I’ve never really been much for people. And by that I mean I’m one of the most introverted people you’ll ever meet, even if I don’t show that on the outside.
I’ve always been quiet. Most of the time, I’m fine blending in with the background. But sometimes that can be a really dangerous thing. You see, it becomes a dangerous thing when being in the background causes you to feel worthless, invisible, and alone.
That’s what I felt like after the breakup. I’ll skip over the details, but just know I had my first long relationship end pretty badly. And I always put the blame on myself. I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t pretty enough. If I had just done something different, maybe he would’ve loved me more.
Deep down I think I knew that wasn’t true. But it felt true. And it continues to feel true every time I find myself alone.
My biggest insecurity is that people will always leave me and it will always be because of my unworthiness and my imperfection. And I get left out a lot, it seems. Now I don’t want to sound like a sob story because a lot of it is my fault. I choose to stay quiet and let the extroverts lead conversations because I don’t think my opinions are good enough to share. If I can just perfect my wording and sentence structure, then I’ll say it. I choose to not tell friends when they hurt me by ignoring my phone calls or text messages. Facebook tells me they read the message, but I don’t want to seem clingy or start a feud so I let it go. I tell myself that if I keep working to be the best friend they’ve ever had, they’ll eventually start to show it back. If I go for a run or skip meals, maybe then I’ll be pretty enough to catch the eye of a guy. It’s all up to me. Always.
And that’s the mindset I had after being dumped for the first time in my life. I kept that mindset for two years and found myself entering college. Making friends was difficult because I didn’t want to open up and make myself vulnerable. Then I happened upon a campus ministry that would change my entire view of what the gospel actually is. I was able to build friendships around our common love for Christ and those friends have helped me see the truth: I am loved.
All those things I had been doing to impress people were pointless because I had already impressed the only person who actually matters. If Jesus truly knows me- the past me, the now me, and the future me- and still chose to die for me, my feelings of loneliness and worthlessness are completely ridiculous.
Deuteronomy 31:6 says “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” And He will never leave me because He loves me and He chose me. He chose me.
He chose me.
I would like to tell you that I can pull out that verse every time I feel alone and the world magically turns into rainbows, but that would be a lie. Even as I write this, I’m in one of these periods. But now I know I don’t have to do anything to prove myself and earn the right to be loved. I am already loved more than anyone on earth could possibly imagine. If it turns out that God’s love is the only love I ever receive again, that will be enough. Because He has promised to never leave me alone.
His grace is sufficient for me. His power is made perfect in my weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9). I am only reminded of how beautiful the gospel is and how powerful God’s love for me is during troubling times. And I think that’s why I still find myself alone and forgetting I am loved. Because God is always calling me back to Him and forever reminding me that He will always be right by my side.
——–This post originally appeared on Every Story Project, a two week project to share the faith stories of college students.