Over the past 5 years, I’ve changed. My metamorphosis really began in 1999 when my kindred-spirit pastor retired, my son went into the military, and my other two sons were leaving the nest. There were some good points in my change and some not-so-good points surrounding my need to change. My marriage blossomed. It was back to just Tommy and I. It was great and exciting to realize we didn’t just love each other. We also really loved being together.
Longtime friends experienced frustration with my change saying things and doing things that make it glaringly obvious they really didn’t like my change. Other friends have lovingly and passionately affirmed me cheering me on toward further spiritual growth and development. Being a reformed people pleaser, I found myself experiencing great tension between the person I was in the past and the person I knew God needed me to be in the future. My present walk requires that I discern fully what is from God and what is solely based on me. At times, I do that well. Other times – no so much.
I mentioned a few blogs ago that last Sunday was powerful for me because I prayed three specific prayers as I walked through the parking lot up to our church building. One of the prayers I prayed was, “Lord, have I changed too much? Am I losing my true self as I try to redefine myself?” Amazingly, one part of my pastor’s sermon addressed our need to change. He went as far as to mention that NOT changing in our spiritual lives is a problem. We should not be exactly who we were a year ago, or two years ago, or five years ago. Spiritual growth and development requires change.
I’ve reconciled myself to the fact that my changes resulted in the loss of some really good friends. I’ve also gained new friends that walk at a much deeper level of love, acceptance and openness. I surround myself with people who know and understand that unity is important; yet, confrontation builds intimacy – both with us and with God.
Change is good. Change is necessary. God wants me to change. Lukewarm people say, “Man! She’s changed!” Vibrant friends say, “Finally! She is catching up!”
During and after that pivotal sermon, I could feel God saying to my spirit, “Good girl, My Daughter! All that really matters is what I say to you and about you. Remember, My love for you never changes!”
"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child."