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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: Dear Me-let it go…

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Dear Me-let it go…

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Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland: Dear Me-let it go…

Live Beautiful | Courtney Kirkland

November 4, 2010

Dear Me-let it go…

{30 Days of Truth: Day #3-something you need to forgive yourself for…}

I hang my head at the thought of some of the things in my past. truthbutton1

As I type this, I find myself taking big deep gulps at the honesty I’m about to lay out there. The truth. The pain. The things I am most ashamed of in my life. And I’m going to be honest, because somehow, someway, I truly feel like my honesty will inspire and encourage someone. Some girl who’s struggling with her own pain and her own embarrassment at some of the choices she made. And I hold my head high to those who may read this and decide to judge. Go ahead. Judge me if you want. But, no matter what you say, you won’t break me or the fact that I know who offers forgiveness and it’s by his grace that I’m able to even tell some of my story…my shame…my healing from sin.

I was a very insecure teenager. Very insecure. I was never comfortable in my own skin. I spent hours in front of the mirror critiquing my looks, bashing myself and crying because of how I looked. I didn’t have a lot of boyfriends in high school. Mainly because, I didn’t give it up. That’s something I am proud of now, but back then, I hated the fact that no guy would glance my way because they knew I wouldn’t sleep with them. I was 17 before I gave it up. And I’ve regretted every day since. A bad relationship turned worse with a nasty breakup led to some really stupid and immature decisions on my part.

The first semester I was in college, I tried to run from my mistakes, my insecurities, and my lack of drive by hiding in bars and behind alcohol. I never even took a sip of alcohol until I was 18…and it was all downhill from there. I spent every night somewhere getting drunk, spent the mornings I was supposed to be in class hung-over, and spent my days planning the comings nights events. Bar-hopping, Frat Parties, Mixers…you name it. If there was alcohol, I was there. Having never found anywhere that I “belonged” in high school, I had found my place in college. Or so I thought. Guys that I went to high school with that had never even known I existed were calling me up on the weekends to get together and hang out. Older Frat guys paid attention to me when I walked into the room; though to this day I don’t know if it was because I was usually stumbling or because I was wearing clothing that I would kill my daughter for ever wearing. I fed off of the fact that for once in my life, I didn’t feel invisible. I didn’t feel like I was a nobody. I felt…known.

And eventually, that being “known” turned into a bad thing. My good reputation in high school had gotten me into the most prestigious and respected Sorority on campus. My high school transcript had gotten me a full ride scholarship and then some to a great University. And my alcohol problem and desire to belong had trashed my reputation and cost me most of my scholarship.

A friend of mine from high school had a wreck one night in January leaving the bar [Yes, I say the bar because there was only one]. He was on his way back to his Frat House and the guy driving {who I also went to school with} hit the curb, flipped the truck and landed in a tree. I drove up as it happened. Watched the whole thing. He didn’t die, but he came close. And I was scared to death. I was in a car with friends, going the opposite direction that he was coming. If we’d have been there 5 seconds earlier, they’d have hit us head on. It totally and completely rocked my world.

After spending the night walking the halls of the hospital with friends, I went home and cried for about 6 hours. I hit my knees and thanked God for opening my eyes. For waking me up. For saving *D’s life. For sparing him…and for sparing me. That was the end of alcohol. At least, heavy alcohol. I admit that I occasionally have a drink if we are out eating somewhere, but never, ever do I drink and get behind the wheel. Nor will I let my Hubby. And since then, I’ve pretty much lost all taste for alcohol.

But the stupid mistakes didn’t completely end there. The alcohol may have gone to the wayside, but the seeking comfort and security through other people…in ways that I am ashamed of, didn’t. I jumped from one relationship to another until I was 19. I let guys use me, treat me like garbage, act like I was stupid, say things to me that broke me down. And for the longest time, I believed it. Until I landed my hospital job in 2007. I had finally gotten my academics back on track and was taking classes, getting ready to enroll in the nursing program. I had turned down date after date because I was scared of letting anyone else in. Scared of getting hurt. Then I met him":

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He showed me that you could love someone in spite of their mistakes. He showed me that true love, real genuine love…does exist. He loved me in spite of my stupidity and immaturity and opened his heart up to me and let me into his mistakes and showed me his past. We were similar people…are similar people.

I’ve spent the last {almost} three years of our marriage trying to learn to allow him to love me. It’s funny how we can be so critical of ourselves. I carried my past around with me the entire first year and a half or so that we were married. Just “knowing” that he was going to break my heart and prove all of my fears correct.

But you know what?

He hasn’t.

And I’ve slowly, learned how to let go of the past. Sure it’s there, and it always will be. And there are some days where it rears its ugly head and threatens to throw me back into a pain that I do not ever care to experience. Forgiveness is a slow process. There is no such thing as “forgive and forget” because when we are truly hurt and affected by something, you don’t forget.

My past remains. It always will. But it’s made me in to the person that I am. Bad decisions and all, good times and bad, stupidity and intelligence. I’m me because I was wrong. I’m me because I failed. I’m me because I’m strong enough, confident enough, and woman enough to admit where I’ve fallen and admit where I’ve struggled.

And I’m confident enough in my God to know that he’s washed away the past and made me new. And he’s showing me how to learn from my mistakes and hopefully, one day, how to prevent other young girls from making the same ones.

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