You Are Better Than That
You are better than that
This one’s hard for me to write. This one is vulnerability at its finest. This is me laying everything on the line, showing you my guck and my nastiness and those things that I am not proud of. This is me showing you myself when I wasn’t myself. This one’s hard for me to write because I’m showing you my humanity.
I’ve made a lot of stupid mistakes in my life. I could probably list them here, but that isn’t really necessary. I just need it to be clear that I acknowledge my imperfections.
And a few years ago, when I began to dive into my faith, the Lord began to intimately reveal to me the ways I needed to grow. Some of it had to do with the way that I loved myself; He asked me to look through His eyes so I could see how precious I was. Some of it had to do with chastity & purity; He revealed to me the things I should/shouldn’t be doing with my body. Some of it had to do with relationships; He guided me to read into what He looked like as a friend in the Bible, and helped me understand how to be better. Some of it had to do with trusting Him; and I was put in situations where I had to let go of my idea of how it should work out. Some of it had to with my relationship with Him; and He allowed me to see how important He truly is to me and how much I needed Him for everything.
So, I began to let myself grow, with the help of a higher power. I can’t say that anyone else really guided me, except a few people along the way who taught me more about God and His goodness. But, my issue is that I didn’t show people my downfalls. I only showed them to God, and I allowed Him to help me grow.
And boy did I grow. I grew more spiritually and in myself in the two years I spent in college than I ever have before. Then, I went into ministry, and was pushed beyond my limits of growth. And I loved it. And when I would mess up, I didn’t have people telling me, but I knew it in myself, and I would take it to God and let Him aide me. I was becoming a better person. I was finding my roots and finding myself and figuring out who I truly wanted to be.
And then, my year of ministry ended and I was flung back into normalcy. Let me be clear, normalcy isn’t bad, but I was deceived into believing that I could accomplish normal without relying on God. I dove into a normal lifestyle: a new job, a new relationship, building on other intentional relationships, taking care of myself. I didn’t stray from God, I didn’t let myself. But, I was stuck on this high and mighty idea that I had become a better person with a holier demeanor. I was the one that people could rely on-the advice giver-the listener-the one with a good head on her shoulders. I lived simply. And sure, I felt myself, but I didn’t feel grounded and rooted in her. I had learned the lessons and I had grown, but I hadn’t put the lessons that God was teaching me into use.
And just like that, I did something stupid. I went out of the person that I was, that I am, to a girl who is unrecognizable. Momentarily, I made selfish decisions. I lied and I acted outside of this new person. I don’t need to go into details, but you get the point; I wasn’t myself.
And I hurt someone really important to me. I felt the hurt in his voice and I felt it run through my body. Oh man, you guys, I was so ashamed of myself. The high and mighty Kat who was loved by all and holy and the best friend you could ask for had messed up, and her human was showing. My pride slept away and I felt defeated. As if all the hard work I had been going after was completely pointless, and I had messed it up in an instant.
The man I had hurt saw me, though, and simply gave me a truth:
“Kat, you are better than that.”
Oh, those words hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so angry and upset and disgusted and felt attacked and I cried so much. But, it was true. He was right. I was better than that.
I’m gonna lay down a few lessons I’ve learned from this experience to share with you guys.
1. First of all, I need you to see my humanness, too. The way that you read through this blog is a lot of just my personal knowledge from the Lord on some great topics, and I preach my heart out. But, what you don’t always see are my flaws, my weaknesses, my humanness. Hear me loud and clear: I acknowledge that I am a broken-down sinner and I don’t do things perfectly and that I mess up a lot. I am so aware of that. I need you to see that I am just as human as you are.
2. Just because you are growing and becoming the best versions of yourself DOES NOT exclude you from messing up, and you need to instill that in your brain right now! Because, if you don’t, you will only expect perfection out of yourself and that is such an unhealthy standard to put on your shoulders. The Lord only wants striving from you. He wants you to continue to work towards your best self. But, oh my goodness, do you remember the fall? Adam and Eve? Yes, that was real. It’s not just something that we learned as toddlers, it’s real. And it means that we are imperfect. It means we are inevitably going to mess up. It means that even as we are striving to do better and hear the voice of God, we are going to fall and we are going to mess up and we aren’t always going to be the best versions of ourselves.
3. So, do we just sit there and let ourselves believe that we “messed up, so we’re no longer worthy of following God” or that we “are a lost cause and can’t get better?” NOOOO. Oh my gosh no. No way. We take our criticism, we take our failures, we take our screw ups, and we continue to grow (!!!) It doesn’t just stop there, because God didn’t make lost causes. We use it as motivation to keep going; to get better. After this tough conversation, I was angry and upset and disgusted and felt attacked and I cried so much, but then I stepped back and looked at my reaction. The reason I was feeling so frustrated was because it was all true; I was better than those actions that I had done. And no part of me wanted to sit and wallow in that person, and let her drown my progress. I knew that truly, the person that I am was not defined by those mistakes, but the person I was going to be would grow because of them. So, I did. I picked up my big girl pants, evaluated my situation, figured out what I had done wrong, PROCLAIMED it to the universe that those actions did not define me and that I had made a mistake, talked to God about it, told Satan to get outta here with all that ish, and then I kept on living and I kept on getting better and I kept on growing again. And you better believe I’ve made more mistakes since then, but here we are.
4. The people who love you are going to stick by your side through whatever. They’re gonna see your filth and your insecurities and your downfalls, and they’re gonna love you anyways. That’s what Jesus did, right? He kinda calls us out on our BS, helps us grow, and keeps loving us through it all. And that’s exactly what I was shown. The person I had hurt, the guy I am dating, saw me in my brokenness and decided to love me and help me through it. To those we attach ourselves to and give our entire hearts to, we’re gonna walk with them through the gunk.
To all of you who have made some big mistakes in your lives: I see you. And I need to explain something to you without you getting the wrong idea: I don’t believe you’ve made any big mistakes in your life. Because, if we believe it to be true that God has a big plan for us and He already knows the ways we are going to mess up, you have simply just run the course of your life. Could you have done better? Yes. Could I have done better? Yes. BUT, would I be who I am today without those big mistakes? Nope. So there, you have simply run your course. Please, please, please cast out the lie that you have made those big mistakes and you are unable to be changed because of how “nasty you are.”
God looks past your past and sees the you that you are right now and does not define you by those things, you hear me?
You cannot let those things drive the course of your life because He’s got BIG GOD-SIZED dreams for you to fulfill, and you won’t be able to do them if your head is stuck in a “I need to punish myself” sort of mentality. That will get you absolutely nowhere. You see, this is going to happen our entire lives. We will be living normally, driving along the path of life, enjoying the views and soaking in the experiences. And then all of a sudden, we make a wrong turn and suddenly feel lost and incapable of finding our way back. We can see no road signs. It’s inevitably going to happen. But then, we get up from our misdirection, ask the Lord to steer us back, and then keep going along that full and beautiful path that He has paved for us. Over and over again, be aware of that. Don’t let your mistakes hit you too hard or let yourself fall into a depression of failure. You’re not a failure. Ever.
As it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “…if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!” You are literally becoming a new creation with every breath that you breathe, simply because you are in Christ. Everything is lifted. You are being made new, and better, each moment.
Listen here, I see you. I said that before, but I need it to be emphasized. I see past all your hardships and your troubled times and I want to look at you with all of your mistakes and tell you something, because I love you:
You are better than that.
And you can be. And you can live fully in that truth. And you can learn what it looks like to be the better you. And I will be right here, rooting for you (!!) Loudly, with my kazoo. Listen for me.