Once upon a time, I existed and loved life unapologetically. 

And then I grew up.I learned to hate the things I once loved about myself. Everything about me seemed to fall short of everyone else’s expectations and soon enough, my own.

But I wanted to feel special. I needed to feel like someone cared. And in trying to fulfill that need, I did a lot of stupid, stupid things. All the while, forgetting the Creator that handcrafted me and cared more deeply for me than any person ever could.
I have never let myself forget about those times that I have fallen short.
I’ve spent entire days thinking about things that happened years ago and punishing myself for poor decision making. I’ve led myself to believe that because of my past, I’m as worthless as I felt in those moments. 
How could I ever be a good wife with skeletons like those in my closet?

How could I ever be a good mother?

Even in the moments I’ve felt “good enough”, I always remind myself that there were a lot of times in my past when I was a crappy human-when I hurt people that didn’t deserve to be hurt, when I disrespected others, and when I disrespected myself. And since I WAS a crappy human, I must just be a crappy human. 

I have let that story and my ‘shortcomings’ define me. Even in my shining moments, I’ve convinced myself that I’m faking it because, “I’m not good enough, and my past is the proof.”

I’ve always been stuck on defining myself.
But if anything is going to define me, it’s this moment I’m in right now and I’m going to make it count by simply enjoying it. 
When I spend entire days dwelling on the past, I continue to give my time and energy to the past. What a waste!
I’m still a little girl. I’m still filled with a desire to love unconditionally, to laugh happily, and live unapologetically. Deep in my bones, I want to be the very person that God created me to be-without any hesitation. Deep down, I know that I am so much more than past decisions. I know it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about me, because they’re not qualified to judge me, and I know it doesn’t matter what I think about other people, because I’m not designed to judge them either!
I’m not who I was 10 years ago, or five years ago, or yesterday-Because that girl is gone-she doesn’t exist. She’s just a memory.

In this moment, I am a lover of life. 

I’m relaxing on the couch with my dog on my lap. I can feel his deep breathing as he sleeps. I’m curling my toes because it’s a little chilly on my back porch. Occasionally, I’m pausing for a very intentional sip of coffee. I’m doing all of this generally mindless stuff, and I’m doing it with intention and thanks. I’m feeling it. I’m allowing it to consume me. All the while, I’m thanking God for life and simple moments like this. 

Normally, I’d be typing a blog as I stress over what to write, and wondering how you’ll perceive it. Will you judge me for the reasons behind my words? Will you decipher my history and think less of me? More importantly, am I thinking less of me?

I’ve carried the weight of “my story” believing that it is all that defines me, for far too long.

I am not my story, I am not my past, I’m not whatever you think I am, and I am not going to let anything but right now define me. I want to live intentionally, and unapologetically be ME.

 Because, God did not create me to be anyone else.

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