Jamie Owens-Collins wrote,
Don’t give up; don’t give in
Give it all to Him
For He cares so much more than you know
When it seems who you really want to be
Is someone you’ll never become
Just look how far you’ve come
If you’re like me, it can be hard to see any progress you’ve made since you began your Christian journey. When Jesus comes into your life, He is supposed to make all things new and yet shortcomings continue to stare at you on a regular basis, making you wonder if you are ever going to be like the Lord.
I have been doing a lot of introspection lately, and I am encouraged by how far God has brought me without realizing when or how these changes occurred.
When I was a teenager, I did not have many friends. There were some other young ladies that I would talk to, but they weren’t what I would call close relationships. My best friend from childhood moved away when we were 12 and, although we wrote letters back and forth, it wasn’t the same.
When I was 17, we moved to Texas, and I did make some friends there, but I still dealt with a lot of insecurity and self-focus.
After we left Texas, I didn’t really try to make friends for a while. We were without a church, my mom and abusive stepfather finally ended their marriage which resulted in a long, drawn-out court battle, and we were in a bit of a fish bowl which made this extra difficult. There were people who wanted whatever “dirt” they could find on our family and so I learned to be guarded in order to ideally keep from being hurt (or hurting others).
I love what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:11: “And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” Although there are times that I still feel like that shy, insecure, girl who had no joy, no one who knows me would describe me that way, and I praise God for that. I am now pretty open about things, there are a lot of people who care about me, and I now find myself encouraging others instead of wallowing in self-pity. The fact that I write blog posts, as well as have my own editing business and online bookstore are tremendous signs of God’s work in my life. I never would have attempted some of these things even ten years ago.
If you are discouraged I exhort you to think back 20 years to the person you were then and compare that to the person that you are now. If you are a true believer, I expect that you too will be able to see things that used to be a part of your life that aren’t any longer and keep that in perspective. Don’t think about all the things you are doing wrong or the things you want to do but can’t. Keep repenting of the negative traits that are hindering you in your walk with the Lord, while thanking Him for how far you have come since beginning this journey.
The Christian life is a process. For some, change is overnight; for others, it’s a constant battle. Don’t stop fighting. Don’t accept where you are but don’t allow the enemy to bring despair.
When you think who you really want to be
Is someone you’ll never become
Just look how far you’ve come!
Be encouraged, Brothers and Sisters. God can do so much in a heart surrendered to Him. Just be patient and allow Him to do His perfect work.