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confession time: i like to pretend that i am a rebel. i like to pretend that i take big, crazy risks. i like to pretend that my motto is “rules were made to be broken.” i like to pretend that i would get into a high speed chase with the po-po in a heart beat simply bc “i don’t let anyone tell me what to do” <insert finger snap>.

sadly, this is not reality. in reality, i’m a scared little girl on the brink of peeing her pants every time i even think about breaking a rule. once. one. time. only. i thought about cheating in high school. it was some math class and well, math and me do not get along. at all. i knew i could probably cheat and get away with it. and then i freaked the h out. seriously. i cried to my teacher that i was so ashamed that i even considered cheating. she was like, “seriously. you’re telling me you almost cheated on a test. get outta here and grow a pair.” ok. she didn’t really say it quite like that. but you get the picture. i can’t go the wrong way down a one-way street even though the place i need to get to is literally 2 ft away. i stop at yellow lights (this actually caused the first accident i ever had). i go through the right side of all double doors. always. it’s like an obsession. when teacher’s ask you to report the percentage of the book you read, i’m super honest. legalistically so. i actually had a prof write on my paper “you’re more on the law side of this than most students.” and it’s something i’ve never really thought about before. when i was younger and did something i wasn’t supposed to, i told on myself. not because i thought that i would get a less severe punishment. but because i was plagued with guilt until i confessed. most people i know have a story about stealing a small piece of gum or candy when they were younger, but not me. i thought about it. once. and that memory of just thinking about it still plagues me. yep. i am definitely not the rebel that i like to pretend to be in my head. 

now on the surface, i look like the poster child righteousness. however, when i look at this laundry list of “dos,” i see the poster child for legalism. i came face to face with the reality that i do not live a life filled with grace yesterday. the sad part is, i’ve thought for so long that i did. i preach grace all the time. to my friends. to my clients. to my family.

but i’m nothing but a hypocrite.

i think that i have a bright colored cape and tights and i fly around at night saving people. and if i fall even just a little bit short of this, then i am weak. incapable. inadequate. i should be able to take care of my kid (by myself during the week), see 8 clients/week, and take 9 hours of graduate classes (+ a workshop) without having any help, all while thinking i should be doing more.

i shouldn’t be struggling.

i shouldn’t feel completely exhausted at the end of each day.

i should be spreading myself thinner.

i can’t ask for help because i shouldn’t need help.

but this is not the life of freedom that Christ died to give me.

yesterday, i had the privilege of having a professor speak grace into my life. it was a chance, or more accurately, completely divine encounter. i didn’t seek him out. i wouldn’t have sought him out. God made our paths cross at just the time i needed grace most. i didn’t realize i was drowning, but i was. i didn’t realize that i needed grace, but i did. i didn’t realize that i had become so legalistic in my own life, but i had. and just like that. grace. undeserving, but needed more than i realized. 

a college professor once told me, “preach the Gospel to yourself daily.” the Gospel is full of grace and forgiveness. and i need to not only extend that to others, but to myself. so my challenge and encouragement to you is the same. preach the Gospel to yourself daily. allow your lives to be filled with grace. allow others to speak grace to you.

live the life of freedom that Christ died to give to you.