Posted by: JennyRain | October 19, 2009

Where does Change come from?

Personal transformation is a mysterious thing.

It is something I have endeavored to study for a large portion of my existence. Initially I studied it because I knew there were so many aspects of myself that needed to change.

Defense mechanisms that were so ingrained as a pain-response that often when I had even a perceived hurt, they were activated. Thought patterns that, though as a young child they were functional, as an adult, they no longer maximized my existence here on earth.

At thirty-five everything changed.

It was at this point that my body began to speak to me about the need for some type of change. Its cries were so loud, I could no longer ignore them.

These behaviors and thoughts that had worked for so long were no longer facilitating my survival. I had ignored my soul’s subtle hints for such a long time, that what was once a whisper was now an screaming torrent that crashed across the boundaries of my subconscious into my “knowing” brain. My heart was in disrepair.

Change was coming whether I was ready or not.

Throughout the next three years, I wrestled with a variety of change-agents that triggered feelings of helplessness, lonliness, powerlessness, anger, hurt, and emptiness. I questioned who I was. I questioned why I had gotten to this place I now found myself.

During this time, by God’s infinite grace, I ended up in a spiritual formation class led by my seminary professors Dr. Loyd Allen and Pastor Charlie Foster. They challenged us to pursue one spiritual discipline for an entire semester.

I chose prayer and fasting.

…fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out (Romans 12.1b MSG)

Each Friday began the same way. I would ask God who I was to pray for that day, and He would answer by bringing up my own name or reflection. Then I would continue to ask Him, thinking that perhaps I was not “getting it right.” 

I tried quieting myself to “listen harder.” I walked around with my journal waiting for God to speak of who I was to intercede for that day. I joined prayer lists and prayed through the “assigned” pray-ees thinking somewhere in praying for others, I would receive my “true” answer about who to pray for that day. I sought the scriptures thinking God would reveal His will of who I was to pray for through His word.

Nothing happened. I kept praying for who to pray for, God kept showing me myself.

One day in class, a classmate said to me:

“So I don’t mean to belittle your struggle in any way, and I don’t want to be master of the obvious, but have you ever thought that God wants you to pray for yourself?”

As I recoiled in unholy disbelief I was aghast at the concept of putting “self” in that self-exalted position. Pray for myself? Well… I was fine! I did not need to pray for myself!  

Well duh, my classmate was right on target with who I was to be praying for. God used this time to heal, restore, and redeem long-lost areas of who He had created me to be. What started off as a dreadful exercise ended up being one of the richest healing experiences of my life.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor 5:17)

As I began to re-discover myself, I had to learn to get along with myself.

Healing is one thing, cooperation is another thing. I had not realized how difficult I was to get along with until I had to learn to get along with myself! Who knew it was so hard!?!

I had to face the things I did not like as well as embrace aspects of who I was that I did not know even existed because they had never been given the freedom to flower.

Therefore we do not lose heart; Though outside we are wasting away, inwardly we are being renewed day by day (2 Cor 4:16)

Eventually, through a great deal of prayer, counsel, friends who walked arm in arm with me, and the divine intersection of a well-placed roomie, I found the courage to step forward day by day and embrace my new life. Transformation happened inside me. As I changed, the world around me began to change – or perhaps – I just began to see it differently.

As I delicately stepped out of my happy-bubble and began to interact with the world around me, I started to flourish and experience things anew.

Now I study transformation as a way to give back to others.

It is my heart to walk with and encourage others through this change process. I love coming along side of someone who has just encountered this “invitation to change” and is looking at this strange doorway as if it is something to be avoided, rather than opened.

I see change as a beautiful metamorphasis as we are transformed from chrysallis to butterfly. Often painful, definitely to be approached judiciously, but worth the effort.

There will be more change to come in my life, of this I am sure, but knowing the beauty on the other side of the struggle helps reassure me that – as my pastor says – the “product is worth the process.”

 

You’re done with that old life. It’s like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you’ve stripped off and put in the fire. Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete.  (Col 3:9-10 MSG)

 

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Responses

  1. […] intersection of Divine will and human purpose (How do I determine what God’s will is?) Where does Change come from? (How does change happen, and what does this mean for me?) Should I stay or should I […]

  2. […] thirty-six years I heaped more broken upon my already heavy broken until I was almost doubled over with the weight of my unresolved […]


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