When I change blogs, which I have seemed to do every 3-4 years; I’m hoping to keep this one a good long time, it’s usually because I feel that I have rounded a corner in my life, that some great milestone has been reached. I’ll be the first person to say that there are more than a few rough edges to my personality, and that I have made more than a lifetime’s worth of mistakes in relating to other people and to the world, which is unfortunate since I still have at least half a lifetime to go. I’ve had a lot of practice in having the last word, being right, driving people away and shutting people out. I’m not proud of that, but I can’t talk about what I want to talk about without admitting that I can be and have been a jerk, and I know it. I’ve hurt others and I’ve hurt myself in being that, and I know it.
I’ve spent the better part of two years working very hard to change these things. It’s slow, and I relapse. It’s hard to unlearn a life time of behavior patterns. When I get tired or stressed or taken by surprise that ugly me can lash out razor sharp and lightning fast still.
But. BUT, slowly, painfully, little by little, God is wearing those rough edges smooth. When I go slowly and listen closely to Him, that need to be right, to be heard, to be important fades a little and my rightful position and response is easier to find. And love, unconditional love, surprises me sometimes where I expected to find anger, or hurt or a sarcastic quip. I’d love to say that I’m a completely new person, totally changed, but it’s more honest to say I am changing. I am working and being remade. It’s sometimes so slow and barely noticeable except that I can feel it, feel my heart is different and pray, pray, pray that my words and actions line up with that feeling.
Sometimes I get frustrated because I have colored the past with my choices, both good and bad, and being a fairly bold person, those colors I have painted with are equally bold. It is hard to cover them over with new, gentler colors. It’s hard for people to see me as I am hopefully becoming rather than as who I was. Nothing prickles more than when someone says, “I know you would never…, I know you think… I know you…” when what they are saying is in fact true of me then, but not so much me, now. You did know me, but that me, she’s gone her way, and I am becoming someone different now.
Even this frustration has its lessons to teach me about assuming and the grace to offer and be given a second chance (or a third, or fourth or fifth), about listening and seeing with present eyes, not through lenses of the past, about redemption and purpose and finding ourselves, or more importantly being found by God.
I believe we all have a life to write, but as a writer, I also believe we have the power to rewrite some of the story. Whether or not anyone chooses to read it is up to them, but it doesn’t mean that you haven’t made changes, and it certainly doesn’t mean that the changes He is making aren’t even more significant.