There has been a lot of fighting lately between the Real Amy (RA) and the Ideal Amy (IA). Well, I do believe they have been fighting for about 23 years, but it has come to my attention lately.
Just this week I have seen how I don't quite measure up in my walk with the Lord. I don't pray enough, read the Bible enough, trust God enough, etc. All the other people in my life seem to do everything that is "spiritual" better than I do (Erin would say "what in life isn't spiritual?"). In fact, I could look at everything in my life and see how I just don't quite do it good enough...I don't handle the kids I teach at preschool in the most edifying ways, I don't love my roommates well enough, I don't exercise enough, I don't eat quite enough vegetables, I don't brush my teeth well enough (yes, I really have thought that this week), blah blah blah. I don't ever allow myself to be doing something well enough.
That is because I am not the Ideal Amy. IA is completely patient with children, always knowing what to say to them in order for them to grow into healthy adults. IA loves her roommates deeply and knows exactly what to do to show them that. IA treats her body as a temple of the Holy Spirit, working out just the right amount, eating the perfect balanced diet, and keeping those pearly whites shining brightly! Unfortunately, I am the Real Amy, who just doesn't quite measure up to Ideal Amy. And until I learn to be okay with RA, IA will haunt me.
But in reality, RA is who Jesus died for. RA lives in a state of grace that gives freedom for life. (Now, Amy, repeat after me: "I am deeply loved, even when my breath stinks. I am deeply loved, even when my breath stinks...").
Just today my roommate was talking about her relationship with her younger sister and she mentioned casually that she "could be a better big sister". Which made me think about all of these things and also the fact that it is so ingrained in our culture to believe that we can actually be better than we are. And that there is an Ideal Person which can be attained and when you get there, THAT is where happiness is. This concept is so deep within us that we don't even realize how often we say "I really could be a better.....". Why don't we start saying "I am loved exactly how I am and I can trust that the Lord will develop things in me that He wants developed."
Easier said than done.