If I were to talk to myself, circa two years ago, I don’t think I would recognize myself.
Most people go through a lot of personal change and growth from 18-20, but I feel like very little of who I was then remains with me now. For those of you who did not know me then, let me paint you a little picture of who I used to be be. Physically, I looked about the same, but inside… I was a wreck. I had a list of mental illnesses longer than my arm. I struggled with everything from ADD, ODD, Major Depressive Disorder, Binge Eating Disorder, Generalized Anxiety, to Borderline Personality Disorder. I was bullied and suicidal, an avid self-harmer, and at times, I was lonely and isolated. I took attention any way I could get it, including from guys who were all too willing to make a few bad decisions. I hated myself, hated those around me, and tried to hold everything together and fake a semi-perfect existence. I hurt myself deliberately, hoping to control the sadness I felt inside. I had no plans for life after 18, figuring that I wouldn’t make it that far anyways. I had decided that God wasn’t real, and if he was, he certainly wasn’t Good. I rejected every belief I had been taught was “right”. I was a broken, and deeply wounded person.
I was given an ultimatum at 19 that landed me in a treatment facility. It derailed me. I had to confront the nightmare of my life, and decide to live. While there, God met me… Radically. When Jesus came into my life, he came to restore every broken and shattered piece of me. I had denied parts of myself for so long, that I wasn’t sure who I was anymore. I had convinced myself that I was an extreme introvert, who hated physical touch. (The exact opposite is true, give me all the people and all the hugs!) I had decided that I was stupid and unteachable, which just isn’t true, and that I would always be a mess.
God met me exactly where I was, and told me how he saw me. I spent months re-learning who I was, what I liked, and what my passions were. Most of my major beliefs and ideologies changed. (I’m still a democrat though, sorry mom and dad!) I went from staunchly agnostic to passionately in love with Jesus. I went from death to life. I found that I was no longer a bitter or hateful person. I had fully been restored.
Some things still frustrate me though. There are people that I hurt during those first 18 years. Some of them I have been able to fully restore relationship with. Some have no idea that I’ve changed, and some are probably surprised I’m alive. I don’t get to change the first impressions I made. I don’t get to change my story. To be honest, I don’t really want to. I get to celebrate a beautifully transformed life, firsthand. But, I would like the chance to re-introduce myself. So here goes:
Hi, my name is Mallory Grace McBride. I’m 20.5 years old. I love people, despite all my complaints about customers at work. I’m busy alllll the time, and I have some A++ buds that love me real well. I work a lot, but find that I feel happier and content after a long work week. I adore my church. I am a big time, full body worshipper, and I love me some praise music. I love to cook, and I’m passionate about a ton of really random things. I light up when I get to talk about Jesus. I’m a goofball at least 61% of the time, but I love a good sit down heart to heart convo. I’m a night owl, I’m slightly obsessed with Instagram stories, and I’m a huge klutz. Someday I might go back to school, but right now, I’m more focused on work. I wanna get married someday, and have kiddos. But at the moment, I’m just looking for somebody to take me out to coffee 🙂 Sometimes I make art. Usually I make messes. I’m always running late…sorry. I love pretentious hipster music, but also all other kinds of music. I mostly wear all black, because it’s easier to match things that way. My spelling is usually awesome, but I don’t understand grammar, and I overuse commas like it’s my day job. I love good cheese, and I’m a sucker for a good butcher shop. I obsessively watch cooking shows. I Love flowers, particularly peonies. I keep all of my makeup in my car so I can get ready on the go. I love to read, and my favorite books always end up being poorly written sci/fi or fantasy paperbacks from the 80’s. I can be a little insecure physically, but I’m working on it. I like learning about what makes other people tick, what they are passionate about. I love having a little garden, and I can tell you every variety of tomato I’m growing right now. I have a cat named Beyoncé, we have a love/hate relationship. I use box dye in my hair, because I like it to be as bright ginger as possible. I love to cook meals for my friends. I’m a huge believer in vulnerability. I’m a lil bit competitive, especially with sales at work. I love picnics, and adventures. I’m really afraid of birds and thunderstorms. I try to do things that panic me at least once a week. I let myself feel a full range of emotions now, I’m not just stuck on Sad/Mad. I still struggle sometimes with various issues, but I don’t ever feel alone. I am passionately, madly, obsessively, in love with my creator. I want my love for Jesus to be the first thing others notice about me, the defining feature of my life. And I want to love others better. I am growing, a little bit every day.
To those who knew me then, this is an open opportunity to get to know me now. Shoot me a text, let’s do life. Every single person can change, and I’ll give you the same grace I have been given. And to those who are newer in my life, let’s celebrate what I came out of. I am proud of who I am, and prouder of who I am becoming. Life is a beautiful, messy endeavor. Come enjoy it with me.
😘Love always, Mal.
“the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you”(Jeremiah 31:3 ESV)
“and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:5 ESV
“How can we who died to sin still live in it?”
Romans 6:2 ESV
“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Romans 6:11 ESV
“Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,”
Ephesians 4:15 ESV