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March 01, 2022

Am I Really Changing at All?

Last season, Heather and Jamie devoted themselves to doing the hard, internal work: exploring how to be their healthiest physically, emotionally, and spiritually. They felt like they had made a lot of progress. But as they’re stepping into this new season, it’s becoming obvious that getting internal work to translate externally is a challenge, leaving them to wonder, “Am I really changing at all?”

Why is it so hard to translate our inner work to the external world?

Changing is hard. As human beings, we are complex and layered: therefore, creating real change in our thoughts and behavior is also complex and layered: “Behavior change is complicated and complex because it requires a person to disrupt a current habit while simultaneously fostering a new, possibly unfamiliar, set of actions.”

Disrupting our current habits takes time–usually a lot of time. And this often makes us feel like all of our hard work is for nothing.

Failure is a part of change.

Once we have recognized the areas in our lives that need to change, it’s easy to think those changes should be easy to make. But even incremental change takes a lot of time.

Accepting that change is a process that involves failure will keep us from feeling like we’re wasting our time. Failure can be a step towards change: it reveals the areas that might need more focus and attention.

When we understand how hard it can be to literally rewire our brain, we offer more grace to ourselves and turn failure into a productive step towards change.

Maybe you need to quit working for it.

Sometimes we put in the hard, personal work but we still don’t see the change we want. Maybe that’s where you’re at. You’ve done enough internal work for a season and it’s time to take the focus off of self and commit to being in silence so that the Lord can change you.

“I’ve done enough work to give God something to work with.”

Rather than letting your perceived stagnancy discourage you, give it to the Lord. Ask Him to give you His strength and change you in ways only He can.

We slow down so we will be ready to move when God tells us.

But being still and creating space for the Lord can be hard.

We are so inundated with noise that we don’t know how to just be. We have to be really intentional about creating space and then resisting the urge to fill that space.

Here are some practical steps to say no to noise:

→Turn off your email notifications: set aside specific times throughout the day to check it, that way you’re not tempted to pick up your phone for every new alert.

→Turn off text message alerts: just like with emails, set specific times where you can check and respond to messages.

→In moments where you might be tempted to fill silence with a podcast or music (like a walk or a car ride), use the opportunity to sit with the Lord in silence.

→When you can, leave your phone at home. It has become an unconscious habit for most of us to pick up our phone to fill space or distract ourselves. Eliminate the temptation whenever possible.

How you walk out change can be heavily influenced by the season you’re in.

As people, we’re always eager to get through things and reach the next step. We’re always looking for the next best thing, even subconsciously. This causes us to feel discontent with what we have and where we’re at.

We’re often so focused on the next season that we’re never fully present in our current one.

 Don’t miss out on the small moments of life looking forward to the big ones.

In this season of your life the Lord wants to teach you and draw you to Him if you’ll allow Him.

“Know where you’re at, so you know where you need to go.”

Maybe this season of life looks different than a lot of your friends’, and that means walking out change might look different too. And that’s okay! You still need the support and perspective of people in completely different seasons.

Take a moment to ask yourself some questions: Where are am I at right now? What is the Lord showing me?

Spend time with your Heavenly Father and ask Him what steps you need to take.

This season we’re going to faithfully follow the Lord. Jamie and Heather have committed to continuing the work God started in them season 3. They have decided learning is not enough; they must realign the desires of their heart. And they want you to be a part of their journey.

What are you learning in this season?  We want to hear from you! Text Life in Motion to 23101.

Subscribe to In Motion on SpotifyApple Podcast, or YouTube to stay up to date with season 4!

 

Shownotes:

In this episode, Jamie mentioned the book Invitation to Solitude and Silence

 

Check out our episode on starting new habits and breaking old ones!

Habits: how to break them and start them

 

 

Want to learn more about silence and solitude?

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