I haven’t used this blog in a while, mainly because it was meant to be for my time in study abroad. Today I feel compelled to use it again.
This post is very different from the rest on my site, for many reasons, the main one being, I’m no longer abroad. Here it is.
Last year was one of the most challenging years of my life. I was living in a new state, had a new job, and had random roommates. I knew no one, but was very excited to start and was extremely optimistic about what the future held. That optimism faded fast. I found myself floundering in a job that required more of me than I knew how to give. I was living in an apartment where I didn’t feel welcome. I had relationships that were falling apart. I was completely broken, wondering how in the world I had gotten to this point in my life. Everything had been going great, what did I do wrong?
It would be a mistake to blame everything on my move and the transition period I found myself in. I found myself on a path that I didn’t know I was taking. I felt very lost and was looking at where I was and where I wanted to be. Nothing seemed right. I thought I had it all together. It was a wakeup call to say the least. I knew nothing about interacting with people in a loving and kind way. I complained constantly, judged everyone and hated myself. I was very critical of everyone. This wasn’t an instant change that resulted in my move. This had been a gradual transition based on my past actions. I thought I was helping people, but I couldn’t help myself. The scripture of wanting to take the spec out of someone’s eye while ignoring the log in my own comes to mind now.
Last year was a lot of struggling while trying to grow. I realized that my relationship with God was miles away and my other relationships and how I interacted with people were suffering because of it. I prayed, read scripture, dove in to my relationship with Christ in order to try to fix things and feel less helpless. There were many ups and downs. I wanted to say that I was doing fine, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I was still struggling to change my ways and habits and begin to become the person I wanted to be.
After all of the struggle, I can say one thing, I’m still not where I want to be. Every time I think I have made progress, I fall 3 steps behind. I am continually trying to do things on my own. At church today it hit me. The pastor said that the longer we have been in church the harder it is to remember the grace that we have been given. We forget that everyone is offered that same grace and that my sins aren’t smaller or less significant than anyone else’s. My struggles over the past year resulted from my forgetfulness. I thought I had it all together and that I was fine. I had everything I wanted, but I wasn’t doing well. Quickly, as I tried to find happiness, I found my world crumbling into pieces. Everything I had built up became known for what it was. I was a broken person trying to help others. I wasn’t helping anyone, because I thought I was better than them. I wasn’t getting help from my Savior, because I didn’t think I needed help. I had forgotten the gift he had given to me. I was trying to fix people to fit in my own world. When I say that now, I am deeply saddened, knowing that I have hurt people given my own ignorance and broken life.
Today the pastor asked who our impossible is. Who is the person that we would be uncomfortable being around, having a conversation and loving them. I kept searching for that person in my head and came up with nothing. I feel like my impossible is myself. I am trying to grow in all aspects of my life, but I generally come up short because I am trying to do what I think is best. I continually fail to meet my own expectations and I continually fail the people around me. I am human, broken, but given the most beautiful gift of grace. I need to remind myself of this gift every day. Without this reminder, I know I will continue to slip up and treat others as problems rather than the beautiful people that they are, human and broken just like me.
I am struggling. Day by day I come up short. I am unable to be the person I want to be in the way I want. Sometimes I forget that this may be the way I am supposed to do life. That I can’t plan everything and do everything my way. If I did, I would miss out on the opportunities God has for my life and I will miss his calling for my life. I’m not sure that I will stop struggling, but it gives me peace to know that in the struggle I am reminded of the grace given to me.