Today I’m going to kick it back old school and journal instead of show you what I’ve been wearing. Is that cool? 🙂

Yesterday I posted the following status on Facebook. I felt a tug on my heart to elaborate.

Picture 5

Growing up Courtney and I were inseparable. She was like a sister to me through so many awkward pre-teen days and I’m forever grateful to her for that. However life got in the way. We moved on from one another and lived separate lives. Until about a week ago. When I announced on here where I’ve been so many of you reached out and encouraged me. Courtney is among you. She private messaged me on Twitter and expressed her love and concern for me along with a lot of encouragement in Christ. She also told me she prayed our friendship might be restored. When I read that I got a little choked up. For years I’ve wondered how I could contact her without being awkward. I believe in a small way God is using my broken situation to restore other parts around me. It’s to watch and witness. We had lunch the next week and caught up on everything that’s been happening in the last six years. We’re semi-adults now. 😉

Let me explain what Super Summer is. Super Summer is the greatest thing for youth. Honestly. It’s a camp geared towards high school aged students with a heart for leadership. For our youth group this was our Youth Council. We met once a week and had a Bible study and encouraged each other. Our youth minister at the time, Chad, came to us with this Super Summer idea and we fell for it. I was terrified because of this new thing called “family groups.” This meant that no one I knew was going to be near me for most of the week. Strangers? I’m like, 17. I’m too awkward for this. But God made it all okay through these things called e-grams, which I’m totally going to bring back. Each student at the camp has their own mailbox. Anyone can write a short note to anyone they want encouraging them and loving on them. It was the best part of my day when I went to check my mail.

I never threw any away. (I’m sentimental like that.) Courtney texted me a picture of a pile of hers so I decided to pull mine out too and reminisce a little bit. Notes from old boyfriends, cousins, sisters, friends… All of them encouraged me in the place I am right now. Notes written five or six years ago are somehow still relevant to me now. Only God can do that. These notes told me I was beautiful, that I was being prayed for, that I was loved, that more notes were being written about me to be given to me later, silly drawings were included, gratitude for the friendship I’ve given others… I smiled at each one.

I remember being so vulnerable at that age. Walking around feeling self-conscious and not good enough. I didn’t know my true worth. I think that’s a crisis in girls, and boys for that matter, at that age. We’re searching for someone to show us worth. Someone to tell us we’re good enough and beautiful enough. We seek it everywhere. I sought it in friends, boyfriends, and in myself. Six years later I’m seeing my worth. Throughout this divorce and heartache I’ve prayed for God to show me my worth in Him. I prayed that He would show me how He sees me. I never knew all I had to do was ask. Nearly immediately after my praying that I began to see how He sees me. Beautiful, worthy, sought-after, precious, loved. These are the words that define me. Broken, shallow, pathetic, useless, worthless, ugly. These are the words I thought did.

“Brokenness is the bow from which God launches healing.” Louie Giglio said that at a Passion conference a couple of years ago and I’ve never been able to get it out of my head. The problem was I didn’t know what I needed to be healed from. I knew I was hurting and broken but I couldn’t put my finger on the ‘why.’ The past six months have shown me my ‘why.’ And here it is.

I never let go. I always put God in this small teenager-Melody box. The one that didn’t know Him fully. (And still doesn’t.) The one that took others pictures of Jesus to make her own. I relied heavily on others to tell me who God is. What His love feels like. It never worked. I was too lazy and scared to ask God myself and to let Him in. I thought I had it all together, and it did work for a little while. But years went by and I started to become unhappy. Self-doubt, worthlessness, self-conscious, self-esteem… all of these ruled my life. I never thought I’d come out of whatever hole I was living in.

I’m broken. Dirty. A sinner. But I am not defined by those things. Through this broken time and sorrow God is lifting me up into my true worth in Him.

Beautiful, worthy, sought-after, precious, loved. These are the words that define me.