By Ally Johnson
“Mom, you’re different.” Kayla sat on the edge of her bed carefully arranging her stuffed animals as she prepared to snuggle into her blankets for the night. Standing at the foot of her bed, I tucked an errant corner of her patchwork quilt back under her mattress and turned to meet her gaze. Smiling at her I reached out and tucked a strand of her honey colored hair behind her ear, “Sweetie, what do you mean I’m different, different how?” Thoughtfully she turned back to her stuffed animals for a moment and then surprised me by throwing her arms around my neck and whispered in her tiny voice, “Mom, you’re still the same Mom I’ve always had, you’re just different.” And then, as if sensing my need for reassurance, “It’s okay; you’re still the best Mom ever.” Kissing my cheek as she released my neck, she sank into her pillows inviting me to finish tucking her in. As I turned out her light her words echoed in my mind. I knew I was different, definitely. God had been working on my heart for a long time, it just hadn’t occurred to me it was noticeable, especially by my ten year old.
I walked down the hallway gathering dirty laundry as memories of my former self washed over me. I was amazed at what a different person I had become. It wasn’t so much that I was a changed person altogether. If it wasn’t for the gray hair around my face, and the crows feet making themselves comfortable in the corners of my eyes I would tell you that I pretty much look the same as always. Freckles, blonde hair, a smile that takes up my whole face and according to my sisters, a rear end that fills out jeans pretty well. No, the changes my daughter was talking about were internal. Changes I knew that came from a deep desire to be closer to God.
Dropping the load of laundry into the washing machine I smiled to myself. I liked who I had become, and who I was becoming. I had a new outlook and felt excited about where God was leading. The fact that Kayla noticed was specific confirmation that God indeed was at work, and that made me feel even more excited. Walking through the rest of the house locking doors and closing blinds I reflected on how God moved in me and how I had gotten to this new place of freedom and contentment. I had been on a truth seeking journey and here are some of the things I discovered along the way.
For me the road to change was filled with challenges. I was like a parked car. No one could steer me, not even God. I wasn’t willing to go where God was leading and so I stayed parked on the side of the road for a very long time. Sure my motor ran just fine and periodically it would rev with excitement, but I could never pull away from the curb. Moving forward and allowing change is sometimes the most difficult thing we imagine. We tend to forget the challenges we face are meant for us, designed for us and lived out through us. Being open to Gods equipping so that we can get to the other side of the challenge, is what brings us into a closer relationship with him. Shifting out of park into drive is the choice we have to make before we can ever move forward into more abundant living.
I had to believe that God valued me before I could open my heart to the truths he would reveal. It was my choice and I chose to be open. What will you choose?
Know Your Values
Each of us is created with our own unique God-given design. Part of what makes up our unique design is our individual set of values. Our values are the foundation upon which we build our lives. Part of my new way of being is to stand firmly upon these values, allowing God to show me what is exclusively mine and then, I hold only these things as truth. Who I will be, as a woman and beyond, is founded on my values. Knowing what I believe and not compromising my beliefs allows me to live with freedom, inviting my family and friends to discover their own set of unique values as part of their own God-given design. What are your values?
Know Your Passion
Knowing your passion answers the question, “Who has God called me to influence?” Discovering your passion begins with God and it’s through this relationship that we can become women of influence. Operating in our passion makes everything fresh, meaningful and filled with purpose. Passion is what gives you the energy to keep going in spite of impossible odds. Passion is what gives you the energy to dream the impossible believing it is possible. Passion is what gives you the energy to hang on when you’ve got nothing left to give. God is the one who places that passion in our hearts. Until I understood my passion came from Him I could do nothing with it. It’s up to us to get past the lie that says we can’t do anything, when in reality we can do everything if we begin with God. What is your passion?
Way of Being
It takes courage to step out into something new, even if it seems like a sure thing. If we are open, stand on our values and embrace our passion we can be assured that God is in it. All of these things contributed to the changes God made in me. At some point I got tired of being parked at the curb and decided to meet God where He was leading me. It took courage to admit I wasn’t content and it felt risky to appeal to God for a new way of being. The truth is He wants to be our way of being. He wants us to seek Him, leaving behind our old selves allowing Him to create in us something new.
I used to be afraid of change but now the words, “You’re different Mom,” are words that fill me with the affirming truth of being in a deeper relationship with Jesus. I know I’m different and I know it’s because God called me and I chose to answer the call. When He calls you, how will you respond?
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