Can We Choose to Change?

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Last night I was praying…well, really, I was just having a conversation with God.  I was telling Him that I am tired of fighting the same battles.  I’m tired of being the same.  I see myself accepting the person I am,without fighting it. I don’t always like the person I am but I’m tried of trying to change. 

This weekend I was spending time with my nephews.  I get to play crazy games with them; put a new spin on “Ring around the Rosies”  by changing directions several times: Goofy stuff.  I wonder if I will have as much fun with my kids.  Being the aunt is just fun, being the parent requires you pay total attention to a child’s character development.  I don’t want to become the mom who is constantly yelling and continuously nagging a child to “do the right thing”.   That is a person I do not want to be.

My sister told me someone told her that how she says things sometimes is abrasive.  This describes me to a tee.  I am often told my directness and straightforwardness come off as abrasive.  I have been misunderstood so often that I am at the point of not caring any more.  My attitude lately is, if you don’t like me, I don’t care.  I sort of do care.  I think you come to a point in your life, an age maybe, when you just think, “This is who I am” and you stop trying to change.  That is how I feel lately.  This is who I am and if you don’t like it, okay.  But I know that I haven’t always been who I am now.  I used to laugh more.  I used to love people and want to help them.

Throughout my life, I have been misunderstood.  It seems as if it has been a constant struggle to be who God created me to be while not allowing others to define me.   There have been so many people in my life who made me think, “I don’t want to be this person in anyone else’s life”.  I feel beat up.  I feel beat.

I am the type of person who gets things done.  If someone asks me to organize or perform a task, I will get it done…come hail or high water, I will complete the task.  I overcome obstacles, even if those obstacles are people.  I heard a quote once that said, “Use things, not people”.  People have become the “things” that I overcome.   I don’t want to be a person that views others at obstacles I have to overcome.

Several years ago something happened that changed me.  Some friends of mine, well, I thought they were my friends, sat me down and told me that I was damaged, I needed to change, I needed healing…what I heard was “You aren’t good enough.  We disqualify you”.  A part of me listened and believed.  They labeled me an enemy of their cause; it was NEVER in my heart to be their enemy.  They disqualified me from ministry and told me I had poor people skills; it sounded familiar, very close to things I’d heard before. 

There have been times in my life when I loved serving God’s people.  I loved working with people to find their purpose and niche.  I loved seeing that light go off in their heads when they realized what they were designed for fit perfectly with all the things they loved.

So for the past few years, I’ve been trying to change; to be different.  I don’t think it’s working.  When I hold everything in, it just comes out in some other way.  When someone asks me an opinion, and I try to be diplomatic, I feel like a liar and a fake.  I can not stand liars and fakes.  I would rather say to someone’s face what I think than to talk about it later behind their back.  I would much rather have someone tell me to my face what they think than to tell someone else.  To me, raw honesty, is true and loyal.  The Bible says “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”.  By the way, me trying to change hasn’t worked.  It’s just been frustrating to me.

The times in my life when I felt most sucessful, the most joy, the most LIFE were the times when I relied the most on the Holy Spirit.  The times when I paused and waited for God when responding in a difficult situation.  The times when I was involved with intercessory prayer at my church.  The times when I didn’t try to change, I just tried to listen to Him.

Maybe people never change.  Maybe we cannot change.  I’m finding when true, authentic change happens in my life, it is a result of God changing me, not others changing me and not me changing me.

I liked this blog John Ragsdale posted…it made me think that what I really need isn’t to change so much as to just rely more on Holy Spirit.  http://johnrags.wordpress.com/2008/05/06/checking-in

 

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3 thoughts on “Can We Choose to Change?

  1. joshuasthoughts

    I am making a really concentrated effort to voice my agreement with something someone might say. So Casey you get a huge “Amen”.

    People have always attempted to change me, nothing had ever worked. No matter how severe. Yet one evening, July the 13th to be exact, the Holy Spirit got a hold of me,and the world has not been the same since.

    God created us for a purpose, one we can fufill through His power alone. There is no other, who can do what He has called you to do. No one else hears the “still small voice” you do. There is one denominator in the equation of your fufillment of your purpose, this is God. There is no one else. In our weekness, He is made strong.

    To quote one of my favorite songs “Shine on, Shine on!”

  2. adopted

    hi! i feel like i’ve been “in your shoes”…

    it is good to stop trying and start trusting.

    God will not change some things, but rather “His grace is sufficient,” and He will pull us through…

    God bless!

  3. I was moved by your post here. I know many people like this…in fact I can see a few faces in my mind now.

    The level of frustration is immence, no doubt. I believe the issue is the not “trying” and simply “trusting” as you mentioned. I spoke to someone last week that life is to be enjoyed NOT forced. I also beleive some things in us should and will change. But that can only come by the Spirit’s work within us.

    We must remember that when we give our lives to Christ, the old Adamic, sinful nature is crucified. That’s where Paul says, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me…” (Gal. 2:20 ESV). And if we are crucified, we are completely submitted and surrendered to His will and His ways, no matter what He asks of us.

    Paul also mentioned in this verse that because he has been crucified and given up his life, it allows the Lord to live through us the nature of the Spirit that is within us…not our spirit, but His Spirit. God is truly living His life through us.

    Your success of getting past trying to change will come when you live completely in this realm. I struggle to live “completely” in this realm myself. I am much like Paul when he states in Romans 7:15 ESV – “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”

    Ultimately, if you allow God to “wreck you” as John’s post mentions, it will crack the shell of what others have imposed on you to expose who God truly called you to be.

    Be blessed!

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