When my dad died, different people I loved and trusted gave me wisdom. The same wisdom over and over from each one. I remember a teacher of mine once said, “if something is repeated, it’s important. Write it down! It will be on the test!” Yet, even though this wisdom was repeated, at that time I chose to listen to my pain. Though it wasn’t verbal, my response to their wisdom was simply, “I won’t do that”.
My life slogan used to be “no regrets.” I made a decision and didn’t regret it. I just muscled myself into the consequences saying, “I made this choice and will learn from it good or bad.” If one is in a healthy place that might be good. But if one is not living in a healthy place as I wasn’t at that time in my life, it can create consequences and regret. I hadn’t learned then what I know now; which is that even the simplest of choices can have long-term effects not only for the one making them but OTHER people that they love and care about. As a performance mentality, it galls me when my poor choices affect others. But I didn’t see that at the time.
Only in recent years, could I really own how I made my pain, my unwillingness to change and hear others, my bulldogging in and hanging on to “I won’t do that” was THE most important thing. I made this decision despite wisdom. I had a ton of exceptional reasons why I was “not going to do that”. I held those valid reasons close and as the highest authority. I held onto those reasons at the expense of healthy change and growth, because I was right. And those valid reasons and that pain gave me a right to be unwilling to change.
Why are we so afraid of healthy change? What lies are we embracing that causes us to tell someone we normally love and trust “no thanks,” and do the exact opposite of what that person said, allowing ourselves to get sicker and weaker? Why is the belief that “I cannot change” or “I don’t want to change” more important than following the wisdom God is obviously chasing us down with? LIFE IS HARD! Sometimes, it’s doing those hard, uncomfortable things that grow us up and get us healthy again.
Recently, I have been asking myself hard questions like this. Watching my nutrition clients refuse to make certain changes and remain sick has really highlighted this, “I won’t do that” attitude inside myself. Watching them pay money to come to me for wisdom, and then flat out refusing the wisdom I give has really caused me to ask, where do I do this in my own life? Where am I doing Sarah’s Plan instead of God’s plan?
For so long, I too ran away from wisdom after dad’s death. I was right and that was the most important thing. If you want peace that passes all understanding, you have to give up your right to understand. I HAD TO KNOW WHY! I kept choosing my way even though it wasn’t working well for my life and I was slowly getting sicker and weaker. As a result, it held me back in my family, in ministry and even in my health.
I am so thankful that God takes my rebellion and resistance and turns it for good. That is the only saving grace I have. It’s never too late to make a change. I hope you will help me turn my pain for good by reading this story, looking inside yourself at what you have been resisting, and make a change no matter how uncomfortable that change is. I encourage you right now to stop and take a look at what repetitive wisdom from people you trust you have been resisting! What has the Lord been speaking to you through your pastor, friends, family, a doctor? Maybe it’s not spiritual. Maybe it’s to take that art class or those singing lessons. Maybe it’s a simple as exercising 15m every other day. Maybe it’s harder and bigger- like seeing a counselor on a regular basis.
What if I had followed the very wisdom I give to my kids? Focus more on the solution and trying solutions than the fact that I cannot or will not. If you have an injury – find someone who can help you get around that injury so you can heal! LISTEN to them, even if it hurts a bit. There are two camps you can live in- the accuser who is constantly telling us we cannot or the Comforter who says I can do all things through Christ. What camp are you partnering with?
Today, I am choosing to put my accusatory negative thoughts that steal my faith, hope, and love on pause. The “I can’t, I won’t, it’s too late, I’m too old, too poor, or too hurt” thoughts. I am choosing to take every thought captive in the obedience of Christ and partner with thoughts that give me faith, hope, and love. When I have one of those thoughts, I search in the Bible for thoughts that line up with faith, hope, and love and fall in line with the names of God. The simplest one being, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
If there has been something in your life that has been repetitive, start changing! If you are unsure and want some wisdom, contact my mom for one of her Navigate Life with Trisha Sessions (https://shilohplace.org/navigate-life/.) One 50 minutes session with her is $60 and could jump start your change!
Love – Sarah!