I am not who I am meant to be.
I live under siege, at war with the insides of myself. With forceful voices and strong opposition, I find that I live in constant tension. My flesh an eternal enemy and my spirit a weak victim in the whole process. Every day, I must fight to proclaim my allegiance to what is good while prying away the sword of evil gripped firmly in my hand.
I’m a desolate warrior, hardened by the battle and blood. My heart calloused but my resolution astute. What matters most in this war is who and how we salute, so I stand with dutiful attention. I will mess up. I will fall. I will consistently sin and struggle, hurt others and belittle, mock and defame the kingdom of Jesus. That’s just the way that this whole thing is.
For years – for all my life, really – I was taught that this was what it would always be like.
That following Jesus was a consistently dying process. That for my life, my heart would battle my body for the direction my soul would take. I was told that following Jesus was about how we worship and the name on our church buildings; that our holiness was determined by our religious adherence.
There’s no doubt that on some days, this tension is still a reality. There’s no dismissing the fact that following Jesus is a process of sacrificing selfishness and my own ways. There’s no getting around the reality that there is a bloody war on behalf of my heart. And, I continually battle with trying to justify and prove myself in the eyes of God.
But, I’m finding now that there’s a better version of the story. A better way of interpreting the war and complexity and tension of it all. A new and different way of framing the unfolding, evolving version of myself.
I am becoming who I am meant to be.
There’s a subtle difference, sure, but the writer in me delights in the subtle. No longer am I defined by my weaknesses and what I’ve done. I am no longer living out a self-defeating prophecy that makes sin a flippant mistake which I easily justify, and indifferent living an expected outcome. No longer is my holiness wrapped up in the falling apart rags of religion and “righteous” allegiance.
My story is better framed by grace and mercy. A child, lost and astray, found and reclaimed by a distraught Father. A creation, beautifully and wonderfully made, finding within himself the beauty and mystery of heaven’s secrets. An estranged lover, covered in the stench of last night’s one night stand, welcomed back home.
I was not who I was meant to be. And by grace, I am now becoming…
Comment below and tell me; are you defined by your weaknesses, or by something else? What frames your story?