If you could have ANYTHING in the world right now what would it (does not have to be an it) be?
Now that it has been an eon since I’ve gotten around to answering haha…. If I could have anything right now it would be the time and the money to travel the world; there are so many things I want to see!
So, it has been quite a while since I’ve last written a blog.
Since last time, a lot has happened - got a boyfriend, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, broke up with a boyfriend, my 20th birthday, Valentine’s day, St. Patrick’s day… see? A lot has happened.
What is constantly on my mind is: Why didn’t I listen to the people who care about me and want the best for me?
Stupid reasons, that’s why.
I didn’t want to be told what I should or should not do. I wanted to live and learn on my own terms - and make mistakes from learning. Nevermind my well being or anything like that. I wanted to be a stupid, irresponsible teenager. What stung the most about it all was the fact that people could tell me: “I told you so.” And I would respond, “Yes. Yes, you did.”
It’s not even the fact that “I was told so”. I was just hoping that they just maybe, might be wrong. But I was proved wrong, and now I have to deal with the ramifications of my choice. I’m okay with that. I made a mistake, and I’d be a fool to think otherwise. Of course, I’d also be a fool if I didn’t learn from that mistake. I even learned quite a bit about myself.
For instance, should someone crack a “joke” about something that actually offends me or hurts my feelings, I don’t just have to brush it off and laugh half-heartedly pretending that it’s okay. I can say, “I really don’t appreciate you making those remarks, it would be great if you’d stop and just go away.”
Before, I would have accepted whatever was said to me and would think it rude to essentially stand up for myself by saying something like that. But there’s nothing wrong in letting someone know that they hurt you - nothing at all. There are nice ways and not-so-nice ways of letting someone know that. Depending on who it is, you’d discern who deserves which. Ideally, we should let everyone know in a nice way, I suppose. But let’s face it, there’s no chance of that happening. The people who know how to get under our skin and make us angry because they know how to are generally going to get the worst of it.
This makes me wonder: Will people still think I’m so nice when I actually decide to stand up for myself? I guess I’ll find out. Of course, this doesn’t mean that I’m going to turn into some diva and go on this rampage of being a complete jerk to people just to make up for lost times; that’s not who I am.
I was thinking to myself the other day about my choices and my decisions that I’ve made and how those have shaped who I am. But I stumbled across something this morning; it was a journal entry from a man in a Christian band I like. He was writing about how we have been fed this false ideology of “the choices we make, make us who we are” and “we are the sum of our choices”. Just by reading that journal entry and noticing his word choices I could sense that this “false doctrine”, as he called it, truly got under his skin. I could hear the passion in which he wrote the entry.
He was right about this phenomenon, I guess you could say, that has so immensely confused people and led them to believe such a thing. All of my life I have heard something related to “our choices shape who we are” - phrases like, “What you do defines who you are”, “who you are defines what you do”, “it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it”, the list goes on. But this man, brought light to my heart when I read what he wrote about what we should be believing:
"But here’s the gospel: Where you end up is not who you are.
What you do is not who you are. If you are in Christ, who you are is what has been done for you. How else do you think God can call screw ups like us a “new creation?” It’s because his choices for us make us who we are. I am a child of God, and it’s not because I was good enough to be one, it’s because He was good enough for me to be one…. And what’s truly beautiful about this is that it levels the playing field. The successful and the pure are humbled out of their pride, because they realize that it is Christ who has made them right before God, not their choices. And it strengthens the failures and the weak because no matter how many bad choices they’ve made, no matter how many times they go back to their vices, they can believe the gospel and get back up. The promiscuous girl can say, “my identity is not where I’ve been.” The addict can put down his needle and say, “druggie is not my name. I am a child of God who happens to relapse” In other words, we learn to live out of a new reality… out of our new name. I don’t need to become holy. I need to act like who I am. I need to be in practice who I already am in position. I am a child of God in spite of myself. I’m not struggling to be free; I am free to struggle…”
I read that and let it sink in, and then it hit me. Of course!
It’s nice to be reminded that I’m not in control. There is Someone else in this universe who knows me better than I know myself, and He’s not going to let me go no matter what decisions I make because He already knows what I’m going to do, and He’s not going to love me any less for it.
This brings me back to earlier in this entry. The mistake I made doesn’t change me; it doesn’t define who I am. It means that I’m going to make poor decisions and that “I’m free to struggle” because God loves me enough to allow me to do so and it be okay.
If you managed to read through this, thank you for listening to me. I know I probably made a few contradictions with myself between the first half and second half of this blog - admit it, I digressed pretty badly - but just know that in the midst of writing this blog I made a realization - half way through - that I desperately needed to make. I actually feel like a weight has been lifted off of my chest. It’s truly amazing the difference that is made when you start to get your ducks in a row spiritually. I have a long, long, long way to go, but I think that this a good start.
So I leave you with the scripture that I was left with in reading that article I aforementioned:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come… …For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." 2 Corinthians 5:17-21