Friday, June 24, 2011

The Key To Change

"The key to to let go of fear." --Rosanne Cash
How is it that most humans hate change and yet God made it so that change is inevitable? From birth to death we are changing. Every choice we make effects us and often those around us. Some of the changes are so slow we can't see them day to day, but we know they are happening. Of course there are big changes that are hard to miss. Going from being single to married, having a child (or two or three), a new job, a new school, theses changes can make a huge impact on our lives and often there is much thought and discussion involved in making them.

I agree that fear holds us back from making changes and trying new things, but our fears also keep us from growing. I'm not sure that making changes means the absence of fear as much as it means pushing through our fear. I have yet to encounter a big decision that did not carry with it a basket full of questions, doubts, and fears. But I believe the blessing comes in embracing our inadequacies and self-doubts and trusting God to meet us there. Pushing through when we are afraid, facing our anxiety, and knowing that it's going to be okay.

My husband started a new job this week. He's been a remodeler for 12 years and this will the 4th company he has worked for. He left a company he'd been with nearly 5 years. Comfort and predictability had most assuredly set in and it was hard to contemplate "starting all over" at a new place. I'll save you the gory details of why exactly he decided to leave and suffice it to say God was leading and it was time. I'm proud of him for being willing to make that change and enter "the unknown".

The unknown...definitely the source of a lot of anxiety. People like to know what's going to happen. We like to know what to expect. It makes us feel secure. And yet God wants us to put ourselves out there. He wants us to reach beyond our comfort zones because it's in that place that we grow. No better way to learn about yourself. No better test of trust. No better opportunity to push past our fears and insecurities.

Perhaps the hardest changes of all are the ones made inside ourselves. It's a common theory that once we get to a certain age we are no longer capable of changing who we are, how we react, or what we think. I could not disagree more. But in order to change we have to want to change. It has to be a desire within our hearts. Change can take a lot of effort. It may mean breaking old stereotypes, accepting fault within ourselves, and dealing with issues we may not really want to confront. It may require figuring out why we do what we do. It almost always means seeing things from a new perspective, from someone else's shoes.

So maybe the "key to change" is more about where your heart is, whether you want to change, and whether your desire for change is enough to overcome your fear. The courage and desire comes from knowing and trusting God and having the faith to do what you have been called to do, irregardless of your fears.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (JOSHUA 1:9)

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