Purposeful Faith

Tag - change

When Change is Hard

Change is Hard

Usually, people trip over a specific moment and realize they need change: some wake up in a gutter, others see their mean reflection in a mirror and some can’t handle the monstrous reactions roaring out of their mouth. Usually, there’s something we want to change about ourselves.

What do you want to change?

For me? I want to change my instinct that assumes the worst. It is so frustrating! Because, so often, like a vending machine, what my mind dispenses is: my lack, my inferiority, and ideas on how other people must really think I am failing.

My mind makes me read into things that aren’t even true.

For instance, just the other day, my husband mentioned a friend of ours. How she prays unceasingly, loves her kids well and makes awesome dinners.  I took it as a subliminal message from him to me: She rules and Kelly is uncool.

He actually meant none of that. What he meant was what he said: she prays, loves her kids and makes awesome dinners.

“Good for her! That’s fantastic.” If only I said that!

But, I didn’t.

What is it you’re not doing, but wish you were? What is it you believe others think about you?

Today’s message is simple to both you and me: Let’s not hate our trying-to-change moments. Let’s be nice to our self in process.  Because life is hard enough and embracing change…well, it’s not always easy. Sure, we have a God who gently shapes us and leads us, but, at times, there are abrupt about-face turnarounds that need to happen or that are happening. Those can hurt.

Change doesn’t always come easy. Whether it’s the decision to stop smoking, swearing, staggering to bed with one too many glasses of wine in you or to simply responding with more care. Any of these things can easily make steady ground – shaky – if you don’t secure yourself in God’s compassion, grace and care.

So, today, let me leave you, fellow friends, people who may be experiencing shifting ground with one verse: The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love. Ps. 103:8

Return to it. Often.

Kelly’s new book, Fear Fighting: Awakening Courage to Overcome Your Fears has been called “A must read,” “Breathtakingly honest” and a “Great Toolbox to Overcome Fear.” Read it today.

Discover how to flee from fear and fly in faith through 4 Days to Fearless Challenge.
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Changing When You Hate Change

Hate Change

After college, I fled my home on the east coast and rushed to a west coast adventure. My new boss and I flung around the sun-soaked city streets of L.A. in a black Mercedes. I felt free. I felt ready. She was teaching me the ropes of sales and how to close the deal with men who were in high positions. I was a sponge – ready to learn, ready to train and ready to acquire knowledge – but, her instruction? It stopped me…

“Kelly,” she said, “You just do what you have to do – to get the deal done.” 

My heart sunk. I got the subliminal message.

Smiling (and with what I am now convinced was a – wink?), she pulled next to my dream car – a luxury red-hot convertible. It shined succulent. She looked at me and said, “Bite it.” No, she didn’t say that, but almost, she said, “Kelly, if you want that car, it is yours…”

Hate Change

And there I was. I stood on the cliff of decision.

Would I welcome change or would I be changed forever by not changing jobs?

Change is interesting. It is like an unwelcome demand by someone (namely God) to do something I am not ready for. It almost always comes at the wrong time – and I’m almost always resistant.

Are you resistant?

Usually, a silent warning lays right under its surface…“You better do something about this or you are going to get hurt….”

Pondering this, and gazing out the window, I couldn’t help but think that God doesn’t demand nature change seasons. It is gradual and seamless. Natural. Welcome, even. 

What is the difference?

What am I missing?

Author Daniel Strain, from Science News, describes nature’s budding process like this: “The buds suck up water, growing until they are ready to explode. The petals and sepals – the outer, greener portion of a flower gradually invert, then peel open like a banana and form a blossom.”

Hate Change

4 Things That Buds Know About Change That We Don’t:

1. The buds “suck up” water. Do I? Do you? Do you drink in the living water of love so that when you hit the desert you don’t think it’s your new home?

“But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.” Jo. 4:14

2. The buds are ready to “explode”. If I fill myself up with truth about what God will do, I will much more be able to explode into life change.  I just remember: 1.) God is with me 2.) God is for me 3.) He always has a very, very good plan.

3. The outer portion of “the petal turns inward”, before turning outward. Changing hurts; this is why you draw in. You have to cover, pray and seek God, before you can bust out and shine.

