Updated: Jan 9
You know those energized posts showing pictures of people BEFORE (unhealthy, overweight, unhappy) and AFTER (healthy, fit, happy) they "changed their life" in some amazing, earth-shattering way? #TransformationTuesday #amIright? Or maybe it's a room or car or family transformation. Anyhow, am I the only one who feels both delighted for them and miserable for me when looking at those pictures?
You see, I used to feel overwhelmingly envious of those before and after photos and stories:
"Here I am at 30 with no kids vs. 45 with 3 kids and fitter than ever!" 🙄 Not me
"Look at what some hard work and determination will get you!" 😏 Yikes!
"My life is so much better now - and yours can be, too!" 😬 Ugh!
I would think: "Why can't I do that?" Or, "This time I will do that!" You see I wanted to have determination to change my life: To finally just get dressed without feeling uncomfortable or wondering how this or that looks. I certainly wasn't always thrilled with the changes age was taking on my body (hello sags, wrinkles, flab, thinning skin, night sweats...) but I KNEW that the much more important issue was what was happening inside my soul. Or rather, what was not happening. I was continually falling deeper into the abyss and it was absolutely affecting my relationships with my Creator, my husband, my children, and my ability to help other moms....
Enter Sabbatical. My husband has served as one of the Pastors in our local church for almost seven years and was up for an extended leave (More information about that here). Therefore, I took a Leave of Absence so we could rest and recover as a family. I went into these three months thinking it was mostly for my husband but after all, a break for me and our family would be nice. And what HAPPENED was that God met me in my abyss and "He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." Psalm 40:2
I finally read Surrender to Love by David Benner (which my husband had been recommending for months) and it cannot be overstated what a CHANGE began to occur in my life because of the truth of God's love for me described in this book! Brenner talks about us wanting a spirituality of success and ascent and improvement rather than that of failure and descent and transformation...but the CROSS is all of those things! The way of the cross IS descent and abandonment and death! It IS Jesus denying Himself, surrendering Himself, to chose the will of the Father over His own will. You see, Jesus taught that TRUE fulfillment comes from pursuing God's will and not by pursuing our own happiness - as the world would have you believe. The world screams at us to "LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE NOW!" and misses the point of living by the guidance of the Holy Spirit through the Son for the Father so that you can actually "LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE FOREVER."
Let me be clear that while I know it is VERY important to be physically healthy, eat right and exercise, true transformation does NOT happen from the outside in, but from the inside out. How do I know this? Because the Bible is full of verses asking God to create in us a clean heart, a right spirit, a renewing of our minds and searching of our thoughts! The Bible also talks about the importance of spending time actually loving and respecting the Lord rather than merely fixing up our outer selves.
If we want TRUE transformation that can only come from knowing, believing, and living in the love of our Creator, we need to understand that we can't EARN it, it is a gift from God!
True Love is not just saying YES to Someone, but saying NO to the "Kingdom" in which YOU are the ruler! If it's ALL about YOU, you cannot, will not be willing to sacrifice for another. Look, Mama's: God LOVES you more than you deserve or could even imagine. He loves you when you are FAT. He loves you when you are self-controlled in your eating and exercising. He loves you when you yell at your kids. He loves you when you read them 20 stories before bed. HE. LOVES. YOU.
Only by KNOWING and MEDITATING on this Truth are you ever going to TRULY transform.
Let me know if you‘re ready to begin!
#ConnectPointMoms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you're in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them! For quick, helpful parenting videos, find "Kate Connects" on YouTube or join the Connect Point Moms Facebook group to find encouraging supportive moms struggling through it all together!#ConnectionIsThePoint #LearnToDoItDifferently #KateConnects #ConnectionCreatesCooperation