"Men who never change their ways have no fear of God." Psalm 55:19
I've shaken my fist at God before, wondering why He's pointing out yet another thing in my life needing to be changed.
"I'm tired, Lord. Are there really that many things about me that are wrong? Is there anything in me that is right?"
Have you ever had conversations like that with God? Thinking about my first post for "She Stands," words from Psalm 55:19 came to mind. Fear of God and the resolve to change behavior are the reasons I can stand after battling the enemy in life's trials.
After coming through years of conflict and turmoil, our family is standing today. What began in me as reactionary responses to a strong-willed child in early years of parenting turned into explosive power struggles during rebellious teen years with one of my children.I never dreamed I had such anger inside of me, but it poured over my soul and spirit, coming out in hurtful,damaging words to a child I dearly loved. Many times I crawled into bed at night, asking God for forgiveness, wondering if His mercies would be new the next morning.
I've walked through enough rebellious places in my life with God to know its best to obey when He draws a line of accountability. He's loved me enough to say, "Enough is enough" when behavior or attitudes have become a stumbling block in my character and faith. Reactionary anger towards my teen and my husband were damaging. I needed to change my ways.
I'll be honest. It wasn't easy, but it's worth it. I've discovered there's a lot of pride rooted in anger. There's security and justice in blaming. God says each of us is accountable for our own actions that lead to sin (James 1:13-15). Overcoming sinful behavior requires active choices for change.
I had to take steps toward eliminating behavior that was hurtful to me and my family. I had to humble myself and change what I could control, acknowledge triggers and stress levels making me more vulnerable to anger. I began asking for forgiveness without placing blame on those around me. I learned to bite my tongue (literally). I learned to walk away when I was feeling anger well up inside of me, taking practical steps to remove myself so I wouldn't say something I would regret. I looked at the stressors in my life and made significant changes to reduce my stress level. I could only change myself and I what I could control.
It's been worth it. I stand today a stronger woman, a better mom because I made hard choices to change my behavior that was damaging my family. I stand because I chose humility over rights.
I'm redeemed because I allowed Him to change behavior I needed to release.
My marriage and family are stronger because we held fast in the fire instead of giving up when things were unbearable.
I've learned to listen and heed the rebukes of the Lord. Anger is just one of many areas in my life He has changed over a lifetime. I seem to be in constant need of a spiritual make-over. But I stand in victory declaring obedience to God is greater than any self indulgent sin or behavior. I've learned I'd rather change what needs to be changed because the joy and peace that comes afterwards is worth the effort.
Change is hard work. Standing strong in trials is difficult. Every ounce of effort is not wasted when being obedient to the Lord of the universe.
"Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:2-4
Persevering in trials, externally or internally, brings wisdom that comes from leaning into the Father for His strength, not ours.
It is a privilege to contribute to this ministry empowering women to stand when the world and our weakness say, "Give up."
I'm wondering today, what is God putting His finger on in you that He desires change? An action, attitude or both? I'm joining you in the fight to be all He has created you to be by giving up what is foolish to hold onto.
Together, let's fight to be strong women, full of perseverance and wisdom. Together, in Him, we stand!