inspired by a post written by keeperskorner, i started thinking about how i make real changes. the kind that changes my life, that change me.
whenever i have made changes that really took, i have had to change what i believe. like keepers, just repeating concepts that other people have written has never worked to change what i think, because it doesnt change what i believe. i just cant talk myself into accepting a thought that i have no basis for believing.
in the mid eighties, when i was living in colorado springs, i had some of my worst meltdowns. i had never blended well with other people, because i believed myself to be so insufficient as a person. being dyslexic and hyperactive, and not really knowing it, made me different. i saw things in completely different ways than every one else. apparently that made me seem stupid in the eyes of my school peers, and my neighborhood peers. my step sister severely resented the marriage between her father and my mother, and took all her angst out on me. this pattern, so well set in grade school, followed me through high school, and on into the world. because of so many rejections and humiliations from my peers, i really thought i was insufficient as a human being.
when i gave my heart to the Lord in 1980, i thought things would change by themselves. that, however, isnt how it works. being born again made me a new creature on the inside. it gave me a new nature, and gave me access to everything God is and has. but it didnt do a thing for my mind, the part of me that connects to this world. my mind wasnt the part of me that was born again. the bible says in several places to put on the new man, made in the image of God. it took me several years to grasp why that is necessary, and how that is done. like so many new believers, i thought changes would just take me over. but the mind has to be renewed before the changes are evident. in the book of james its described like a man who looks at himself in a mirror, and then goes away and forgets what he looks like. the man who continues to renew his mind with the Word of God is like a man who continually looks into a mirror, sees the image of God there, and begins to believe that that is what he looks like too.
so, back to colorad springs, and my meltdowns, which were the result of being deeply disappointed at not seeing anything better in my life, and myself, than before. i was sitting on the floor of my living room one evening, most distraught and in tears. i began to seek the Lord for what could be done to change me from being such a failure. it was more that a pity party. i was tired of stumbling in the dark. He lead me to a scripture that launched me into many changes since.
1 john 4:16, “and we have known and believed the love that God hath to us …”
i know God loves me. not because i feel like He loves me. sometimes i dont feel like He is even paying attention. but knowledge is power. my faith is built on what i know the Word says, which never changes. my feelings are the reactions of everything i think, experience, and believe. easier to walk on water than to build on my feelings. theyre always changing. so when i saw this verse, i knew what to do. i had to begin to choose to believe. not just believe whatever sounded good, or whatever people told me. i had to choose to believe what God was telling me. He reveals what His Word is saying to my heart, and i choose to believe it. then i stand on it and speak it to myself – the same way people do when theyre worrying about something and continually say what theyre afraid is going to happen. i began to apply this to all the scriptures that describe who and what i am in Christ. you know what? i began to renew my mind. as i did, i began to walk in newness of life. it was like being a warrior, and finally beginning to put on my armour. it was like being a child of the King, and finally holding my head up.
this world hasnt changed, except to may have gotten worse, and there will always be things to contend with. there will be difficult people who will hurt me. there will be losses. there will be storms. but i have changed. i will still make mistakes, and sometimes do the wrong thing out of anger. i still have many changes to make.
but these things, and the world, dont tell me who i am anymore. i know who i am. i may still struggle with having a personal identity. but i know i am a covenant woman, and i know Who i am in covenant with. i wont be having anymore meltdowns.