I just spent the last few minutes scrolling through old blog posts. After not much scrolling, I was several years back (that’s what happens when you stop blogging for a year), reading words that seemed familiar, but not me. Isn’t it strange how much a person can change in a short period of time? Maybe it’s just strange to me! But only a couple short years ago, I was not the same person. I felt helpless to change the things in my life that I didn’t like, helpless to confront things in my past that were affecting my present, and helpless to improve the relationships in my life that I knew were not in a healthy place. I don’t know that I had a victim mentality, but I certainly didn’t see myself as capable of changing my world.
Several years ago, a precious friend very gently pointed out something in my belief system that was not at all Scriptural. I was shocked to realize that she was right. Not only that, I started seeing other things in my heart and mind that it simply had never occurred to me to question. Things that I was taught as a child by a teacher I thought I should respect, and just filed away in the drawer of beliefs that I held as my own. Nathan and I began talking about some of these things, and soon became overwhelmed by the sheer number of issues that we held positions on without knowing if they were consistent with God’s heart or not! Many of these things were taught to us by someone that we once trusted, but now realize is way off base. Where would we starting weeding through the years of faulty philosophy? Thus began a very long season of praying “God I just want YOU. I want to know YOU for Who you really are, not for who I’ve been told that you are. I want to know you for myself, not just know *about* you from others’ perspectives. I want TRUTH, not religion. Whatever the cost, weed out the lies I’m believing and replace them with you.”
It has been a slow process. I appreciate so much that God has never flung open the doors of my heart, grabbing at false beliefs and lies left and right. He gently brings up one thing at a time. It’s as if He reaches into that filing cabinet, pulling out one piece of paper, and placing it before me. I typically respond with “what? I’ve always had that one. It can’t possibly be wrong.” He smiles and says “let’s just talk about it.” Slowly but surely, He addresses things that are skewing my view of Him and His heart. Slowly but surely, I am seeing Him as more loving. Less angry. More hilarious. Less boring. More interested in a relationship with me. Less interested in a perfect performance. More concerned with my heart and less impressed with a flawless outward appearance.
In the midst of these realizations, I began praying for change in my physical world as well. After years of living on very little and learning to trust God for every single bill to be paid (He never once left us hanging! Often coming through right down to the penny…) I felt that He had more for us. That this was a season of learning, and it had fulfilled it’s purpose.
Enter Jamberry. It was a whim. A company created by three sisters just for fun and maybe some play money. My sister signed up, and encouraged me to do the same. It never occurred to me that my life was about to change. It seemed like a small investment that could possibly yield enough to give our grocery budget some wiggle room. But a few months later, Nathan and I looked at our bank account and said “we have to stop accepting financial support for our mission work!” Jamberry has been our sole source of income since that day in Feb of 2014. That was just the first of many changes. God has used that little business to open our eyes to worlds of needs, dreams, possibilities, and gifts we didn’t know we possessed. I try REALLY hard to not push the business opportunity on people, but I so desperately want to see if change everyone’s lives the way it has mine! It has been such a God-send on so many levels.
I could write an entirely separate post about the changes that I’ve seen in myself, my family, my finances, my dreams, my passions, and my future in the last year alone. But my FAVORITE of all the changes is my understanding of God and how He feels about me. I feel like He has just begun to give me a glimpse of His heart. The more I see, the more desperate I am to see more. I used to be one who was nervous about change. I was comfortable in my home town, native language, ministry that I understood and felt equipped to handle, and a god who fit neatly in a nice square box that I could tuck in my pocket and access whenever it was convenient. I now see that God likes to change things up to bring us to a new place of reliance on Him alone.
Change is good. I believe and hope that I am standing on the edge of a massive change. And I say bring it. My prayer remains “just give me YOU, God! Change what needs changing.”