Do you have the courage to change when push comes to shove? Or do you have a static mindset that believes the who you are is set and unable to budge? If you connect more with the latter version, sister, it is time to have a chat.
Welcome to day 28 of the 30 Days of Prayer series. The final countdown of the days has begun! I will deeply miss this series! It has been so much fun. Surely I will have to devise new ways to connect with intentional purpose.
What other kinds of series do you recommend? Be sure to comment below!
Today we are going to talk about having the courage to change and grow. Truly, change is the centerpiece of a transformed life, but it takes intention and willingness to be moulded by the Lover of your soul.
So, strap in, and get ready (tell me you know by now to get that cuppa _fill in delicious warm drink of choice here_), we are diving into the deep end, friend.
It’s okay; we have a strong life raft with us in the Spirit.
30 Days of Prayer: Pray for the Courage to Change and Grow
I have mentioned before some of the struggles my husband and I have endured in our almost 14 years of marriage. We met when we were 19, and got married only 8 months later. The Lord has surely done a work in us.
Those first few years were full of trials and friction as we chiseled each other in the rocky pieces of ourselves. A phrase I have learned to love in my life is “when iron sharpens iron, sometimes sparks fly” (write that down ::wink wink::).
Seriously, some sparks have really flown in my life. Our marriage is no exception to this Truth.
Recall in this post on my marriage that there was a particular season when I knew the Lord was calling me to a new way of “doing marriage.” More specifically, He was calling me to change, and I honestly did not have a clue how to do it.
I cried out to Him with everything in me to provide a clear path from which I could learn. True to form, as a Good Abba does, He gave me exactly what I needed. The next two years were full of literal classes on biblical marriage and reframing my perspective to actually reflect a God-like way to love.
I remember one particular class the older woman teaching said something I’ve never forgotten.
She said, “who is more mature: you or your husband? The more mature one needs to humble themselves first.”
In the words of my kids, “them’s fightin’ words.”
I am a fairly competitive person. I mean, I don’t get crazy angry if I’m losing in a game or anything unfun like that. But I definitely LOVE to give it my all in a good game and win the victor’s crown! I am the kind of person who is totally gungho about the challenge of the fight.
Her words smacked me across the face (in the best sense). They were a distinct challenge to grow. This was just what I needed.
Now the question was whether or not I had the courage to change my worldly ways and begin the process of learning His Way.
Some of the first thoughts that went through my head were immediately about “becoming a doormat.” I’ll save you the details, but to be honest I did become a “doormat” for a while. Not because my husband is evil or contentious (quite the opposite in fact), but it took many years to unwind all the twisted lies and half-truths that the enemy has bunched up into the concept of marriage.
So, herein lies the question: do you have the courage to change as the Lord is leading you?
Do you trust Him to guide you through the process of change? To lovingly lead you, even if it means a season of less than perfect circumstances?
Will you have the courage to change, even if it means that you must die to yourself and your own pride and ego in the midst of the change?
Or even if it risks your reputation in the eyes of others, and displeases those around you because you are following after Him?
This is a critical question we must ask ourselves, because, sweet sister, we are ALL asked to have the courage to change. Because change is the heart and soul of transformation.
The greatest transformations emerge from a willing vessel having the courage to change from whole, yet incomplete, into a version of sludge and then be transformed into an entirely different, yet astonishingly beautiful, new creation.
Caterpillars do not become majestic butterflies simply by thinking about it. The caterpillar must go through a laborious process of preparation, and then willingly enter into a self-made cocoon. It is here that the caterpillar will literally decompose into a form of sludge while all the genetic components completely reconfigure into an entirely new creation.
But, it doesn’t stop there! The now butterfly puddle must do some intense work to squish its way out of the cocoon. This “new birth” has a multilayer benefit that strengthens the butterfly as it struggles to be freed from the cocoon.
Also, though, the tightening process provides a cleansing of the extra fluid that weighs the new butterfly down, and, if not removed, would ultimately eliminate potential for flight.
How cool is that?!?!
If you want to fly in all the glory that the Lord has purposed for your life, you must first shed the weight of excess that is holding you back.
What is this excess weight? It is the burden of untrue theology or philosophical understandings that are ultimately hurting your spiritual walk.
Or, it might be sin that you have not quite gotten control of, but rather it is controlling you. Maybe it is a lacking of a Spirit of Truth within your mind, where you consistently speak death against yourself or others.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” ~ Rom. 12: 2
Or, maybe it is unforgiveness against the offenses and sins of another that is continuing to hurt your present from the things in the past.
These are not struggles from which we can just “get ourselves clean.”
These are the kinds of things that require an intimate, trusting, love-centered walk with God so that He can handhold our hearts while He peels away some of the deepest and most painful knives stuck deep in there.
There is no shame or condemnation found in having a need to change. Quite the contrary, it is in these needs where the greatest Love of the Abba is found, because in these deepest, darkest places of the soul, the most precious gift of eternity is discovered: grace.
When we hold onto the courage to change we will also inevitably agree to a lifelong lesson on the beauty of our Abba’s grace. It is in the blanket of His long-suffering and compassion for our souls that He has laid into us the most beautiful hope for restoration and purpose.
THIS is why Yeshua came! Redemption for OUR souls, and the hope of a cleansing from the consequences of the Law of Sin and Death.
It is in the understanding of this beautiful exchange that we find the peace to welcome change.
Here we come to understand that the call to change is not due to an antagonism against who we are in our flesh. But rather the lifting up to a higher perspective, we are being guided towards the fullest sense of who we were designed to be from creation.
The courage to change is a heart to follow after the leading of the Spirit in all things. Sometimes there are many steps for clarification of a difficult concept. Often we must go through some rollercoasters as we navigate a new way.
It’s okay. Trust the process, and follow each step as you are led.
Abba, I trust You. I know that I don’t always seem to, but I am declaring with all my heart that I WANT to feel the trust in You. Help me to lead my heart with my head, Abba.
Change can feel so scary at times. It feels like things are just totally out of my control.
I think this is the part that messes me up so much. But, Abba, I know that when I release the vice grip of control that I am handing it over to You! Help me to remember this! I know that You are good and loving, so I CAN trust You.
Take the reigns, Abba. I invite You in to intervene in my life and heart. Teach me all Your wonderful ways. And, lead me in the way everlasting. In Yeshua’s name, amen.
Sweet sister, He is with you, and He can be trusted. If He is leading you in a new path, take heart and grab a hold of the courage to change.
Courage must have a fear component in order to actually be courage. So, lean into the discomfort and press onward anyway.
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” ~ Ezek. 36: 26
In Him who is above all else, and deserving of all honor and praise.