In my scant years, I have experienced both the true delight of change and the discouragement of staying the same. As I look into the mirror of scripture, it is apparent that God desires for His children to be like Him. Yet too often, I walk away from him and see a face in the mirror which resists change. I hold onto who I was. I steer myself into the patterns of the years; choosing to forget what I look like.
In reality, when God looks at me, He sees Jesus Christ, if I am truly in Christ. This is true regardless of my appearance. But when the passage of my life brings about a representation which does not resemble Him more and more, I believe it grieves the Spirit of the Lord. In the same way that a parent would be grieved by a child who was not learning to be upright in his character.
In my past there have been three times of obvious growth. Each time I have grown in my relationship with the Lord, and I believe this is of primary importance. But I have learned something about myself. I am guarded. I am afraid of gossip. I don't trust people easily. My parents had no friends, and so there were no relationships modeled for me. I find them mysterious and difficult.
I think this is why I am struggling now with my parenting and my growth in the Lord. I don't know how to have relationships. I often choose not to try. And this is so messed up because I feel such a deep need for relationships! The people in my life may want to get closer, but I am afraid. Afraid that they won't like me or accept me. I feel worthless because my parents didn't love me enough to have a relationship with me when I was growing up. And it's my turn now. I believe God wants me to overcome this hurdle of woundedness and self-absorbsion in order to build up my kids and model good relationships for them. Like it or not Danielle, you need people, and they need you.
So how does the miracle of change relate to relationships anyway? I don't know exactly, but I guess it has to do with openness. God's forgiveness flows through the door of an open heart. His power of change comes through the same door. If I am closing the door to relationships, I am closing the door on the Lord's power for change. Somehow it all works together.