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Shine Theory

Best Life Livin’

Hi there ‘Lysse on Life readers,

I’m so glad my pal, Alysse, has given me some space to scribble a few things down. This is an affirmation, a reminder, and a declaration to live my best life. I’m writing it for myself but hope that you can take something away from it too.

The concept of living my “best life” popped up on my radar within the last year. Since then, I have asked and been asked by peers and friends countless times, “are you living your best life?” The question is typically posed as a wake up call, when it is very clear that some aspect of my life is not together. Unfortunately, I didn’t really know what living my best life looked like for me. It was easy for me to evaluate my life using the standards of best life livin’ I thought society expected of me. Is my best life one where I’m organized, on top of my school work, maintaining a healthy eating and exercise routine, building a relationship with God, always looking camera ready, excelling professionally, and balancing my relationships with friends and family all while making time for myself? Do all of these areas have to be functioning at level 10 for me to be living my best life?

As I was operating under the idea that best life livin’ only occurred when every area of my life met the standards set by those around me, there was no way I could possibly be living my best life because things always seemed to be in shambles and crashing down on me at every turn. For much of this semester, in particular, I felt like I was suffocating. This feeling was only heightened by the constant nagging feeling that I wasn’t living my best life. While I didn’t expect perfection out of myself, I knew that I could be trying harder and putting forward more effort in many areas of my life.

Then, something dawned on me: I’ve actually been living my best life for 9 years because my best life started the day I accepted Christ into my heart and publically professed Him as my Lord and Savior. On that day, He guaranteed me best life livin’. Moment of honesty: I have not been walking with Him confidently for all 9 years, but after renewing my commitment to Him and reestablishing myself as a member of His family, the opportunity for best life livin’ is still available. All this time, I had been living as if Jesus never rose from His grave. I’d been living as if there was no hope. But guess what?! He’s not dead!! So, whether I choose to live my best life or not is up to me, but it’s already promised. To me, best life livin’ no longer means free from struggle, temptation, failure, or imperfection. Best life livin’ doesn’t mean that I have it all together. Living my best life means there’s someone who has already paid the price for those shortcomings and wants me to live my best life eternally with Him. The beauty is that I don’t even have to start from ground zero. The foundation has already been laid by Jesus. His resurrection gives me access to live my best life.

I really messed up when I stopped making the conscious decision to live my life for Christ. I became okay with not always giving my all and was trying to please people–a task that is impossible! I began denying the idea that I was “God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works” (Ephesians 2:10 NIV). I am constantly learning how to balance how wonderfully made I am with how imperfect I can be.

I already have a tribe of people encouraging me to live my best life. They support me, challenge me, keep me accountable, and direct me back to Christ when I lose sight of the best life already promised to me. So if you see me on grounds, in Charlottesville, or literally anywhere for that matter, feel free to remind me that I’m already living my best life. I’ll do the same for you : )

Earthly markers of “accomplishment” and honor will no longer be how I measure my best life livin’. While those are wonderful and I appreciate them very much and count them as blessings, I want to be defined by a different standard. Do I treat people with love, like Christ? Do I prioritize my relationship with Him above every other potential idol and distraction? Do I allow Him to use me, even when it’s challenging and uncomfortable? My best life is one where I am intimate with Christ, seeking and sharing Him to the best of my ability. When I consistently embrace being a “living sacrifice” (Romans 12:1 NIV), that’s when I know I’ve accepted the best life livin’ offered to me.

Quick side note and important distinction: Just because I have access to best life livin’ through Christ doesn’t mean that I don’t have to continually work at honoring him with my life.

Every day probably won’t feel like a level 10 best life day where every box has a gold star in it and I go to sleep feeling like every i is dotted and t crossed…and that’s ok. I will not let those level 2 or level 5 days overshadow this precious gift of life. A life that is so full of promise. A life that should be celebrated, not just endured. I will fully rest in the fact that when my trouble increases, God’s “grace increases all the more” (Romans 5:20 NIV). I will move forward confidently knowing that I am victorious! If you have accepted Christ as your Savior, then you can too. If you have not, then it is never too late!

 

With God, living my best life is the only possibility!

 

Live triumphantly and victoriously! Go forth in your best life : )

 

jsmn

 

 

 

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