POD #11: Alone in the wild (i.e., things you are not)
All creation is co-creation. We exist in relationship to each other, and we grow in relationship to each other, too. Who or what are you co-evolving with? A friend, a teacher, a community, an institution? God? Your mate? Your family? Your world? How is that playing out? What does it look like? How have you both changed by virtue of relationship with each other? How have they changed? And you? Are you evoking or inspiring growth in each other? Or. . . are you evoking something else? What? How conscious have you been that these changes are happening, before now? If you’d like, think and write about someone in your past with whom you had a mutually beneficial, co-creative relationship.
About four years ago I made an unlikely friend. I say unlikely because we are separated by more than a decade in years, we are both in different lines of work, in different places in our lives, both living very different lives, with very different perspectives and personalities. We met through church over a common need to connect.
I am not the easiest person to get to know. By nature I am private, I prefer to be with family, and I only share information when I feel it is beneficial or if asked directly. It is hard to ask direct questions when you don’t really know someone. It is even harder when said person has a strong personality.
This friend has walked with me these past few years through some of the most difficult times in my life. She was there when I lost my job. She walked with my through the progression of my mother’s illness and then through the loss of my mother. She has watched me walk through a journey of discipline, trust and growth.
In the midst of my journey, I have seen her grow. As much as I challenge what she sees as normal, I am also challenged to see things from her perspective. I challenge how she thinks, she challenges me to be honest with my emotions. We challenge each other’s walls, looking for a way to break through the exterior of the walls that have been created for self-protection. Our walks with the Lord is different, but we call each other’s gifts out.
On a deeper level, I have been co-evolving with God. Honestly, He hasn’t changed. I am just learning more about His character and person and I press in to a personal relationship with Him. The more I learn about Him, the more learn about who I was created to be because I was made in His image.
As I surrender to His shaping and molding, I am more open to walking in the gifting He has placed inside of me. My pastor once said “You can’t walk in the anointing you won’t acknowledge.” More than once in the past few months, I have been challenged to not only acknowledge the anointing, but to walk it out. The deeper I press in to God, the more I am changed. The more I change, the greater my desire is to know Him. I find myself not only conscious of the change, but desiring it.
I have been exploring who I am. The past few years have been a road of self discovery as I learn about the theories of behavior that shape my personality type. It has been an awakening of what makes me tick. There is nothing innately wrong with how I am, just as there is nothing innately wrong with those who are on the opposite side of the spectrum from me like my friend. It has been freeing to learn that I am not alone in the way I think, act or feel, but that it is an intentional design by God that has a purpose.
I have explored emotions that were buried deep down, but have seen God meet me in the midst of the pain to bring healing. I have been honest with others seeking forgiveness for past behaviors and wrong motives. I have seen connections birthed and relationships restored. I know that is God, not necessarily evolving with me, but evolving the circumstances around me as I open myself up to Him.
I am thankful that God allows me to evolve. Sometimes the pressure of circumstances make the process feel like I will be crush in the magnitude of change that is happening. Other times, I feel like the process is moving so slow I will never reach where He wants me to be. Yet in the end, I know that growth is a process, change will continue until the day I die. I heard a beautiful analogy from a member of my church – he said:
“Lord, don’t change me, transform me. When I change, I can easily decide to change back. But when I am transformed it is a permanent process. When a caterpillar is transformed into a butterfly, it can never become a caterpillar again. Lord transform me into who you created me to be. “ – Darrell Neighbors
I want to be a person whose life is transformed by the power of Christ. I want to be a person transformed into the image of Christ. I want to be a person who inspires others to be transformed into the image of Christ. I am not alone in the wild, I co-exist with others and desire to see our world transformed for Christ.
This post is prompted by Tara-Nicholle Nelson’s 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders.