Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Unrecognizable Change


It has been said that, besides the Lord, the only one who "knows us best" is ourselves. After all, what human being could possibly know what we are experiencing, feeling and understand our likes and dislikes, better then...ourselves? But what happens when the varying dynamics of life kick into high gear, and, just like a caterpillar in a cocoon, a metamorphosis takes place within us; changing our thoughts, feelings, ideas, opinions and appearance? What used to be so familiar to us, in us, about us...is now stranger material? What then?
  
A few weeks ago I was at work stocking shelves with some co-workers and became involved in a conversation about a former employee who had been working there for many years, and recently decided to take a different employment opportunity. I innocently made the comment about how at times it's important to get out of our comfort zone, try something different and not stay stagnant. This hit a cord with one of my co-workers, to which she stated that she has been working at the same place for over 13 years. "Well, I guess that makes me stagnant." she replied with a rather rattled, snotty undertone to her comment. Realizing that I was having a "foot in the mouth" moment, I assured her that there is nothing "wrong" with staying in one place for awhile, but that that some endings make room for positive change and growth in a persons life. She softened a bit, but I know that my comment held a lot more weight then what I had expected it to.

One of the principles of the Alanon program is that as we grow and develop as human beings, so also do we  "grow out of " things that used to "fit". This can range anywhere from specific personal habits, views, opinions,  and even people and relationships. When you really take the time to think about it, it is a very "common sense" concept. We don't keep wearing the same clothes we did when we were 10 because not only would they not fit, but we would look extremely stupid. Why does this principle get lost or misconstrued in the other areas of our lives? Why do we feel that we must always fit into and hang onto the same things throughout the entirety of our time on this earth?

Life changes so quickly. The old time related comment "Where have the years gone?" is beginning to make more sense to me. However, we tend to focus on the physical representation of weeks, months and years, and fail to see how things within us fly right along with everything else. And, just like the brackets of time in life, we never get them back. I am learning that not only is that all right, but it is in fact, right.

As part of the process of embracing unrecognizable change within us, there is the element of the fact that what was once unrecognizable and strange will soon become comfortable and familiar. What we must not miss is the fact that even though we live in an evolving world where our souls are not exempt from such a reality, we must lean on and trust the only thing that will never change and yet is even more active then the change we experience. Jesus Christ. It is within our relationship with Him and our knowledge of His manner and ways that we will be able to embrace the unrecognizable and freely let go of the familiar.

The familiar and the unrecognizable. Let it go, and let it be all God's. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Good Things Will Come My Way



With the start of a new year, I have found myself still dealing with the same old challenges. As I have been in life's limbo, I have found it absolutely necessary to surround myself with encouragement and inspiration in whatever way that I can. 
 In many of my posts I have quoted Melodee Beattie, author of "The Language of Letting Go" (one of my daily devotionals). Every now and again I come across a very profound entry in this devotional and think it would be absolutely wrong if I didn't share it with more then one person. :) 

Affirming the Good

"Wait, and expect good things-for yourself and your loved ones. When you wonder what is coming, tell yourself the best is coming, the very best life and love have to offer, the best God and His universe have to send. Then open your hands to receive it. Claim it, and it is yours.
    See the best in your mind; envision what it will look like, what it will feel like. Focus, until you can see it clearly. Let your whole being, body and soul, enter into and hold onto the image for a moment.
     Then, let it go. Come back into today, the present moment. Do not obsess. Do not become fearful. Become excited. Live today fully, expressing gratitude for all you have been, and all you are, and all you will become.
      Wait, and expect good things." -Melodee Beattie

I don't know about you, but it's been a long time since I've had expectations of great things to happen in my life. When we are children playing dress up and teenagers preparing for the real world, I think it is easier to expect great things for our future. In Jeremiah 29:11, God promises His children that He not only knows and is laying out the plan for our lives, but those plans are to "prosper and not to harm; to give you a hope and a future".  But as we continue through life and realize that the "great things" we expected aren't coming to pass, it may seem like God's promise is obsolete. When we lose our job, experience the death of a loved one, go through a divorce and deal with an internal illness and what seems like eternal bills and debts, it is hard to have great expectations for good things to happen. And yet, despite the discomfort of trials and challenges, God's promise remains. There are great things in store for those who love and serve Him. And that is not limited to this earth, but is ultimately referring to our eternal heavenly home.

Expect and affirm good things for the year 2012. May God grant you the discernment to know what good things you can obtain for yourself ( good health,time management, etc) and what good things you can allow God to do in your life; what good things you can choose to embrace, no matter what package they may come in.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Staying Put=Moving Forward


I find it interesting how God allows us to be in situations that specifically test our faith, according to our backgrounds, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. It is a true fact that God knows us better than we know ourselves; that He has fashioned, shaped and molded us with all the details in mind, and He never overlooks a single factor in that process. What I am learning first hand is that just as God has covered all the details and intricacies in our make up as individuals, so has He placed that same process in the challenges, hardships and testings that He allows us to go through. I guess this isn't such a "rocket scientist" type of break through, but there is a lot of truth in the fact that we don't quite realize such concepts until we are right there in the midst of it.

As I find myself walking through the trenches of this season of life, I am forced to remember the fact that through this process, I am growing. That my relationship with Jesus Christ would be totally stagnant if I wasn't forced to face the fact that there is only so much I can do in my own strength and understanding, and that no matter how hard I try, "staying put" may be God's version of "moving forward". Although I can't feel the movement under my feet, I have to trust that there is movement in my heart towards putting my full and complete trust into the Lord of my life.

In closing, I am reminded of one of my all time favorite quotes from one of my all time favorite heroines. 

"The only safe place is being in the center of God's will."- Corrie Tenboom