I’ve been waiting to be made new since I was 5 years old and asked Jesus into my heart. Somewhere in my subconscious I was waiting for glittery rainbows and purple-hued unicorns to show up.
Instead, my parents got divorced. My dad couldn’t hold a job and moved us around every 6 months. I lost an uncle. An aunt. A step-sister. Another uncle. My grandpa. My grandmother. My dad. Words from those I cared about hit me with a lasting sting. I was mean. Selfish. Preoccupied. Cold. Distant. Lacking concern for anything other than me.
Rather than continuing to wait for the magical Jesus-newness, I started thinking that the problem was me… I was the reason the newness wasn’t coming. It’s like one of those stories you hear where someone is physically abused and then rubs their skin raw trying to get clean, to remove the grossness they’re overcome by. In my case, I’ve spent the last 4 years rubbing my insides raw. I’ve been so desperate to be rid of my old self and tried on a few different me’s in the process. I’ve clawed at my heart so it would hold itself together differently. I’ve tried to prove to myself and everyone else that all the old pieces of me actually make up a previous, different me.
A couple of days ago, I realized all of this. I realized that the me who all the bad stuff happened to, and the me who did all the bad stuff… is the same girl who sits behind this computer. You know what else I realized? That all the bad stuff that happened wasn’t because I’m bad. All the bad stuff I did wasn’t because I’m a terrible person or because anyone else was/is. It’s because I’m human. They’re human. When bad stuff happens, humans react. When bad stuff happens that humans can’t understand, they often react poorly.
Somehow it’s a sweet comfort to me that I’m the same girl, that I don’t have to become new… because trying to become new has been exhausting. I’ve identified myself as terrible and been so overwhelmed with it. In the last few days, grace finally made a puncture in the steel wall I’ve formed around my spirited, sensitive heart… the me, me. The me that Jesus knows, but most others (including myself) have only glimpsed.
I’ve got such a long way to go on the journey to becoming me, but praise God, I don’t have to prove to anyone, including myself, that I’m good, strong or okay. Thank you, Jesus!
Show respect even to people who don’t deserve it. Not as a reflection of their character, but as a reflection of yours.