Eight months ago, this is was me:

I’ve found myself deeply convicted by how little I create  and how much I consume in my life. Selfish. Despite knowing that a life lived following Christ is, by definition, not about me. I too, like many others, have fallen into the trap of living like my faith is about me. That a better me is the goal, that a well-rounded, strong, confident woman of God is supposed to be the target on this side of Heaven.

A normal day in my heart looks like “How can I improve myself today?” when it’s supposed to be, “What’s on the agenda today, God? How can I better serve you?” I’ve retreated into myself with the narcissistic focus of becoming a better follower of Christ, not a truer one. And I’ve failed many many times, not because of the vision, but because of the direction.

The inward seems to fall into place with the upward focus to the only source of real life, then outward to those who need the same. I’m ambushed with abusive and false representations of what I’m supposed to be, people who are so passionately angry, so committed to condemnation and division. But meditating on the guilt and confusion only paralyzes my drive to love harder. I wake up everyday wrestling with the choice to intentionally become ignorant of reality or stepping up to a situation that bigger than anything I’ve even known.

I get it. So stressed out about getting it right that she’s stressed out about wanting to get it right. Sad. She’s stuck, paralyzed by the heart out. Explaining how she knows that there’s not much worthwhile that comes only from self-improvement by trying to do just that.

I understand her, though I don’t recognize her. She’s changed. Is she still selfish, abso-freaking-lutely, but is she obsessed with renovating her insides? Not as much. She finds that there’s a lot more to gain by inviting people in, despite the mess. She used to get the “Oh, every things so beautiful, you could put your house on a magazine” and that was nice, but everyone was afraid to breath, much less get comfortable. Now she gets the “It’s ok. It’s lived in. I like it. Feels like home.” and that’s much better.

Do I still want to be a better version of me? Yes x 10. But do I think that’s what God’s ultimate sacrifice was about? Is that why he died for Simone? No x 20. Perfection is overrated and a changed life is better demonstrated.

*Yes, I was heavily influenced by Dr. Seuss.