Tuesday, January 7, 2014

My New Year's Resolution

Today marks 2 weeks since my wonderful boyfriend asked me to marry him and consequently became my fiance. 2 busy weeks, crazy weeks, happy weeks, sad weeks...I'm down with a nasty cold from it all. Busy weeks from traveling across the US and back for various shindigs, crazy weeks because my emotions flitted all over, happy weeks because I'm engaged! and sad weeks because Brian's grandfather passed away just 2 days after our engagement. 

Through it all, but especially upon seeing my best friend (growing up) getting married (as the picture at the top is a tribute to), my excitement and happiness quickly faded to fear and guilt-tripping. Suddenly, I was a wreck for no good reason. Fears that I thought I had handled popped back up, only to taunt me openly and cause me to fall into tears. 

This morning, I realized what my issue is. And, consquently, I decided upon a New Year's Resolution. Curious? Let me explain...

If you start to talk about the merits of Photoshop, I will blow up in your face. I absolutely hate Photoshop because it has created an impossible standard for reality. People expect to see what shows up in a photo in reality, only to be superbly disappointed. I think that this is especially hard for us girls. It was hard enough to grow up playing with Barbie dolls, being told that pretty girls look like this_ (fill in the blank with anything....that most girls are not), and having the men around you watching movies where all the actresses are super-models. But, along came Photoshop, and now the standard for beauty is impossible in reality. Knowing that the men in your life have subconsciously come to expect what is shown in those photos is... well... it hurts. And it's scary. And there's absolutely nothing you can do about it. You can't be mad at the guys, because it's not their fault. You can't try to match up to that, because it's impossible. So, all you can do is know that you're not going to measure up.

Why do I bring this up? Because I realized that I also have set an impossible standard in my head. For myself, that is. I see this person that I should be laughing at the person that I am. I want to please everyone, to suddenly be perfect instead of giving God time to work on me. Every night, I go to bed crying because I don't measure up. Every time someone tells me that I did something wrong, it's like another nail in the coffin. I'm never satisfied with my work...in fact, I cried when I saw the photos from the wedding because they didn't match up to the impossible standard I had for them in my head. I wake up every morning, dreading the day ahead of me because I know...I'm going to fail again. When I look at my relationships with other people, I fail to see the way God has used me and only see how much I have hurt people. And up until...right now...as I'm writing this...every time I looked at the ring on my finger, despite all the joy and love in my heart, there was a little voice in the back of my head reminding me that I'm going to fall way short of measuring up. 

But, you know what? To hell with that! Literally! Satan can take that crap back where it came from! He can suck it up, because I'm not going to listen to it anymore. Well, by the grace of God, that is. And, that is my resolution. One word: Grace. I'm resolving to spend this next year asking God for grace. He knows I need it. I need His grace to forgive me and pull me through every time I fall. I need grace when I look at myself in the mirror. I need grace in my relationships with others, so I can look past all the hurt and love them for them. The reality is, I am going to fall and I am going to screw up. But, that's okay. Somehow, by God's grace, that's okay.  My name means "Place of God's Grace." It's about time I started believing it.