September 5th, 2013
Motherhood does weird things to a person. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about being a better person. When my grandmother died in November, it really made me reflect on how each one of us can essentially choose the legacy we want to leave behind. My Grammy was the most loving, selfless, humble and God-fearing woman that I know. I know other grandmothers who will be remembered as mean, selfish, negative and totally miserable to be around. Granted, my Grammy had her flaws and she could have been content to let them determine who she was, but she wasn’t. She wanted to be more like Christ, which means a lot less like her natural self. That’s the kind of legacy I want to leave behind for my kids and grandkids and great grandkids.
So her passing and some other recent events have me thinking about ways to improve in my weak areas. And you know what I keep coming back to? People. Relationships. Iron sharpening iron. I’ve been blessed with some really great relationships that challenge me to be a better person. They are great because they hold a mirror up to me so I can see how I really look. There’s encouragement for my good parts and no hiding my bad parts. Those are good relationships–the ones worth having.
But the thing about good relationships is that they don’t give you the warm and fuzzies all the time. They hurt and they take work. But that’s how God intended it. It’s sanctification so it’s not going to be pretty. And my tendency is always to isolate myself and become critical and judgmental of others to keep my soul in all of its badness as it is, but then I think of my Grammy and I know that she opened herself up–made herself vulnerable–to others and that’s why she’ll be remembered as she is.
It’s like running. Want to get faster? Make it hurt. You don’t become a better runner unless your runs are uncomfortable and you develop the stamina and mental fortitude to make it through the workouts and the long runs and the bad days and the rain and the snow. No one ever became a good athlete by sitting on the couch, as comfortable as that is. And no one ever became a “good” person by avoiding people–or, even worse, finding only the people who stroke their egos.
So the challenge I have for myself (and you, reader, if you care): Are you letting yourself be uncomfortable? Are you opening yourself up to people to let out the bad and welcome the good? Prune the areas that need it so that you will blossom later. It’ll hurt, but my Grammy left behind countless beautiful bouquets harvested after a lifetime of sanctification.