Transformation—that is a powerful word. It’s an exciting word, full of discovery and opportunity. When I first felt God giving me that as my theme word for this year, I was focused on all the positive connotations. I desire transformation, or at least what is on the other side of it. You see, when I first heard that word I was thinking about the results of transformation, not the process of transformation. The first inkling that there might be something other than pure positive in the idea of transformation came when I shared with my sister about my word for the year. Without hesitation her response to me was, “that sounds scary.” I hadn’t thought about it until then, but yes, transformation does sound a little scary. And now that I have walked through some of the process I will tell you that it’s a lot more than scary—it is uncomfortable and downright difficult.
I am learning that transformation requires trust. Trust that whatever is on the other side of this process is worth it. Trust that when you let go of things that make you feel safe and secure there will be something solid to catch you. Transformation also requires strength. There is no “easy button” when it comes to transformation—no way to speed through or skip to the end. It’s a little like climbing a mountain. Even if there is a clearly marked trail with a promise for an on-top-of-the-world view and feeling of accomplishment, it takes a lot of strength and endurance to keep putting one foot in front of the other. You’ve got to make hard choices and then stick with them. Bad habits need to be broken and new habits need to be formed (and anyone who’s ever tried to diet or start an exercise program knows how hard this can be). This year is not quite half over and I’ve already had to walk through some things that really didn’t feel good in the moment. But, I’m doing the best I can to hold onto that promise of what’s on the other side.
I also want to point out that transformation requires grace—mostly grace for yourself. Transformation is a process—a difficult process—and you’re going to make some mistakes along the way. Not only are you going to make mistakes, you are also going to have to come to terms with some mistakes you made in the past or maybe some poor
choices you have actually been thinking were right. I have certainly had some “one step
forward, two steps back” kind of moments thus far, and I’m learning how to be okay with that. I have also had to face some realities about who I have allowed myself to become. Transformation isn’t just about the beautiful butterfly that emerges from the chrysalis. It also requires recognizing that although you’ve been “fat and happy” as a caterpillar, you also have some aspects about yourself that are kind of ugly (or at least not what they could be). I know some of you think caterpillars are cute, but honestly wouldn’t you rather be a butterfly? I am still processing some truths about who I am now which don’t line up with who I want to be. And I am learning how to show myself grace as these not-so-pretty truths come to light.
And so I am continuing this journey of transformation. I’m not quite sure where I am in the process, but I suspect it’s going to continue well beyond 2016. And even though it is scary and difficult at times, it is also exciting and rewarding. I wonder what journey you are on this year. Are you still searching for a diagnosis or peeling back that next layer of healing? Maybe you are taking those first tentative steps back into “normal” life after being hidden and disconnected because of your pelvic pain. I think our entire lives are actually one big journey of transformation. And on your journey I hope that you will keep trusting in the promises of tomorrow, having the strength to keep climbing your mountains, and giving yourself sufficient grace in those moments when you realize you’re not there yet. Above all I pray that you never let go of hope.
*Photo of butterfly was taken from http://www.butterflypictures.net/17-butterfly-pictures.html.