One month later

Today marks one month since I started this journal. I feel as though I am growing closer to God every day, but I also believe that that growth is a moving target, and that I can never simply be satisfied with an outcome. I am, after all, striving to be as much like Him as possible: I’m aiming for perfection, and such a thing cannot be achieved. It can only be approached asymptotically. I’ll try to get a little closer every day.

This is one of my favorite verses from the book of Psalms: “Declare that the LORD is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him” (Psalm 92:15). To me, declaring the Lord as my rock means more than simply saying that he gives me strength and foundation. Such a declaration also means that I see Him as an anchor; He is a fixed point on my moral compass, and the solid ground on which I hope to stand. I’ve always had a good sense of direction when it came to maps, but in my spiritual life–and internally–I’ve always lacked direction. I have not necessarily been amoral, as I’ve always known right from wrong, but I have lacked a destination. This past month has showed me that there is something that I can aim for.

I have opened myself up to friends, and to the world, and found that giving of myself begets rewarding returns.

I have been more honest with people in the last month–really, truly honest–than I ever have before. In return, I have found the resultant conversations to be more revealing and rewarding than I thought possible.

I have also been more honest with myself than I’ve ever been before, and I’ve found that underneath all the shields I have put up, I am still capable of being vulnerable and open. My deepest introspection, in combination with earnestly seeking God, has revealed my true nature. It turns out that I was not happy with myself, with the person I had become. It also turns out that I wanted to be better all along.

I am trying to relinquish my attachments to material things. I have given away things and money, and simply said “these things do not give me meaning.” I found it to be true! Once I stopped defining myself by material achievements, and actively and consciously decided to stop giving those things power over me, they ceased to hold me. We live in a consumer society, and therefore we must consume at times. But now I know that such consumption is just something that I might do, and it is not who I am.

I have tried to approach learning verse with a bit of a scholastic, intellectual approach–it’s been a while since I was in school, but I still remember how to learn. This approach has helped me learn things I never even imagined wanting to know a month ago. All it really took was a push off the ledge. I was anxious to take that plunge, because I didn’t know if the reward was worth the risk.

I have accepted that in order to live that life for something beyond my own selfish desires, I must make a conscious choice to accept that not only is there something bigger than myself to live for, but that my life actually belongs to that something (Someone) bigger. Accepting Christ as the Son, and as a part of my own heart, means allowing Him to act through me. I am not great at this yet; thirty-plus years of habits are difficult to override. But I am trying.

Most of all, I have learned a great deal about what it truly means to love others as I love myself.

At the end of this first month, I want to take a moment to be grateful for my journey so far. Lord, I am grateful. Grateful for direction, grateful for understanding, grateful for forgiveness, grateful for friendship, even perhaps grateful for pain–it means I am still alive, and still have an opportunity to grow. Thank you.

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