Sunday, March 30, 2014

Allow the SON to transform your life!

It’s a beautiful sunny Sunday here in Northern Michigan. The current temp, according to my computer, is 44 degrees and it feels like spring is in the air. It was a lovely ride to church this morning and I just came back from my first walk of the season.  The weather today has provided me with so much “food for thought” thus far. Not really a surprise, is it, that something as insignificant as the weather can turn into one of my rambling posts!  But….here is a glimpse into my thoughts this day…..

As you may have noticed from an earlier picture I uploaded, I still have A LOT of snow in my yard. There is about 6 inches in some places, but other places still have well over a foot, and the piles of shoveled snow still double that. I looked very carefully, hoping to see a small patch….even a few blades….of shriveled up, brown grass…..but there is no sign of that…..AT LEAST IN MY YARD!  But…..that is not the story in places nearby.   I was surprised to discover on my drive to church that just up the road, there is lots and lots of visible ground. In fact, some places on the north side of the road, are nearly void of snow, while those on the south side, like my place, are loaded with it.  It doesn’t take much science to figure out that those places exposed to the wind and sun on a regular basis are going to show progress much quicker than the rest of us. BUT….What is the lesson here, I pondered on the drive home and then later during my walk.

I kept thinking….  “You have to get out of your yard to see that the new life of spring is happening around you.”  HMMMM…… well, that makes perfect sense to me on this personal journey.  What does “my yard” mean to me?  Certainly, it’s more than property lines… rather, it represents my SELF…my comfort zone….my selfishness, self-centeredness, my fear, my doubts, my weaknesses and temptations, my sadness and pain……you get the drift.   I lived in the safety of my “yard” for those horrible years when I tried to drown my emotions with food. I built up walls around myself. I surrounded myself with barriers, emotionally ones like isolation, and physical ones like 250 extra pounds of flesh, with the sole intention of keeping others out, of protecting myself from further pain and grief, of hiding inside my own turmoil.  I didn’t allow others in my “yard” and I didn’t leave either, except when absolutely necessary. As miserable as it was, I was content to live there in the darkness, because it was safe and no one could hurt me there, until it got so bad that I was no longer living.  Actually, I wasn’t really content, but I had forgotten what it was like to LIVE, to feel joy, to feel healthy and whole, and I didn’t think that life would, or could, ever be any different. I just didn’t think it was possible.  In a sense, just like the snow in my yard…. I didn’t even imagine that things would be different…..just up the road.

But then, one day, a miracle happened in my life! How or why it happened is something that I daily try to figure out. But one day, out of the blue, God showed me that “just down the road” that life could indeed be different, but I had to be willing to venture out of the safety of myself….to leave my own will and fears behind….to trust that He would be with me every step of the way. I had to be willing to “step out of my comfort zone,” to let go of the pain and hurt, to trust, to become vulnerable, to do whatever it took to get myself out of the life I had created for myself.  Not an easy thing to do by any means and yet…..the new life was right there waiting for me to enjoy.  Until I was willing to surrender my will and admit that I was powerless and didn’t know the way, to change my way of thinking and way of eating, and begin to look at things in a new way, I would never know true joy and peace.  Until I allowed the Grace of God to shine light on the dark areas of my life, there would only be pain, bitterness, grief, and sadness.  But once I allowed Him to change my thoughts and my heart, my body began to change as well, and thus, this new life has emerged.  Until the “light and warmth of the sun” hits the snow-covered areas of my yard, there will be no signs of new life and the ground will remain cold and frozen.  HMMM…… Until you allow the power of the “SON….or however you define your God” to melt and mold your will, you will continue to live in darkness and despair.

So….today…. I encourage you with two thoughts…..First, I know first-hand that “just around the corner” lies signs of new life, but first you have to be willing to risk leaving your old-self behind.  And 2nd….. even when it looks like NOTHING IS HAPPENING, that you’ll never see progress, that life will always be this way….TRUST ME when I say that your “new life” is not very far off and things are changing before your very eyes, even if you don’t see it reflected on the scale, in the mirror, or in your relationships.  Get out of the “darkness of yourself” and allow the Light of God to transform your life.

Finally…..ask yourself…. “What is it that you must be willing to risk, to leave behind, to surrender, in order for new life to happen” and “What is stopping you from venturing out of “your yard”?   There is change in the air, my friends….just don’t lose hope!