PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION

by Clare Potyrala - Jan 1st 2018

2018. A new year. A clean slate. A fresh page in the chapters of our lives. What will this bring us? 

I cannot help thinking that this year is going to be different. How or why I do not know, but I feel it in my bones. I’ve been praying a lot lately about my resolutions for this coming year and have been trying to be attentive to what God has been revealing to me. 

It’s funny sometimes, we all come up with these fantastic and ‘new’ resolutions, but really when it comes down to it, aren’t some of them the same thing every year? “I want to go to the gym more, lose weight, spend more time with family, travel and pick up a new hobby.” These goals are all great but I this feeling of ‘more’ has been sitting on my heart lately. And I believe it is God’s way of calling me to something deeper than just the surface resolutions I may make.

Deeper can mean a whole lot of things…but for me it is the combination of intentionality and realization of God’s gift of grace. A quote from one of my college campus ministers reminds me of that very gift. “The will of God will never lead you, where the grace of God will not sustain you.”  

Such beauty and simplicity in a single phrase. His grace is a blessing. 

I take this phrase to heart, believing wholeheartedly that His grace is present always, whether we recognize it in our daily lives. Society and culture put such weight on our (young women’s) shoulders especially, telling us we must be a certain way and check off the expectation boxes of getting a job, a house, a spouse, starting a family that it is often too much. There is this weight of being perfect and having the solution to everything, even spelled out in our new year’s resolutions.  

But that is not the way that God formed us or called us to live. By nature, we humans are flawed in design, broken by the act of original sin, yet we receive God’s selfless gift of grace and His unwavering unconditional love which flows in abundance for us every single day.

While we each make our own resolutions, let us open ourselves up to the call of God and where He is moving in our own lives. Let us honor His works and blessings He gives us, by choosing to be more intentional about our resolutions and the motivation behind them. Let us strive for ‘progress, not perfection’ in each of our goals for the new year. We may not reach the ‘perfection’ part in our lives, but ‘progress’ can always be worked on it we try. 

We are a few days into this beautiful gift of the new year. My prayer is that we intentionally and thoughtfully make the most of this new season and continue invite God into help shape our rough edges as we start with a clean slate.  Loving all of you hard.
Your sister in Christ,
Clare

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Clare Potyrala is a proud University of Dayton alumni from Dayton, OH and resides in Chicago, IL. She currently is in graduate school at Loyola University for her master's in Social Justice after finishing a year of service in Chicago. She is passionate about human rights, hanging with Jesus, coffee and tea, loves live music and books, a strong old fashioned, and being a foodie by eating her way through Chicago's restaurants. She loves making new friends and would love to hear from you if you are ever in the Chicago area! You can follow or contact her at clareee_bearrr on IG.

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