Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Fear Of Change

Fear of change can keep us from confronting problems in our lives and get us stuck in our recoveries. Deep down inside, we know that change is inevitable. However, because we already have to adjust so many changes that we have no control over-growing older, loss of employment, floods, fires, car accidents, medical crises-we delude ourselves into believing that things will be all right if they just stay the same. WRONG!

Due to the success of bestselling self-help books on any number of topics, it would seem that there are many of us who really do want to change our patterns of behavior. But after reading the books, we often question ourselves. How will our relationships be altered if we change? Will we be comfortable with our new identity?

Most of us fear change, and we can sometimes allow that fear to get us stuck. In the recovery program I'm in principle five says: "Voluntarily submit to every change God wants to make in my life and humbly ask Him to remove my character defects." It helps to understand that there are three main reasons we resist change.

1. We may be paralyzed by the fear of failure. But falling down doesn't make us a failure; STAYING down does. This is where our faith and trust in Jesus Christ comes into play. Philippians 4:19 assures us: And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

2.  We may fear intimacy because of the fear of rejection (YOU LISTENING CHERRI???) or of being hurt again. This is why it is so important to move slowly in a new relationship, taking time to seek God's will, to develop realistic expectations and to establish proper boundaries. *note...none of which I've done in ANY of my relationships. My mom always likes to say, "Jessica, do you realize you always do things backwards?" And she's right. I've done them fast, backwards, inside out, upside down. Basically every way but SLOW, and Christ SEEKING. Now that I'm learning, constantly learning, new tools...I can finally see that taking time to seek God and HIS will alone (His ways are not my ways) is the only thing that will bring about TRUE change. I've always gone too fast and too furious only to find nothing good from it. No foundation means no solid structure. So going forward with my relationships...all of them...HIS is the only counsel I choose to seek.*  We hold tightly to Psalm 118:6: "The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"

3.  "We may resist change (growth!) because of the fear of the unknown. We may think, "My life is a mess, my relationships are a mess, but at least I know what to expect-a mess!" The unknown can be scary if we are trying to face it alone. That is why we need to rely on Christ. God tells us in Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am  you God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

If we find ourselves "stuck" it may be that we are resisting a change that God wants us to make. It is only through change that growth can occur. It is only through change that we can become free from our hurts, hang-ups and habits.


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