The past two days have been an exercise in learning to love me for me, in spite of being single, shy, silly, etc.
Yesterday, my best friend on the whole planet (we honestly read each other's minds; it's like those dumb twin movies) went with her boyfriend to a bonfire. I was invited, but by the end of the day I just get so worn out by people that I knew I'd be miserable by the end of it. So, although I knew it would be extremely fun, I stayed home and dyed my hair instead! It was extremely fun and now I have amazing, fiery-red hair. It'll fade in two-ish weeks, but I'm delighted that I did it just because I could. It brings out my green eyes wonderfully...the funny thing is that now my head clashes with a lot of my shirts! That and I no longer have any concept of my hair color, before or after.
Today, I went to a concert. By myself. And I had a blast! The concert was Peter Breinholt, who is just so much fun! At one point during the concert, he basically invited people to dance while he played. A handful of girls stood up and started jammin', and then a few scattered other people, and then this guy (who will forever be my hero) ran to the front by the stage. Lots of people, including yours truly, followed suit, and it was insanely fun. I kind of like my lack of inhibition, even if it sometimes makes me feel a little cRaZy.
Another big thing about the concert was how I accidentally sat by this girl in my Spanish class and her two friends. Being a BYU-I coed, I naturally would have loved to sit by some cute boy, but I decided from the moment I saw the-Spanish-class-girl-whose-name-I-do-not-remember that it honestly did not matter because I was going to be friendly to whoever. So I chatted with Tara for a few minutes before the concert and it was great fun. I'm learning not to mind this whole being-single thing -- people are people, right?
Before that, in Old Testament, I very nearly cried. In a good way, of course...we were talking about Moses, specifically the burning bush experience, and at one point Moses says, "O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue." The Lord's reply intrigues me..."Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?" I had always kind of assumed this was the Lord saying "Well you're just unfaithful...get more faith and then you won't have to worry about it, duh."
But what if the Lord actually meant "Moses, I know. I made you that way on purpose." It reminded me that this whole introverted thing is not a fluke, is not a mistake. It's a challenge, but one that will bless me and one that somehow, the Lord will use to build His kingdom. Mary, one of my roommates from last fall, called me today and when I told her about this experience, I added "I have no idea HOW the Lord will use it for His work, but I guess I just have to trust Him." Her reply: "Well I know how!" She went on to explain that she really loved living with me because I had a way of nonjudgmentally listening to the whole story, and then without being insulting explained what might be the other side of the picture. I don't say this to toot my own horn or anything, just to use it as a demonstration of God's love and how He works through people, like Mary telling me how great she thinks I am on a day I particularly need to hear it.
I'm fairly convinced that this is just what happens when you ask the Lord to help you know what to pray for...and then pray for it...and then trust Him to provide in his own way and time.
I've been experimenting on the word and am happy to say that the Lord does provide -- you just have to be willing to take things on His terms. Since He's so much smarter (and nicer) than I am, I'm okay with that. I'm learning not to formulate my own ideas for things too quickly, because I know that God wants what is best for me and so I should want what He wants instead of making up my own ideas of "happy" and then being disappointed when they don't work out.
All in all, as I learn to love myself, I find myself loving God more and being more available to Him day to day. I'm so grateful for that.