A book I was reading to my six year old daughter led to a conversation about how God can change people, but also how He can use other people to do it.
“Like how I changed your life?” She asked with a giggle.
I chuckled and answered, “yes, like that.”
It was true. God had used the arrival of my unborn daughter to my womb to burn within me this desire to become better. To be the kind of mother I was certain this child would deserve. But somehow He didn’t stop there.
Sure, I threw the cigarettes away. Begrudgingly I might add. And I said goodbye to drinking a 12 pack a night. I can remember not knowing how to act if I wasn’t doing those things. I had to learn how to live life without it. I slept a lot. That’s the only thing that felt right for a while.
Somewhere in the middle of me letting go of hard habits that were long overdue of being kicked to the curb I started to pick up other habits in their place. After I first stopped drinking I felt an empty space in my life where lots of beer used to go. So I started filling it with Jesus. That may sound corny, but it’s true. I started talking to Him more.
Somewhere in letting go of my dependence on addictive substances I began to depend more on God. And I guess He began to change things beyond my indulgence tendencies.
A woman who depended on the opinion of men to make her feel pretty began to feel pretty apart from that.
A woman who had been easily depressed to the point of suicidal ideation found this shining light called hope at the end of the tunnel.
A woman who was too shy to speak with strangers or sometimes even acquaintances began to smile more and strike up conversations. It just seemed like something Jesus would do.
A woman who loved depressing music began to listen to uplifting lyrics instead.
A woman who had no problem speaking crudely before began to measure her words to others more carefully.
A woman who once gave little thought to her interactions with others began to strive to lift the spirits of those she came into contact with.
A woman who worried incessantly became one who trusted no matter what.
A woman who feared the unknown began to anticipate the future.
A woman who enjoyed material possessions became a woman who would give it all up in a second if that was what was needed.
So it started with big things. He took the large weights off my feet. He placed several catalysts within my path. He found me, saved me, and redeemed me, but that wasn’t good enough. Then He continued by opening my eyes and drawing me closer. Slowly at first, but then a bit more each day. He changed me bit by bit, and He changes me still. Each day I become different, so much so that when I look backwards I barely recognize the woman I used to be. I believe deep down I’m the woman He always designed me to be. I have specific desires, likes, talents, and such, but I also think somewhere along the way it got convoluted.
The pain of this world tried to change me from a very young age. Rejection from my biological father, followed by pain that this life can bring. It all tried its best to take me further from the plan God had for me, but He figured out a way to lead me back home. And each step I’ve taken since then has been one closer and closer to the heart of Jesus. I’ve discovered it’s a good walk.
I once felt as if I was a stranger in my own skin, but now I walk daily in peace. I once was ruled by fear, but now I’m ruled by faith. I’m reminded of lyrics to an old hymn that have never rang more true.
I once was lost, but now I’m found.
Was blind, but now I see.
I look fondly ahead to what other dramatic changes He has in store for me. I don’t consider myself, by any means, to have arrived yet. I am still full of sin, but I crave the presence of the Lord more than anything. I reckon that’s a good start. Life can change you. Grief changes you, as I know too well. Marriage changes you, as my relaxed mindset on certain things prove. Motherhood definitely changes you, and I know I wouldn’t have it any other way. But I don’t believe anything has changed me more than the Holy Spirit working in my heart. He is The Potter, and I am the clay. How He found something precious in a broken vessel I’ll never know, but I am beyond grateful He did. He somehow mended, molded, and strengthened me beyond what I could have ever created for myself. It’s like one day you just say, “God, if you think you can do something with this mess then I’m open to that.”
I’m open to that.