It’s perplexing how we develop our devices. The sequences of events that shape our dysfunction without us ever knowing. The stealthy manner in which unhealthy behavior manifests itself in our lives and stains our hearts. It breeds blind eyes for the holes in our development. Our blemished hearts appear to be whole and ‘normal’, as they beat with pain that we’ve grown accustomed to, and so, we don’t notice, until…
Until the pain of staying the same is so far greater than the pain of change- THATS when you change.
That’s when I changed…
Holding on to hurts, pain, allowing myself to become embittered, clinging to resentment and anger… it was not only paralyzing me, it was infecting my heart on deeper levels, spilling into relationships and family dynamics wreaking havoc. I was suffocating on my own self inflicted bile. I knew I couldn’t stay in that place. It was more so out of fear of the unknown that I didn’t want to change. So many variables that were outside of my control were at play.
⁃ if forgive, what if that person hurts me again?
⁃ If I risk loving what if they don’t love me back?
⁃ If I never get an apology, how can I ever move on?
⁃ What if I’m empty when I give up my anger?
⁃ What if something worse happens?
The list continues… We could come up with reason after reason how ever logical or illogical they may be.
“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 NET
Change can be exciting and new, thrilling and glorious. Change can be small and seemingly insignificant, slow, mundane. But change is inevitable- it makes us grow, or propels us to be someone different, somewhere different.
As I reflect on the last year, and all the pain and sorrow, all the discomfort and awkwardness, all the sadness and tears and confusion we waded through, I can’t help but remember… All the JOY, the lessons, the wisdom, and the overwhelming love we experienced along side, mixed in together with everything. I think it’s the love that stands out the most. The love we received, and the love we chose to give, at times in spite of wanting to give it, or in spite of it not being deserved, we gave and we received the love of Jesus.
Remembering His faithfulness and goodness is what carried and still carries us through.
Things like: The love of people showing up with meals, with supplies, with empathy, with open arms and tear stained faces, just to be with, just to sit with, just to experience with.
Complete strangers coming together to help others whose lives were devastated by flood, by fire, by the evils of men.
Healing that comes from being honest with each other in friendship, in relationship, because people are worth being honest with, because Jesus says so.
Deepened relationships because of traumatic experiences that were experienced TOGETHER.
Unity in suffering.
Unity in comforting each other.
Forgiveness. Chosen forgiveness, Because He forgave us, and makes us able to forgive in circumstances we think are impossible, and were impossible, without His love.
Love that changes hearts, and minds, and lives. Change that restores that which was wounded. Change that brings life to where there was only death.
When Jesus came, He changed everything, at least in mans estimation. We didn’t understand His sacrificial and constant love.
The biggest lessons and deepest blessings for me, came from surrendering my grip on staying
comfortable complacent. Only through trusting Him, our Only Hope-even if that meant painful circumstances, did we find the courage to accept change, accept heartache, accept answers to prayers that we didn’t like, accepting loss at an unspeakable depth and degree.
Surrender, acceptance, trust.
I don’t know what 2018 will hold. Maybe it will be glorious, maybe it will be mundane. Maybe it will be better than 2017, maybe it will be worse. Maybe it won’t compare in any way.
Maybe it won’t matter because I won’t be the same person I was in 2017 anyway…
“You were taught with reference to your former way of life to lay aside the old man who is being corrupted in accordance with deceitful desires
to be renewed in the spirit of your mind “and to put on the new man who has been created in God’s image – in righteousness and holiness that comes from truth.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 NET
I do know that in 2018, I want to trust and obey more. I want to love more. I want to be a more effective disciple of Christ. I want to forgive more. I want to worship more. I want to share more. I want to write more, I want to impact more lives, I want to be a better friend, and better mother, a better wife. I want to be a better lover of Jesus.
I’m going to keep surrendering, I’m going to keep trusting, keep obeying, keep accepting what He allows life to hand me, and what He blesses me with.
Change is inevitable. Growing is changing, for the better, for a more mature version, a wiser version, a closer to who He made me to be version.
I’m almost ready for 2018. Are you?