Knowing where to start this is difficult. I have been in a season for some time now of discovering who I am and deciding who I want to be. I have always loved my life I have even said that when it comes to my faith it is hard to convince me to live outside of it because I love the life I have had within it. Over the last year in this journey, I have been on of defining my faith or whether or not I wanted to continue to live my life according to the standards that are meant to be upheld to ensure that the closeness I have spent most of my life developing with the Lord would remain intact. I knew that were I to choose to change my ways I would begin to step away from that relationship that I have held as so dear for a very long time in order to experience or do things I wanted to do knowing the consequences and considering them also knowing that forgiveness and grace is there for me were I to rebel but decide to repent of the choices I would make. I have for the greater part of my life lived by a high standard and never wanted anything to separate me from the Lord or to damage the safety I feel and intimacy I experience with Him. In the last few months, I don't think I ever stopped believing in Him or truly walked away from Him in my heart. But I have chosen myself and my desires to be fulfilled and not chosen the path that would lead me closer to Him. I honestly in so many ways never regretted the choices I made when I made them. I don't know that I completely regret them even now aside from the consequences of the separation I have felt because I have to repent of my choices every time I want to be near or close to the Lord like I have in the past. The longer I have spent doing my own thing the harder it is to repent. I know that I have been choosing myself over others so much lately and recently I had an experience where the nastiness of that showed. What is funny about the situation is that it didn't show to anyone but me. When it happened I felt so off and wrong but I couldn't figure out why I felt so off. It took me two days and a complete full-fledged existential crisis and me venting via text to one of my friends and trying to sleep but not succeeding praying and thinking and realizing that my heart was in the wrong place and what I was thinking about a friend when I was discussing a subject with them that our beliefs on the subject didn't agree. I realized that I was doing the very thing I hate so much and it is why I felt so off. I was judging them for their choices and thinking I was too good to make the same choices. I made myself better than that person at that moment because I felt I was more valuable than them and that I deserved better than what they deserved. I felt had I walked out their life I would have made better choices and that was so far out of line with who I want to be it truly shook me to the core. Even though it took me two days and a lot of work to figure out what was wrong. The reality is that my value system has recently shifted into prioritizing me more than it has been about ensuring that I and those around me remain valued in every interaction and exchange. At that moment I stopped thinking of my friend as someone who truly deserves better than the lot that life gave them and my thought process said I was more important and better than them. Just because I disagree with someone doesn't mean either of us is wrong. It just means we see things differently. Just because I am being honest doesn't mean I am telling the truth. My honest thoughts were hurtful and didn't truly value either of us. I am thankful that at the moment I was thinking them I didn't just put this person on blast and start sharing exactly what I was thinking because the truth is what I would have said would have been honest but not true to who I want to be and how I really felt once I really thought about it. Over the last few days, I have had a chance to recenter and realize that much of my problem has been the rebellion in my heart that has had me walking away from the very thing that has truly brought me joy and peace. I for what feels like the first time in my life truly and fully understood grace. I am sure that I will fall short again but this has been a wake-up call for me and I don't want to go back to being that person that feels the need to put herself above others to feel good about herself. Because that is just not the person I am! This is a journey I am still on and I don’t think I will ever fully understand grace. But I am understanding it in a new light.