There was a season of my life when I loved to party. FIGHT, FOR YOUR RIGHT, TO PAAAAAAAARTY. I tried so hard to fit in with the beer pong and the tequila shots. Far too many nights during that time were spent in the seductive city nightlife of strobe lights, ear-damaging N-TS, N-TS, N-TS music and the alluring feeling of losing control after a few too many drinks.
I hated that life. I desperately needed someone to press the reset button and let me start over but I didn’t think that was possible.
I was a chubby 9th grader. Those who know me now might not believe it, but it is the truth. I drank 3-5 sodas a day. I ate junk food and quit playing all of my sports in order to work and help pay for things around the house after my dad left. While I eventually grew and stretched out, even in college I was never in good shape, I barely worked out and ate like crap.
This past June I was in a serious funk. I was stressed between working, teaching and writing my 30 page Master’s thesis. I had zero time for God or my favorite people. I was a walking Southwest Airlines commercial: I desperately needed to get away from it all. I needed a… you guessed it.
God has been teaching me more and more how to reset aspects of my life in little and big ways. Sometimes it seems like erasing the past is nearly impossible. “Things will never get better,” the enemy says, “you aren’t strong enough to change.”
“Things will never get better,” the enemy says, “you aren’t strong enough to change.”
Except that you are. God has given you everything you need to start over and turn your back on whatever aspect of your life you’re not so fond of. He calls this grace. Grace might seem like some silly Christian-ese word but it literally just means the opportunity to start over. The chance to fall on your knees and ask, beg, plead: “God, give me a second chance to be who I was meant to be.” The best part, his answer is always yes.
Of course my child, I love you. You are free of your past. And you don’t even have to enter a credit card. How about that?
Thinking about making a change? Let one of my favorite quotes inspire you:
For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.-The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be sweaty and painful. It’s going to involve intense moments of vulnerability. You’re going to have to talk to God about it. Ask him to give you strength and to open doors. Tell your friends your goal and start asking for help from smart people who know some stuff and who can support you.
Don’t put it off anymore. Don’t try to numb the shame with an addiction like alcohol, food, or pornography. Make a plan of change today. Maybe it’s something small like making more time for the people you love. Maybe it’s something big like eating healthy and exercising or quitting a destructive habit (like partying).
Make small goals. Remind yourself with every good decision you are one step closer to being who you’ve always wanted to be. Finally, write this across your face (or bathroom mirror):
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. -Phillipians 4:13
You’ve got this. You’ve totally got this. Let me know how I can help or pray for you. We’re all a messed up work in progress, my friend.
Do it now, it only takes a second. Take a deep breath. Make a plan and push the button.