Change is a process… These are words that I find myself speaking on a daily basis as I encourage folks to embrace the self with compassion and love. The person that we see in the mirror did not evolve over night and will not be transformed over night. We must unpack our baggage of learned behaviors, unrealistic expectations of self and/or others, perfectionism, cultural messages of identity, shame, blame, pain, disillusioned visions of life, meaning, purpose…
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you (Romans 12: 1-2 MSG).
Think, think, think! We are bombarded with messages from our culture ~ media, politics, religion… and covered in shame and blame when we do not measure up! When we fix our attention on the beauty of our Creator, with courage in our ordinary life, seeking to know truth with open honesty of the self, the transformation begins from the inside and moves outward.
Dr. Larry Crabb, in his book Inside Out, talks about real change being possible when we are willing to start from the inside out. This is another book that helped me to understand that I was looking in all the wrong places ~ digging broken wells! Having the courage to look beneath the surface brought an awareness of the great thirst that I had for something beyond the material things that culture presented as living the good life!
I have thought about this thirst often along some of my travels through the spiritual desert. A thirst for knowing and understanding what it means to be truly alive! When my thirst becomes overwhelming and my vision becomes a mirage of unsatisfying illusions, I return to the life of Jesus, and I allow my heart to be touched by the message of the Gospel. Returning back to the basics ~ walking the journey with the Master! My thirst is quenched, as my heart and soul are nurtured by the sweet embrace of love! My understanding taken deeper into the reality of relationship, as Christ poured himself out for humanity.
Change is a process and the unknown can be fearful. We are being transformed moment by moment, day by day. Fear sometimes overwhelms my sense of living, and in my process of change, I am learning to run, not walk, back to the heart of the Gospel ~ Jesus. As I allow my being, to once again, be captured by his gentle love and life of connecting with humanity, my fear dissipates under the power of his amazing grace! I am assured that no matter what the future holds that Jesus will guide my journey. When I start digging broken wells and my thirst becomes overwhelming, God in his great mercy, pulls my attention back to the living water where my parched soul soaks in life, purpose, and meaning.
Change is a process… I am so grateful for God’s mercy and grace. I am not alone!