BY: Giovanna Gomez
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: 2 Corinthians 3:18 (ESV): “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: God has been talking to me so much about the process of change in the last year. Perhaps it’s all of the social work textbooks I’ve had to read for school. They’re not Christian textbooks per se, but I hear God through them. Here’s something that’s been showing up time and time again:
Your life is mostly a sum of your personal choices. If you don’t like what is happening, if you’re tired of the regret and the guilt, you have the power to STOP the action that is creating the guilt and regret and change your life.
Common sense, right? Very, very simple. Well, you’d be surprised. For many of us it’s not simple at all. WHY? Well, because in order to change the thing that holds us back or to remove the thing that keeps us weak requires that we surrender to a process. Some of us are very afraid of what that process will entail.
The change and the accompanying process looks different for each of us. For some it means a radical change in eating habits. That process will demand that we stop eating certain foods we hold dear. (I’ve been there!) For others the change lies in learning to find serenity without the consumption of alcohol or having to smoke, and that process may mean confronting the demon that insists they don’t have what it takes to do it. For others the change that’s required is making a conscious effort to stop speaking negative things. That process may necessitate walking away from certain friendships that are toxic. (I’ve been here too!) Negativity is contagious and it’s often “picked up” through people around you. For another bunch, the change that’s demanded is letting go of time-wasting activities like reality TV shows so that focus is spent on the important thing.
Oh, the process! The process requires discipline and a daily regimen, and it can often be painful and distasteful. It’s the sore muscles after a workout and the pain of bending down to pick up the pencil you dropped (because your hand is too sore to hold it). The process is often lengthy, and boy, we want instant. God forbid it might take too long to see results. Nevermind that we’ve been in our current state for years and God has been patiently waiting for us to engage in His process of change).
But here’s the thing…
The process can also be thrilling, filled with triumphs, excitement, and transformation. The process, in fact, will be the very best thing that’s happened to you in a long, long time. It will empower you and make you stronger than you’ve ever felt in your life. That’s the gift of the process!
So many folks are waiting in anticipation for the future, and they miss out the preciousness and the gift of what God is doing NOW. If God has made you a promise trust that He will make it come to pass, but please understand that what is happening now –the pain, the thrill, the hope, the frustration, the disappointment, the perseverance– is the journey to the promise. The process is the journey, and it is more valuable than the destination. Tomorrow can’t happen unless today does, and today has many lessons for you that are required for tomorrow. Embrace those lessons and look for the hard challenges. Overcoming them is what builds the muscle that causes transformation. There truly is a thrill in the process. It’s adventurous. Don’t be afraid of it. You already have everything you need. Just like Jesus said to the woman who had messed up terribly, “Neither do I condemn you. Now go, and sin no more.” (John 8:11)
“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” –Albert Einstein
“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” -Max DePree
“You attract what you are, not what you want. If you want great, then be great.” -Unknown
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.” -Norman Vincent Peal
What is the Holy Spirit telling you? It’s time to embrace the process and embark on the journey. LET’S GO!
PRAYER: Father, you are all about the process. Thank you because you are faithful to complete the process. You don’t give up and you don’t give in. You are steadfast and strong and you are my everything. What a relief that I can count on you without any reservations! I’m so, so thankful for that.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Giovanna decided to return to college and is now in her senior year. She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in social work and a minor in family studies and has loved every second of it. She couldn’t have done it without the support of her husband of 25 years, Hubert. She loves adventure and the excitement of the journey. She has no idea what her “destination” is, but when the journey is this thrilling and challenging WHO CARES?