You will change when you get sick and tired of being sick and tired.
I heard that for the first time over ten years ago. It played in my heart and head for many more, before I took the steps to truly turn my life around. Why do we wait? What are we scared of? What makes change so intimidating?
And what makes it worth it? Here are 4 reasons why changing is actually hard.
1. It Involves a Four Letter Word
WORK. We have a microwave mentality- we want what we want and we want it now. This doesn’t even happen at McDonalds, much less with change.
Change is not a “one-stop shop” and doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process of decisions; a determination to get things right no matter how much time it takes. Change takes discipline, commitment, courage and tenacity. But most of all, it takes believing you and/or your situation is worth the work.
2. It Requires Faith
The Bible says that faith is the “confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Vision is a mental picture- an image or concept in the imagination. The Bible tells us that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made from what is visible. It goes on to say that “without vision my people will perish.”
Faith and vision are key components of change. When we can picture a healthy body, we can deal with the diet. Believing we can break free from an addiction helps us endure the sleepless nights, rivers of tears, the sweats and the shakes. Visualizing renewed relationships and remembering the grace God has poured into our own lives, enables us to ask for forgiveness – even when it’s not our fault.
Do not grow weary in doing good, for in due time you will reap. (Galations 6:9)
If you don’t put a limit on your faith and give up, your vision will become a reality.
3. We Have a Past/Present Mentality
Last year, one of the girls in my Bible study asked us to pray for the situation between her and one of her co-workers. She felt disrespected, exhausted with the entire thing, and even though she liked her job, it was so bad she considered leaving. Last week, she stood up and gave a praise report. Then she immediately apologized for not giving it sooner. Things had been better for a long time, but she hadn’t realized it because she was holding on to the hurt, the memory of how it used to be. It took something drastic for her to see that the problem was now her.
Change is hard because we hold on to the things we ask God to take away. Change is hard because even when things aren’t right, we get used to them. We get comfortable in the problem. We complain that things need to change, not letting ourselves see that they already have.
4. It’s Lonely
Were you the hot-headed, dramatic, emotionally unstable person everyone talked about? Did you eat, drink or party too much? Were you insecure, unstable and unreliable?
Have you changed?
There is nothing quite like the feeling of doing the work that change requires only to have people see you the same.
Some people don’t want to accept you’ve changed because it makes them feel guilty that they haven’t. Some are overjoyed you’ve changed — yet they can’t accept it. It’s easier for them to see you in the light of your past, for it makes their decisions make sense. Some people need time, and then there are those you will never be able to please.
Regardless of the reasons, I know firsthand how much this hurts. I also know that the stronger the relationship was, or is supposed to be, the more apt you are to give up. Don’t do this. Please don’t do this.
God put you on this earth with a purpose that is independent of whether anyone sees how far you’ve come, or how strong, smart and beautiful you are. God sees you. He’s holding your hand and cheering you on.
He has big plans for you.