Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Is Change Even Possible?

Are you ever skeptical that people can change?

I am.

I wonder how often our skepticism not only allows us to live in a place of discouragement and hopelessness...but also lends itself to creating a mold for others that they cannot get out of.

For example:
I feel like I changed a lot between high school and college. I felt more mature, I felt more servant-hearted, I felt like I understood a whole lot more about who I was and my purpose in life. But, every time I went back home, I felt myself reverting to this high school version of myself. I was suddenly selfish and expectant. I suddenly needed my mom to wake me up in time for things, I suddenly found silly reasons to have my feelings hurt by my older brothers.

I think part of this was the fact that coming home provided a comfort and familiarity that allowed me to be a more raw and rough version of myself...'cause I always know they'll love me unconditionally. I think part of it was that my family expected me to still be the bratty, selfish teenager that I had left home as. How could they know I'd be any different?

It took many years before I felt like I could really be more of who I was becoming around my family, it took time for them to see that maybe I wasn't the same girl I had been. It took me continually striving to be the same person I was becoming at camp and at school while I was also at home...even if it felt much easier to slip into that old person again. Change didn't come easily.

And I recognize how often I tend to hold others to this previous version of themselves.

It's really backwards.
I proclaim to believe in a God that is all about changing people. Eternal change, lasting life-change... but then I don't let them change. I question their motives. Are they changing for a guy? Or for a girl? Are they just appearing to change, but really the same person deep down inside? Are they just desperately wanting that job, so they'll say anything they can? Is it just this temporary deal, but give it some time and we'll see the old them resurface soon?

I hate this.
I hate that this is what I've become.
Haven't I truly seen enough people's lives drastically changed? Or am I still always expecting the worst?

Not only am I allowing room for disappointment and discouragement to set in in my own heart, but I'm also failing at offering hope to anyone around me.

I want to be a person who believes fully that people can change, that they can be different. I want to be a person that not only believes it, but inspires it. Instead of looking at the former pothead, sex addict, alcoholic, compulsive liar, pharisee and not believing that they'll ever change... what if I held true conviction that they can, that they will, that there's hope, that there's more?

What if people are unable to really change because we don't let them?
What if people are so discouraged and hurt by their friends, their families, their churches, their co-workers treating them like the same person they've always been...instead of with the belief and hope that they can and will be different?

What if we're doing the exact opposite of what we claim to believe?

I don't know about you guys, but I need to believe that lives can be changed.
I need to be a person who hopes...
A person who offers hopes to others when they might not even have hope for themselves.

Change can happen.

Let's be cautious with how our words and our actions may debilitate others from being able to live in their new flesh. And maybe, as we allow others to live in their transformation, we will also be able to take steps forward in ours.

For you, my friend, have probably changed, too.
Believe it.
Live in it.
There is power here.

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  1. yes! yes yes yes!

  2. omg so true this is me right now trying to change i never though of it this way!!!!