(Not so) Rude awakening.

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For the past few months, I've been looking for excuses to throw in here to preface this blog post. It's the first one I'll have written since February, so I felt like I needed to defend my absence from my own blogging space, which really makes no sense because I was assuming that people cared or noticed that I haven't written in a while. I'm not that important. Some of my (pretty legitimate, I thought) excuses were: 1) I got married 2) I went on a honeymoon 3) I settled into a new apartment 4) I started a new job. The list went on and my blanket statement to myself for avoiding this blog post was simply that I've been busy.

Isn't that everyone's excuse for everything these days? But if I'm being honest, I haven't even really been that busy. My new job is amazing and gives me so much flexibility. Marriage is awesome and all we've really done since the wedding is re-watch every episode of The Office.

So really, I've just been lazy. And the laziness has been eating away at my motivation to pursue growth, reflection and life in general. I couldn't remember the last time I really spent time in the Word or made a real effort to seek God. It's been one of those seasons where I put faith and growth on the back burner and went into autopilot mode. I know it happens to everyone at some point, but it makes me feel extra restless, irritable and empty. If I'm being honest with you (and myself), I haven't truly felt at peace for a few months.

I've filled my time with useless things that don't add real value to my life (The Office is certainly NOT useless, but four episodes in one night might be a little much), and I've found myself getting sucked into social media again because I'm bored and it's easy. I don't have to exert real energy or thought when I'm scrolling through other people's lives. But intentionally spending time with God, sincerely working toward personal growth and figuring out how to pour into my marriage is mentally and emotionally exhausting.

Throughout these last couple of months, I've really scolded myself for being so lazy about these things and I've gone through the whole self-loathing bit in my head. But today I carved out time to sit down, open my bible and just absorb it. I read through Romans and was totally humbled by chapter 3. It was a great reminder that, put simply, none of us will ever have our shit together.

Lately, I've been putting my worth in how many Instagram likes my wedding photos have gotten. I've sucked at speaking the truth in love to my own husband hundreds of times, and we haven't even been married for two months. I've judged others, I've envied others and I've certainly failed to extend love and grace to others. I've chosen just about everything else over God.

Today, it really hit me that the reason for all of these things is because I'm human, and humans are sinners by nature.

Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.
// Romans 3:13-18

This is ME. This is all of us. We're broken people who miss the mark more often than not. The truth that I've encountered today is that none of us are or ever will be righteous, no matter how "good" of a person we think we may be.

For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is Christ Jesus.
// Romans 3:22-24

It's scary to think that our selfishness can (and will) lead us down the path to destruction. Sometimes it makes me feel like I need to work harder to be "more Christian" and get back on God's good side after a season like this.

But as I'm writing this, I'm reminded that I don't have to. And I'm reminded that this is exactly why Jesus died for us and why grace is such an incredible thing. It's humbling to know that after a few months of laziness, I don't need to try to get back on God's good side, because I'm already there. That realization alone gives me the courage to start over again -- with writing, with growing, with everything.

I think the cool thing about God is that he knows we need him and his grace more than we need approval from the Internet. And he loves us way more than our Instagram followers and blog readers will ever love us. He's just waiting for us to swallow our pride and realize that, too.