Evidence of Transformation

daffy impasto edge ch

I love those time-lapse videos of plants tossing over bits of soil as they shoot up and flowers unfurling like proud flags on the top of their stems. Beautiful! But as I stare at a skinny daffodil stem in my garden I realize that is not my earth-bound time reality. Even if I observe, with utmost patience, the tiny yellow tip on the end I still can’t see any change. If I go away for a few days and re-visit it when I come home I can see progress, but it’s way too slow to see without enhancement.

A course I am taking suggests keeping a journal with a special section for “evidences of transformation.” Why? Because sometimes the process of personal transformation is like watching the unfolding of springtime in the Rockies – in slow motion. It’s not easy to see  change. It can be discouraging. Old habits die hard.

This has been the kind of week that used to hit all my anxiety triggers.
– I just drove eighteen hours return trip (passing several serious accidents on the way) to help someone who passionately hates me no matter what I do, and yet needs me.
– Ambient noises in the hotel (none of which were the fault of management) startled me awake every fifteen to thirty minutes or so for two nights in a row.
– Dear people I looked forward to visiting while I was in that city were all desperately sick with the flu. I felt it was not wise to expose myself to the virus since I am booked for surgery tomorrow.
– My last surgery date was cancelled when two doctors fell ill themselves. Since it involves a biopsy, having to wait another month until they could be replaced and another OR time booked has been a little hard on the nerves. Then there’s the increasing pain issue.
– We encountered legal complications this week because the actions of a person who (sadly) is mentally ill and not able to make wise decisions right now.
– On Tuesday one of our precious grandchildren was diagnosed with the same rare condition her father has – one that greatly challenged him and our entire family when he was growing up and still makes his life difficult.
– Then my husband and I got into a major argument because we had different memories of the outcome of an important discussion that took place months ago. Work I did on that basis may have to be thrown out.
– We are both dealing with unwelcome signs of aging in the other one – like less acute hearing for both of us.
– Family and friends I love are also facing major stressful events in their lives – life and death issues, some of them – and I do care.
– Worst of all, my fat pants are too tight.

But I’m not overwhelmed -and that is a miracle right there.

I’m grateful for the advice to make note of evidence of change in the way I think. It’s time to evaluate by looking at my life in a kind of time-lapse photography manner. Maybe I need one photographic exposure every few months to see change.

It’s still stressful and my upset tummy tells me I am not yet completely at peace, but five years ago I would have been in a flipping panic and ten years ago I would have needed medication. Old posts are showing up on my Facebook of memories of this day in an eight year history. This is good for me. They remind me of very stressful times in our lives and tremendously exciting times of answered prayer and periods of accelerated growth. I can look at a memory frame that comes up and see how God took care of us and the strength he built in us through situations custom-designed to stretch us in faith.

So my journal entry is about thanking God that I can thank God, that his peace is growing in my heart, that I am learning to trust him not only with my problems, but with the problems of those I love. The joy of the Lord that is my strength is not dependent on circumstances and even though it seems like my progress is excruciatingly slow and I should be much further along the path by now, Holy Spirit still walks with me and surrounds me with love and promises that he is not going to withdraw his grace any time soon – or ever.

He has taught me that hope is vision-led endurance, and maybe, just maybe, that lesson is starting to sink in.

13 thoughts on “Evidence of Transformation

  1. Charis, it is so hard to wait for the snow to melt and new life to come forth. Here in the North, it is always messy, when the snow melts and things turn muddy and messy. However, it never fails that the brown landscape transforms to green overnight. Although it looks like nothing is growing, there is abundant life and much is happening below the surface. The roots have gone deeper and are getting sustenance far below the surface. True, things appear lifeless but then SUDDENLY life springs forth. Here, the leaves of the trees goes from a bud to a full leaf in a short time. We forget the dreary season behind and rejoice in the freshness and beauty. It is the same in our lives. We despair of making significant change and focus on the problems rather than the solution. We have many trials and wonder if we are going to make it, believing the enemies’ lies rather than our Promise Keeper. The season has been messy and trying. The winds of adversity have blown against us. It is these trials that develop our character and cuts away the attitudes and things that are not a reflection of Jesus. Then SUDDENLY, it all changes, when we were filled with despair. Jesus gave his life and all his disciples were afraid, thinking it was all lost. But he was RESURRECTED. The same resurrection life lives within us. It heals our wounds, burns up the things not of God and gives us new life. Charis, you are coming forth as pure gold refined in the fire. The glory of God will shine so brightly, everyone will wonder what happened. You will have the surgery, heal and be filled with fresh vim and vigor. It is a new season. The Kingdom of God age with wondrous things and a huge harvest are around the corner. The Lord is putting his finishing touches on you so you will be ready for the new. Take heart, you look much better in the future than you look right now! If you weren’t a threat to the enemy, you would have no trials. You are a MIGHTY woman of God!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lois Martin

    Although I am not seeing any responses, I would be surprised if you haven’t received any. Your narrative resonates with me, and I want you to know that I’m keeping you in my prayers. I rejoice that you are seeing growth in your overall ability to cope with the ups and downs of life.
    May you be richly blessed!


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