Hate Change

4. They peel open “like a banana”. Getting peeled like a banana, well, it doesn’t sound too buttoned-up and managed. It sounds humble. Willing. Receptive to what is happening. It sounds much like losing control, in trust, that God is in control.

God is consistent. Nature knows. It awaits the beautiful about to explode from barren.

Maybe we become like nature?  We might then be able to believe and proclaim, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17

Hate Change

We will know – all will turn out okay…

We just suck up water, explode with truth, turn in and then – unfold into the new creation that, God, all along, has been working us into.

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When Friends Turn The Unfamiliar Into Home

Post by: Christy Mobley

There we sat, my husband and I, uncomfortable in the unfamiliar.

We were in an unfamiliar class in an unfamiliar church, with unfamiliar people in an unfamiliar city.

Hubby and I had just moved away from twenty years of comfortable and I was desperate for a friend to help me get from the prickly new to the worn and smooth feeling of home.

So while I looked like I was listening intently to the Sunday school lesson being taught, my eyes were actually discreetly scanning the room. Much like a woman scans a shoe department for a good-looking, well- fitting pair of shoes, I was shopping for a friend.

Ah ha! The right side of the room held promise. On the end of a row perpendicular to mine sat a lady in a “smart” suit wearing classic pearls. I thought to myself, she and I could be friends. Her articulate answers and slow southern draw sweetened the package.

Yes, classic-pearl lady was friend material and after class I would go introduce myself and ask her to meet me for lunch the following week.

That was the plan

Proverbs 19:21 “ You can make many plans but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” NLT

On the opposite side of the room sat a lady with spiky blonde hair (with one strand of purple in front) and with a thick Rhode Island accent she asked the Sunday school teacher … well, a lot of questions. She reminded me of the kid in school who always held us up from recess, and that irritated me.

I thought to myself, she’s not my type. We have nothing in common. Spiky-hair lady and I will never be friends.

1 Samuel 16:7b, “…The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks a the heart.” NLT

After class, David and I went to grab lunch.

We arrived at a restaurant a short ride from the church, a trendy place that was beyond crowded.

There was no available seating except at a six-top where two people were already seated. The pair were none other than Mary, the spiky-hair lady, and her husband, Craig. They spied us searching for a seat and waved us over to join them.

As we shared and broke bread together or more accurately the best flatbread pizza in the world, we discovered, even though we didn’t necessarily mutually agree on style, the four of us melded on matters of the heart. We had a hunger for Jesus, a desire for authenticity and a feeling of being displaced.

You see, even though Mary and Craig had been living there for three years, like us they felt restless. It was as if God had another place for them to be and they were in a holding pattern. If Mary had owned a pair of ruby-red slippers she would have surely tapped them together and chanted, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home.” But neither Craig nor Mary were sure where the feeling of home was.

From that day forward because of what we shared in common, God forged in us a deep and lasting friendship. Mary and Craig became like family. Our hearts blended together like warm bread and butter.

At the end of three years, doors opened for David and I to return to Jacksonville.

Oddly enough within a few months of us leaving, God pointed Craig and Mary to Seattle Washington where they found their resolve.

A multitude of God things took place during the three years we lived in Tampa not the least of which was our friendship with the spiky-hair lady, and her husband Craig.

I’m not writing this story to school you on choosing friends (though this is a good lesson on what not to do!) but to say, as believers we are all on mission for God and sometimes that means we find ourselves serving in the unfamiliar.

If and when you find yourself there, in the dwelling of the new and prickly, let me encourage you, the God who hears your cries and sees you heart, will fill your needs as he promises in Philippians 4:19…

“My God will will meet all your needs
according to the riches of his glory.” 

And that includes providing a friend who will help you get from the uncomfortable space to the well-worn place that feels like home.

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Purposeful Faith Contributor

Christy is a wife, mother, writer, mentor, and Life Purpose Coach. She is passionate about encouraging women to move forward, and press on through their struggles, seeking God’s presence in every bump and turn in the road.

You can find Christy at Joying in the Journey, Twitter, and Facebook.