I told myself that I would never ever have a marriage like my parents, that I would meet someone who was going to make me better, who’s going to push me more than enable me, who wants me to be the very best that I can be just as I want him to be the very best that he can be.
I told myself my significant other should be someone who would make me a better person.
Thursday night when I was on the phone with my boyfriend after my poopy day that some of you may have heard about, I discussed something that I felt disappointed in and he pointed out my own faults in it (Way to kick me when I’m down, right). But something was different this time. I used to be so defensive when my flaws were pointed out. I used to be so stubborn. It’s not easy for me to hear how imperfect I am and yet, rather than angry I was sad that I’m still so far from who I want to be. Rather than being defensive, I actually took a moment to understand and to be teachable. Like actually understand, not just giving in because I wanted that conversation to be over. It was honestly so shocking. Why did I not fight him?
What changed? Was it him? Was he transforming me into a better person?
Sort of yes and vehemently no.
My boyfriend can tell me all the things that I can improve on, and he should, but it doesn’t make any difference if my heart is not open to those criticisms.
Transforming my heart, making me teachable— that’s not something another human being can do.
Your change was never going to be because of your significant other, or your community, or your accountability partners. And God certainly speaks through them to you. But those words fall on deaf ears and a hardened heart unless you are seeking on your own the truth of God, the love of Jesus, and your sanctification through the Holy Spirit.
Before God can work in any way through your significant other or your friendships or your community, you have to open up the physical, emotional, and spiritual space to be worked in. You have to set aside time, you have to make room in your heart, and you have to, have to seek a whole understanding of who God is and who God wants you to be.
It’s so easy to write off the people around you when you aren’t changing. It’s easy to feel like the church isn’t doing enough. Your family groups, your friends, and your community aren’t doing enough. God Himself isn’t doing enough. And I truly say this with my own experience.
Were you listening? Did you go to your community with an open heart or a closed one? Did you go to God with an open heart or a closed one?
Do you actually want to be changed? Do you actually want your life to be transformed? And who do you really want to be?
If you didn’t seek, how will you find what you want? (Jeremiah 29:13)
Do you know how many times my boyfriend told me the same thing he’s been trying to tell me about myself?
So many times. So. many. times.
That was God, speaking through him over and over and over again until I decided to put aside my stinking pride, to finally understand that he doesn’t say anything to purposely hurt me, but to grow me because he cares. Him, my boyfriend, and Him, my God.
That was God, who was there the whole time — the absolute whole time, but I couldn’t see or hear until I pursued God myself to discern His voice. And He is always there, patiently repeating the same things over and over again through the people He’s intentionally placed in my life.
And that is God still. Because it’s never too late to pursue Him, because you’ll never be so far behind or so far below for Him, because He’s always pursuing you. Because He’s been speaking to you in the dead silence and He’s been speaking to you in the chaos, in your successes and your failures, through poop days and good days. Because God sent Jesus not in order to speak to you to judge you or to hurt you, but to grow you and to save you (John 12:47).