Face it, Change it

2015 was a year where I had to face and confront severe levels of deception and betrayal. Denial was the name of the game for several years. I chose the path of denial because I knew that admitting reality would blow up my life.

Thankfully, even when I didn’t deserve it, God led me down a path of surrender. Within me grew a desire for change, so I did what I knew – I fasted for 21 days. Those days were the beginning of my transformation and although I heard the voice of God lead me, it wasn’t easy. Honestly, it was the start of a war I had avoided for years.

One thing I knew was that to get past it, I had to go through it – and that meant feeling all the feels – including the ones I suppressed for years.

I felt like an idiot and a doormat. I was embarrassed and ashamed. I was angry and bitter. I was relieved and free. My emotions were on a rollercoaster ride through hell. Although I can’t say I enjoyed it, I can say that it was absolutely essential to get to where I am today.

On my run today I was listening to Dr. Caroline Leaf’s podcast called Cleaning Up Your Mental Mess. It’s titled after her latest book. Unless I’m on an intense speed or interval run, I listen to teaching because I love to learn. It’s usually a toss-up between Dr. Leaf, N.T. Wright, and Harold Eberle. If I’m looking for inspiration, I may listen to Bill Johnson or Kris Vallaton.

Back to today’s run. The podcast was about passive-aggressive traits, and although there’s so much I could say about that, this journal entry is about a statement that Dr. Leaf made that goes along with what I had to deal with in 2015.

“You can’t change what you won’t face.”

Dr. Carolina Leaf

Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form and reorganize synaptic connections, especially in response to learning or experience or following injury. Essentially, it’s what we normal folks would call “rewiring” the brain. It’s a real thing and it’s possible.

But, the way to activate your brain so that it becomes “moldable” is to recognize and acknowledge something. So, in order to change something about ourselves, we must acknowledge it and deal with it. Only then, are we able to begin “rewiring”.

Renewing our mind is something that most, if not all Christians, are aware of. The way it’s taught in so many places makes it seem like it’s a mystical process that requires a deep level of spirituality and memorization of the Scriptures. But, the truth is, even many who have intentionally memorized Scripture to have it ready when the mind goes places it shouldn’t, still struggle.

I don’t want to take away the spiritual aspect of renewing the mind and having the mind of Christ, because one must believe/trust in Jesus to receive His empowerment (Holy Spirit). However, I’d be lacking in teaching if I didn’t address that changing and renewing our minds is not up to Holy Spirit, but up to us. He empowers us. I honestly don’t know how people without Jesus do it. But His empowerment does not equal control. He won’t change our minds and thoughts for us.

Holy Spirit gives us the empowerment and strength to change our minds but make the choice to – well, that’s on us.

Dr. Leaf teaches a lot on this and I find her material to be phenomenal. Below is a link to the podcast I heard today for reference if you want to dive in a bit deeper. It’s available on YouTube and all your favorite podcast apps.

But, the summary of today is – You can’t change what you won’t face.

So, friend, face that thing you’ve been avoiding. You’ll never get past it if you don’t.

much love,

AJ

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