Alive to Change

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I am not a natural fan of change. As an Enneagram Type Six, I seek security, and security usually means things staying the same. When my life got turned upside down, I became a lot more flexible and open, and generally I see that as a positive development. But change continues to scare me when it comes to my opinions and spiritual life.

Somewhere deep down, I feel like REAL Christians don’t budge in their perceptions about God, the Bible, or the way the world should work. I know many Christians who have happily remained in the same denomination, even the same church, for their entire lives. I admire their consistency and sort of envy the ease of living in a perfectly black and white world. But for most of my life, my beliefs and relationship with God have evolved – and never more so than in the last five or so years. The more life happens to me, the fewer pat answers I can accept, because life is complicated and messy. I’m embracing more gray areas, discovering the freedom of the words “I don’t know,” learning to respect differences, questioning some traditions I used to take for granted, and acknowledging that God is beyond our comprehension, bigger than any definitions we can dream up. I’m still solid on the core truths of Christianity, but because I come from a very black and white tradition, I struggle with anxiety and shame about my changing views even on small things. Or I did, until I came across this quote:

“Change means you are alive.”

Alive. Not unstable, flighty, or compromised. But alive.

Alive creatures are constantly changing and being renewed, right down to our cells. The only creatures that never change are dead ones. I’ve said before that a questioning but alive faith seems healthier than an assured but stagnant faith. I need to start living like I believe it. Being fully alive means changing a little bit every day. That doesn’t necessarily mean that every day I’m dancing one step closer to the edge. It might even mean that every day, the Holy Spirit is making me a tiny bit more like Jesus, or showing me a facet of Him that I never understood before. Change doesn’t have to equal danger, at least not the destructive kind – God isn’t safe, but He’s good.

I have a sense that I’m moving into a time of greater change, and a few friends have observed it too. I don’t know what that will look like or what’s in store, but I want to put away my fear, and trust that He who makes all things new is making me new too.

This post is part of the monthly OneWord 365 linkup at The Messy Middle.

About Brenda W.

Christian. Memphian. Reader. Writer. True blue Tiger fan. Lover of shoes, the ocean, adventure, and McAlister’s iced tea.

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12 Responses to Alive to Change

  1. Amy Young says:

    Oh Brenda, your post reminds me of something Donald Miller wrote in his book “Through Painted Deserts” — it was something to the affect that things have to keep dying in us to create space for new things to be born. Change — I like how you’ve linked it to being alive!

  2. Jamie Bagley says:

    Oh, you speak my heart here. I have made this discovery in my own life, too. It’s hard to change when other people see it as straying or being “blown by every wind of doctrine” instead of seeing it as growth, as life, as a burning desire to know God without others telling you HOW you can or cannot know and seek Him. I like you no matter which “direction” you go in. I see you, the woman you are, and the beauty of a life lived well and thoughtfully. There is never any shame in that. <3
    p.s. Sorry I've been such a lurker lately. Been working on two manuscripts. Because that's what's making me alive, but it is costly time-wise.

  3. Carey says:

    “Alive creatures are constantly changing and being renewed, right down to our cells. The only creatures that never change are dead ones. I’ve said before that a questioning but alive faith seems healthier than an assured but stagnant faith. I need to start living like I believe it. Being fully alive means changing a little bit every day.” Love it, love it, love it! Thank you for this incredible, beautiful reminder!

  4. Carol says:

    I loved your sentence, “God isn’t safe, but He’s good.” It made me think of the description of Aslan–“He’s not a tame lion.”

  5. Jen says:

    this is excellent. I like the idea of embracing the change. Which I’ve been reluctant to do, but so need to. I think we need change in order to grow.

    Thanks for sharing!
    — hopping over from Trusting Tuesday link up

  6. Pingback: What I’m Into: March 2014 | Don't Stop Believing

  7. Leida says:

    Love this, thanks for posting. You’re speaking what I’ve been experiencing the last 8 years of my faith journey & it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who’s found that embracing the gray areas is actually enriching her faith. My relationship w/God has gained depth from it, I think. I’m living on spiritual meat for the first time, instead of milk.

    Good luck & God bless your journey.

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