So I wrote a letter to myself at the beginning of this year, and I opened it and read it today.
Dear Callie at the end of freshman year of college,
I will be so surprised if I am still a biology major by the end of this year (LOL). I am struggling in chemistry and I’m really scared I’m going to get bad grades. I’m thinking maybe nursing, but I’m just praying that God will guide me in His plan for my life. I know God has called me to worship, I just don’t exactly know what that means yet.
Right now I’m sitting in the middle of the football field with the girls on my floor during a lightning storm. If I get struck by lightning right now, it would be a real shame, because I know God has huge plans for my life, greater than I could ever imagine.
The boys here are so confusing. I feel like I haven’t met the guy I’m going to marry yet, because I’m totally not the person I’m supposed to be yet, nor the person God wants me to be yet.
My goals are to be more patient and not grumpy with my family. To not be as self-conscious. To be confident in my identity in Christ, and to truly know what that means. To be confident that God knows what He’s doing. I’m here for a reason, even if I feel like I’m not good enough.
My goal is to shine the light of God inside me to every person I encounter.
I’m so broken inside. God is healing me and my past hurts but I am so broken. I haven’t forgiven myself for a lot of the things I’ve done. I’m a mess. God heal me, please.
I have no idea what to do with my life.
My dream job would be providing healthcare to people in third world countries, while at the same time being a part of a ministry and leading worship. I wonder why YWAM didn’t work out this year. But I know I’m here for a reason, I just hope I can figure out what that is by the end of this year.
I hope to write more worship songs, and to continue growing in my relationship with God. To be able to discern the true Christians from the fake ones, and to not lead a double life, saying one thing and doing another.
Lord help me, in the name of Jesus Christ,
First of all, LOL at changing my major. Probably still not done changing it yet, but that’s okay. But it’s not because of bad grades. I struggled my entire life with doubting that I was smart enough, because I was the “dumb blonde” growing up. But I got an A in chemistry – I know that I’m intellectually capable. That’s definitely something I’ve learned and become more confident in this year.
I always thought I was the least thoughtful and logical out of everyone in my family. I’m the middle child, and my older sister and younger brother are incredibly smart and methodical – whereas I was the one who got caught smoking weed junior year.
I came into freshman year with a year of PSEO behind my belt, but a heart full of hurt from my experiences. And the way I dealt with these hurts? …by shoving them down into a neat little box along with all the other boxes in my life.
Whenever I would experience heartbreak from a breakup, my habit was to be super sad the first day or two, and then immediately be like,
“Guys, God totally healed my heart! Like, completely! I’m totally good to go!”
I had this twisted way of thinking that because I could function in real life normally again and that I wasn’t super sad all the time anymore, God had completely healed me. And now I know, this is bullshit.
Healing from things, actually healing, hurts like hell. Just because I smack a band-aid on it and call it good because I can’t see the blood anymore doesn’t mean I’m in any way healed.
So this year, I learned what it means to be vulnerable with people. That word “vulnerable” is tossed around so often here at Bethel, but it’s something a lot of people struggle with. The pressure to pretend like everything is perfect is all too strong, but it was through people who broke down my walls and asked me the hard questions I wasn’t willing to ask myself that I found the real healing process beginning.
It was also through people who encouraged me to ask those hard questions that I started to find this confidence in who God created me to be – an intelligent human being, capable of reasoning rationally.
Also, I was so freaking concerned with finding a guy. Because growing up, through no fault of my parents, I was socialized into thinking that I needed a guy to define my worth and value. This was inadvertently taught to me through youth group, TV shows, books, you name it.
But then I came to Bethel and saw so many different women being so many different things – and not needing a man to do them.
Yet there are still those women here who blindly believe what I once believed, that they need a man to be valuable.
So the reason I’m at Bethel?
To help people. To do what those influential people did for me – ask them those hard questions, getting them to think about why they think the way they do. To empower people to think for themselves and challenge preconceived notions about the way we do things, both in the church in general as well as at Bethel.
And I’m also here because God is molding me into the person He’s created me to be. I’ve learned so many things about myself this year – I freaking love to write. I can’t stop writing now. I’m a feminist – and a very passionate one, at that.
And most importantly, I learned how to place my worth and value in the God who created me, and trust that God can make good from bad, beauty from ashes, and my scars into a testimony of God’s amazing grace.