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Sometimes when we sense our hearts changing the devil tries to tell us the change isn’t genuine. That feeling is a lie because it is GOD behind the changing
I am writing this article only a week after attending Live Salted Reside Portland, and I am STILL coming down from the Jesus-high I felt in that building. The presence of God, both around and within me was beautifully overwhelming, and the best part is…. the feeling has yet to fade. The words so gracefully spoken in eight hours were jam-packed with perspective, inspiration, and empowerment. I was rocked to the core, and I know I’m not the only woman that attended whose heart feels unbelievably touched and moved post Reside.
As a junior in college, who has semi-recently accepted Jesus into my life once again, God absolutely put me there for a reason, to hear and learn from what each speaker said. What I took away from Reside are a few heart-changing points that every woman should have the opportunity to hear, and can relate to in any season of life. I am excited to share my thoughts and take-aways, but first let me tell you a bit about where I’m at.
A few months ago, I realized I needed to make some drastic changes in my life. I grew up in a Christian household, was involved in YoungLife in high school, and have always been a firm believer in the grace of God and the wonders He can do. What I never truly had, but always desired, was a real relationship with Christ; I’ve never personally owned my faith. When I got to college, this only became more difficult, and I completely lost touch with all eagerness to grow and walk with Jesus. Along with this, I began doing things and acting ways I never thought I would. It wasn’t until December 2017 that something clicked and I was able to look at myself from a different perspective and recognize how out of line with my values I had become. What I didn’t think twice about now started to feel shameful. Literally, it was like God flipped a switch and out of nowhere. I started to completely doubt who I was. Or rather, who I thought I was. I took this as His way of hinting at me that I needed to, and that it was time, to make a change.
With that, I dived headfirst into my faith, once again accepting Christ – this time with purpose. I prayed, met people that pointed me in the right direction, read books, and God’s word. For the most part, I did a 180. As I was slowly getting to a comfortable, strong place with my faith, I couldn’t help but doubt what I was doing. The drastic changes I made within a short few months started to scare me, and I began questioning my authenticity and my identity.
Who even am I anymore? Why am I making these changes, I was perfectly happy! I’m trying to be someone I’m not. What’s the point of fixing something that’s not broken?
The fact of the matter is change is HARD.
So yes, I started to doubt my reasoning behind making such changes. But it was right when I began questioning myself, that God spoke clearly to me through the women at Reside. What I’ve been learning over the past few months aligned with what I learned at the conference and it completely altered my outlook on change and identity.
Take a look at the three BIG things I learned when a heart changes.
Though this is hard to grasp, it’s important to remember that when we think change is something we are implementing unto ourselves, that’s not true. God is physically working within us to change our hearts and point us in the direction of Him. If our hearts begin to feel that desire for fulfillment, for a relationship with our Father, we shouldn’t question the authenticity behind that because then we are questioning the authenticity of the Lord.
When we think we’re being someone we’re not in pursuit of a life lived with God, that’s simply the enemy telling us so. The enemy does whatever he can to pull us away from our Father, but as we know, God does everything for the good of His people, His followers, and His children. He purposefully changes our hearts because He knows we will be victorious in the end. When God is calling us to change and live a life that looks more like Jesus- let’s ACCEPT it, not FIGHT it.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” – Romans 8:28
Who we thought we were can change in an instant… but that is our Father’s way of letting us know that who we were wasn’t our true, God-given identity. He has a whole other idea of who He wants us to be and what He has in store for us, and without accepting Jesus, we will never become that person. God shatters our ‘identity’ in order to restore it. He will restore it and rebuild us up as a Daughter of Christ, and that may look different than who we thought we were! But let us trust in the Lord that He is shattering our hearts of stone, breaking us from the inside out, and renewing us with hearts of flesh. Through this we are ultimately pointed in the right direction- towards a life saved by Jesus Christ, a life lived with faithfulness in our Father, and a life filled with unconditional love. In trusting God, we trust that He will mold us into a Daughter of Christ that is exceedingly better than who we could ever become on our own, and THAT is ‘sure as heck’ is our true identity.
“For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it” – Matthew 16:25
Accepting the change God instills on our hearts is the easy part. When we devote our lives to Christ, words and thoughts simply aren’t enough. We are called to take action and do life with Jesus as our number one role model. Trusting that God is holding our hands and leading us towards a renewed life is one thing, but following through is easier said than done.
This has personally been the biggest struggle in my journey as a follower. Time and time again I have accepted Jesus and told myself that I will live a life devoted to Him. From the time I was a young girl, I have been eager for a relationship with Christ. Why have I never truly had one? Because I never followed through. Maybe I wasn’t mature enough, maybe it wasn’t the right time, or maybe I was too afraid. All I know is I’m learning it takes a lot more than acceptance to WALK in life as a Daughter.
At Reside, I learned that as a Jesus-follower, we ARE different. Whether that’s different than who you were before or different than those around you, it’s going to feel strange. But that means you’re doing something right.
God created us to be different because we don’t reside in this world. Our citizenship lies within heaven and with God.
As foreigners to this world, we’re going to look and act differently. And all that tells us when we do? That we are welcoming the Lord with open arms and acting on our calling to live with Him, like Him, and for Him. Let us remember that no matter where we are or what season of life we’re in, it is encouraged to give yourself up to the Lord completely. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, our peers may judge us or be confused by our changed actions. Yes, it may take time to get comfortable. But rather than think of acting differently as a burden, we need to think of it as a gift we receive because we are saved. The first thing we should understand as followers and as Daughters is to accept that we are foreigners to this world and embrace it with open arms. We don’t have to be the same as everyone else, we don’t have to conform. We get to live for our unique, God-given purpose, build up a new identity, and be RENEWED. And that is a beautiful thing.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” – Romans 12:2.
Whether you are a new believer, a seasoned vet, or have been up and down in your journey like me, we can all learn from this. We can all make changes in our lives towards a strengthened relationship with God. We can all accept our uniqueness as foreigners to this world. We can all truly reside in the Kingdom of God.
I still have a LONG way to go, but I am grateful for the opportunity I was given to hear from such knowledgeable, encouraging women that sparked a new feeling in my heart. We can all be more encouraged to take a step back and trust that with changed hearts and with taking that leap of faith in being different, fulfillment and renewal will follow. We have been put on this earth to learn who we are according to our Father and stay true to the identity He builds for us.
Let us all act upon that and fulfill our duties as Daughters of Christ.
Our Hub Contributors are women who share their passion and perspective with us by writing articles for our HUB. We love opening up our platform to create space to hear other voices and let our audience be discipled by a variety of people. If you are interested in writing for the HUB, please send us an email at email@example.com.
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