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Forward: Forgetting What’s Behind

I started off 2017 with a vow to be kind to myself, but lately, I haven’t been living up to that promise. In fact, I’ve been beating myself up about every little thing I do wrong: I eat a cookie when I’m trying to diet, I feel horrible. I fall off of my half marathon training plan, I say I’m weak. I’m slow to start a new project, I tell myself I’m not accomplishing anything.

All the while, I’m ruining any future progress I could be working on because I’m too busy fighting myself. I’m not perfect, I have a lot of flaws, one thing I know for sure is that I’ve never moved ahead while still looking back.

So, this week, I started a purge to clear my apartment and my head. I ran into some old notebooks while I was digging through boxes in my office, and I sat down and cracked open one from five years ago. It was filled with notes and lists and random things I’d think of during the day. Reading words that I’d written not that long ago and thinking about how much my life had changed (actually changed, changed, and changed again) made me appreciate my growth.

I’m not that girl anymore. And next year, I won’t be the woman I am today. Life happens fast, and nothing good ever comes from focusing on the past.

In Philippians 3, Paul talks about moving forward. He says he is “forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before, I press on toward the goal…” He knows he’s still not perfect but is still pushing with eyes straight ahead: focusing on what God has for him while taking an active stance on making it happen.

I feel that because if there’s a word that could describe my feelings lately, it’s definitely imperfect. But here’s the thing: imperfect people can still attain good things. All the good things. We’re God’s — we’re always good — so our mess-ups are not nearly as serious or detrimental as we think they are. If there are no perfect people, but we know we are made perfect through Him, then what are we really tripping about? Why even look back?

I have a lot of goals for this year — being more fit, working on being more disciplined, having better time management — but it all really boils down to being the woman I know God wants me to be. So, every day that I want to beat myself up about some small mundane thing like eating a cookie, missing a workout, or being too tired to write after a long day, I’m going to [try to] remember the beauty of the next day because the only thing worse than killing yourself in the pursuit of perfection is having it as an actual expectation.

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