Monday, April 8, 2013

Two Steps Forward

I started a new journal recently.

The blank pages before me were inviting as I saw a chance to write a different story than the one I had previously been writing. It felt like a fresh start... a blank slate (quite literally).

I had closed out the last page of my old journal and was ready for something new, something different...something good. I no longer wanted the same things to define me, I no longer wanted to be caught up in the cyclical patterns of life that seemed to drone on and on with this overwhelming feeling that nothing ever changes.

Have you ever felt like that about a new journal? Have you ever felt like that about life....whether that was going to a new job, a new school, a new city, a new church, etc.? That maybe this was your chance for things to be different? Truly different?

The journal seemed only a metaphor for my life. While I had, yes, moved across the country and started a 'new' was time for me to really seize the newness, and this journal, by golly, was going to reflect that.

Page one was full of optimism as my dreams of 'what could be' kept me soaring...almost like the start of the New Year. But as I sat down to write for a second time, I was plagued by a sameness. I could write something that gave an illusion that my life was not marked by the same fears, doubts, disappointments, concerns, questions... but, it would be a lie. And, what's the point of journaling if you're fabricating everything you write?

It was frustrating. And defeating.
And it reminded me that we can run from ourselves and our problems without dealing with the real issue at hand. That while I may have started a new life and am doing new things... there's a sameness to my life. I am the same. My interests are the same, the type of people I typically connect with are the same, my sins are the same, my dreams are the same, my fears are the same... and maybe that's okay.

It was just one of those times when I wanted to be done with me and the junk I had gotten so accustomed to dealing with. I think, on some level, there's a part of me that in moving hoped that lots of things would be different. A fresh start, if you will. But I'm still me.

Maybe change is more gradual than I want it to be sometimes. Maybe dreams don't come true over night. Maybe they take time, hard work and perseverance and you might sometimes feel like you're failing before you ever feel like you're succeeding. Maybe I'm becoming a better person all the time, but I'm still an imperfect person who still messes up....but maybe I'm taking two steps forward and only one back.

Sometimes I get hung up on the failing and the step backward and forget that perhaps there is some forward momentum. That maybe I don't need a completely fresh start. That maybe there are already some good components in the mix and change is happening, even if I don't always feel like that's the case.

I'm telling a story. So are you.
I think they're good stories, even if sometimes they feel a little 'blah, blah, blah'-ish. Because, in the end, I don't really think we're the same people that we started out as. I have to believe that, over time, and by the grace and mercy of the Lord, that we are truly being sanctified through and through.

There are lots of blank pages to fill up, and even if sometimes it feels like I'm saying the same thing over and over again... I think, somewhere in me, I know that change is happening.

I'm hopeful that it is.
For all of us.
A moving towards better, even as we fail, screw up, let ourselves and others down...
Two steps forward.
It's slow, and sometimes agonizing, but it's happening.

I'm thankful.

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1 comment:

  1. This is so good, Debbie. And so true. I see it so much in my life, and I see it in my cousin, and in other people around me. It is slow and sometimes agonizing. But.. its how God works. and its really beautiful if you stop and take the time to see the change.
    He is faithful and always there.