience. I felt God telling me that this guy was the complete opposite of what I should be looking for. Out of all the areas that didn’t make him a good match, the most important was that he didn’t love the Lord. He had barely ever been to church, and even more than that, he wasn’t saved. Now deep down, I knew that compromising in this area was not even an option. But every time I was faced with reality, I kept drowning it out with the lie that I was happy. This eventually caused me to make yet another mistake. I figured if having God in my life made me feel guilty over something that made me happy, why not just keep God away?
After a year of what seemed like happiness, I began to notice a change in him. He knew I was willing to make sacrifices just to make things work with him and it didn’t take him long to find ways to take advantage of my loyalty. I struggled every day with the thought of just walking away, but I could never get myself to just leave!
I was at my ultimate low. I lost both my self-worth and the bliss of my relationship. I was the farthest from God that I had ever been. Again, I felt lonely and lost. I began to spiral downwards even further. My soul grew cold, but on the outside I fought to keep up my bubbly personality. Even when I met good people, my thought process was to prepare myself for ultimately being disappointed by them in the future. Naturally, this affected my relationships with family and friends, and completely changed my thoughts on the opposite gender.
They say it takes hitting rock bottom to start coming back up. Well I’m glad to say that I hit it and fortunately, I bounced back up. I wouldn’t say that I have my life completely in order. But being made aware of my priorities and having the opportunity to rebuild my relationship with God will hopefully only continue and improve as the years go by.
I did end up being part of what I think is the most romantic thing ever. I was introduced to someone when I was really young. Over the years we used to talk often, but it wasn’t anything special. I knew He cared about me a great deal but I also knew He would always be there, so I didn’t think to pursue it. Every time I had an issue, I used to talk to Him about it. Sometimes, He would tell me that He knew me better than I even knew myself. I used to just shrug it off! A year or two ago, I got back in touch with Him and chatted it up a bit. He told me that he knew I was struggling with finding my way all these years. He told me that He loved me so much that He never distanced Himself from me, in hopes that one day I would realize that He was the only One for me. Naturally, I started to have doubts again. And then He said, “How could you doubt Me? I have loved you all these years. I have been waiting for you. I knew that you were going to need someone to save you. You’re not the easiest person, you’re broken, you’re sinful. In order to save you from all that, I died on the cross. Just for you!”
And you, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight
If there was one thing I learned through all this, it was this: It didn’t matter where I tried to find my identity. God kept finding ways to remind me that I was His child and that I would only feel complete in Him. Now, I am back where I am surrounded by family that constantly prays for me, a great brother and sister that keep me in check, and an amazing new nephew that reminds me of what unconditional love is! I’m still a work in progress, but I am extremely happy to reintroduce myself to you: Hello, my name is Loved.