i’m not a before or after

We’ve all seen them.

Those fabulous “before” and “after” shots on Instagram or Facebook that share someone’s weight loss results, or fitness journey, or hair color change, or makeover look.

We see an okay “before”.  And an amazing “after”.

The “before” picture looks kinda sad.  The “after” picture looks wonderful.

We look at these dramatic results and we think: “Wow!  Good for them!  That’s amazing!”  Then our next thought is: “How can I get results like that too??”

We are tired of being a “before”.  We want to be an “after”.  And we then change/continue/overhaul our life to work towards the results we have seen in another.

I’ve done it.  You probably have too.  But can I tell you something?

I fell like we are all trudging through life trying to be an “after.”

Even if we aren’t competing with another person, we want so much to not be the person we have been.  We need to be better.  We need to be more.  We need to be an “after”.  We need to reach some sort of goal where later we can look back and compare to our “before” and say “See how far I’ve come!  Look at me!  I am better now!”

I am pretty sure that is how I’ve spent a solid 35 years of my life.  Always wanting to be more than I am.

Yet lately, it’s been on my heart that I need to quit searching to be an “after”.   And I need to quit telling myself I am a “before”.  Because I believe that is telling my heart that me, today, as I am, that that girl is not enough.  And the girl, who I have been “before”, is not enough.  And that I will only be that fabulous and happy person if I ever reach my “after”.

But I am not a “before”.  I am not an “after”.  And neither are you.

We just are.  Right here in the middle of the day in whatever place you are in your life you are just YOU.  And being you is enough.

I am not against goals and working towards improving our lives in all sorts of areas but to me that is simply lessons and growth.  It doesn’t make me who I was in the past any less.  It doesn’t make who I am in the future any more.  Because my value to God was the same as it was on Day 1 of my life and it will be the same to the last day I breathe.

Reaching bigger goals or success or attainment doesn’t make us any more valuable to God.   Someone reaching big goals or success can inspire us but it doesn’t mean they are any more valuable than where they were before that success.

I feel like we have placed being a “before” or “after” as levels or trophies of worth when they should just simply be our journey of where we have been and where we are going.  Our value never left or increased anywhere along that journey.

You can be the happy and fabulous person we think the “after” represents right where you are at TODAY.  Because life is just a journey of good and bad and up and down.  We truly won’t reach our place of contentment and rest and true continuous joy until we are in heaven.  So, friend please, quit working on life as bad or good, or successful or lacking, or thick or thin, or happy or sad, or as “before” or “after.”

This is just your life.  This is where you are at today.  No “before”.  No “after”.  Just all YOU.  And who you are today is pretty fabulous.


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