Sometimes God uses the things in life that you least expect to be the catalyst for the biggest changes. I am currently reading a book for our church women’s group. I will be honest, I started the book with a bad attitude. I didn’t like the title, I questioned the motives of the author and I had recently done another study on the same topic. All those put together, I was reading the book without expecting to get a lot out of it.
Every month, we meet as leaders before our women’s study meets. At that meeting, the other leaders were raving about how much they loved the book. I was honestly a little shocked. How could they love something so much that I was having trouble even finishing? What was I missing?
As I started to explain my frustrations with the book, floods of emotion came rushing in. Now, I’m not typically a very emotional person so this response surprised me. I realized that I have some hurt and unforgiveness that has been holding me back. I have been blaming past situations and circumstances for my current position. I was expecting someone else to open the doors for me instead of putting in the work to open them for myself.
As my precious friends poured encouragement into me and graciously handled my bad attitude, I was convicted. It is so easy to play the victim. It is easy to allow the actions of others to hinder our own forward movement. Sure sometimes the actions and attitudes of others might create an obstacle, but God is bigger than any obstacle.
When I went to the leaders meeting, I was not expecting much. I expected a nice conversation about a book like we usually have. However, God used that meeting to reveal to me some areas of wrong thinking in my life. He showed me some thought patterns that were holding me back and preventing me from accomplishing the very things He has called me to do.
I cannot move forward while holding onto the past! I can use it to propel me forward, but I cannot sit in frustration and blame.
I’m so thankful for my friends! Before I was even home from the meeting, one of the other leaders sent me an email outlining steps I could take to move forward. She sent me a list! My favorite!
I believe that meeting was a catalyst for what God is about to do in my life. I believe He wanted to remove the wrong thinking so He can open the doors to my future and I will be free to walk through them. I believe this is exactly what the Bible is talking about when it says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1) I was set free from wrong thinking so that I would be free to fully pursue God’s plan for my life. Freedom has purpose.
Oh, it’s not always comfortable. It is often easier to continue with our wrong thinking, blaming others for what is happening to us. But the reality is, freedom is where the Spirit of the Lord lives! (II Corinthians 3:17) Freedom is where we walk in the full possibility of what God wants to do in our lives. No longer do we have to be a slave to our circumstances or to our wrong way of thinking; but instead, we can renew our minds and live in the truth of God’s amazing grace!