Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 8:32 (NIV)
Have you ever examined the internal conversations that play in your mind daily and found them to be without hope? Or have you flipped through your journal and realized that your entries were filled with despair?
My journals used to be filled with hopes and dreams, yet staring down at them ten years ago, my heart ached. All I saw was a decade of regrets and guilt. How long was I going to be fighting the same battles, struggling with the same issues? “As long as you let yourself,” answered a voice deep within my soul. This voice begged to pull me out of denial and darkness. It was so clear. So real.
So what did I do? I put my pen down, shut my journal and walked away.
But life was getting harder. I was tired and depressed. I was a mess. I was drinking twenty beers a day, sometimes more. I lived in a constant state of anxiety—was today the day someone was going to find out? I wanted to “change my story,” but where did I begin?
That’s the thing with change—it’s overwhelming! Thinking about everything we want to change makes us want to put our heads under the covers. It paralyzes us. It seems easier to live with our problems, ‘the way things are,’ or to let ‘good enough’ be okay. But that’s never what God intended for us.
We have to deal to heal.
Are you struggling with an addiction? Perhaps your bad habits are becoming unmanageable or your problems feel bigger than your purpose. Have you lost sight of who you are? Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired?
If so, you are not alone! I am here to tell you (and I am a living example!) that you can change your story. Whether it’s the first or the 1000th time you’ve tried, you can get your life on track with God’s plan.
Science has proven that we can rewire our brain, which goes right along with what God has said since the beginning of time. We are transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans 12:2)
There is no doubt that you have heard the phrase, ‘Once an addict, always an addict.’ But that is not true! Just because you’re a mental mess today doesn’t mean you’ll be one forever. We don’t have to live in the past, settle in setbacks, unhealthy relationships, or accept our negative behavior as the norm.
We were made to evolve. To learn, to grow, to change, to conquer.
I’m not saying it’s easy! Anyone who has made significant changes in their life will tell you that it takes everything you’ve got and then some, but with God, you can do it. Here’s a practical step you can take.
John 8:32 assures us that the truth will set us free. So let’s start with the truth of who we are.
Take a few minutes and write down who you think you are. Then, make a list of who God says you are. (Philippians 4:13, Ephesians 2:4, John 15:15, and 1 Corinthians 5:17 are great scriptures to begin with.)
Next, compare your lists. If who you think you are is not in alignment with who God says you are, but a big red line through that thought! What God says about us is the truth!
Knowing who you are according to Christ is one of the first steps in changing your story. It can change what you say yes to, what you say no to, what you listen to and watch, and how and with whom you spend your time.
Proverbs 29:18 explains that when we don’t have vision, we cast off restraint—we perish. Changing our story requires vision. We have to be able to see past our current predicament and remember that ‘where we are is not who we are.’
Picture yourself free from addictions, depression, anxiety, bad habits and faulty mindsets. Mediate on this picture. What is one thing you can do today that will help make this a reality?
Changing our story starts with surrender. A desire. Then a decision. Following through with that decision takes faith, practical steps, and a lot of work. But you are worth it!
Sure, your life may not look exactly like you imagined it would—our decisions have consequences that cause us to miss opportunities. But even our detours can’t change God’s divine plan.
No matter where you are, how you feel, or what your circumstance is telling you, reflect on who God says you are. As long as you are still breathing, He has a purpose and a plan for your life. But you have to believe it. And you have to fight for it.
Underneath our mess is a masterpiece that God desperately wants us to discover. Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV)
Changing your story frees you to be you. Not the you life has molded, the you God created.
*Reprinted from Women World Leaders: Voice of Truth Magazine Volume 5, Sept./Oct, 2021 ©2021 by Kirstin Leigh. By Permission of the publishers.