That moment, when you do things differently, when you break the unhealthy pattern and you can see it, you’ve been transformed.
Romans 12:3-4 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function.”
I was on the phone with a colleague. She was following up on a group project due that day and she was frustrated. As she expressed her frustration at the process and miscommunication between her and others all I could hear was, “It’s your fault, you didn’t do this right, and you failed me.” I started to defend myself, “I sent a few emails regarding the issue a few weeks back.” Then I paused. She exclaimed, “Kasia, this is not about you. My frustration is with others and where this went wrong.” And then it happened. I heard her, accepted what she said and instead of jumping in to fix it, I took a deep breath and replied, “I’m so sorry you are frustrated at the process. I can hear and feel it in your voice. What can I do to help support you now?” It went so well after that. The solution was still the same, my role was the same, but because I didn’t move to fix first, I was able to see her past myself, not internalizing what she was saying as blame, but listening to hear the truth and for her need.
Dan4:34 “At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever.”
For better or worse I identify with Nebuchadnezzar in the struggle to overcome pride. I’m learning to see when my pride makes me feel threatened, when it prevents me from being vulnerable and steals my joy. Pride is driven by my instinct to survive. While humility shares the credit and takes the blame because it recognizes the credit is always ultimately God’s, and taking the blame is ultimately about taking responsibility or sometimes just standing in the gap for others on the team. Ultimately, Christ took the blame for me, He stood in the gap. Humility allows me to see that I am an object of great mercy and love. It allows me to release control – control which prevents me from seeing God’s love and practice pause.
Dan 4:37 Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.
Nothing I am or have is under my control. This thought used to scare me, now it brings me peace. It has taken so long to get here, it has taken such pain and heartache, but it was worth the rumble. The things I saw as my “rights” before, I can now see as gifts. There will still be days and moments I miss this, but in those moments God will cover me with his grace.
Lately there have been more and more moments of pause for me, moments of responding instead of reacting, of compromise and seeking to understand instead of being understood. There is such power when we pursue humility and grace. I used to get so frustrated when I would fail to see, to hear, or to do the right thing. I know I will fail still, and that is ok too. I’m grateful for those who love me enough to point it out, even if they assume my heart is in the right place.
Acts 17: 27-28 “God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”
Whatever unhealthy cycle or sin you are trying to break out of know that God is fighting for you, He goes before you and He will transform you if you continue to seek Him. He will also send others to warn and help you.
2 Chronicles 30:18-20 “But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, ‘May the Lord, who is good, pardon everyone who sets their heart on seeking God—the Lord, the God of their ancestors—even if they are not clean according to the rules of the sanctuary’ And the Lord heard Hezekiah and healed the people”
Don’t give up, don’t believe the lie. You are deeply loved by the creator of the Universe who gave up what was most precious to Him, His son, because you are most precious to Him. He unlocks the power in each of us to become the very beings He created us to be. He is right in everything He does, even when we cannot see it. The more we accept this the stronger the power to change, by His mercy and grace, not our might.