Brave Enough: To Risk Change, To Live Free

“I am forever grateful to my God; He believed in me when I doubted myself the most!” Mary Armstrong

Have you ever faced a challenge and felt you were not up for it? Even more so, have you ever felt that the challenge you faced was laughing at you, as if to say, “You know you are going to fail."

That was me several years ago. The roller coaster of doing the same thing over and over again and each time thinking and hoping that the result would be different began to make me feel a bit crazy. However, the defining moment arrived when a loved one looked me in the eyes and said, “It’s never going to change, is it?” What they meant was, “You’re never going to change are you?”

I will never forget that day. It was the day I came face to face with my dysfunctional behaviors and stood at the crossroads of having to either believe my loved one was right or that my God was bigger.

Of course, those of us who know and serve God, those of us who have been raised with Christian doctrine, know, intellectually, that God’s BIG and His character is beyond our understanding. Couple this intellectual response with the emotional response that says, “It’s “sinful” to think otherwise,” leaves us in a very peculiar position. If you are like me, we begin to think, “What’s wrong with me? Or, “I know God is BIG and can help others, but I can’t change.”

Here’s the good news, this is a lie. What has to change, and what changed for me, is a faulty belief system. A belief system about ourselves and about who we believe God to be!

Let me explain, my environment formed me to think and act a certain way based on what I believed about myself. As a child growing up, the adults, who were supposed to help me develop my belief system about myself, missed a few very important steps. Instead, they were busy trying to “survive” their own circumstances, and I got lost in the mix. Nonetheless, I formed my own belief system about myself based on their responses and actions. Add to this mix a very real “spiritual realm,” you have a perfect opportunity for a false belief system to be formed.

In the book of John, chapter 10, verse 10, Jesus tells us that we are part of a spiritual battle between two foes, Satan and God. Specifically, Jesus says in this verse, “the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come to give you life, to the full.” There is tension. On one hand, the enemy tries his best to steal our esteem, kill our self-worth, and destroy our identities found in Christ. On the other hand, Jesus tells us that, in the midst of this, He comes to give us a full life; to show us who we are and how valuable we are to Him. This tension forms not only what we believe about ourselves, but also how we view God and how we believe God views us.

This brings me full circle to the day I had to make a choice. Was God bigger than my perspective of Him or was God exactly whom I believed Him to be? Could God’s love for me be bigger and deeper than how I loved myself? Quite honestly, my belief system didn’t allow me to see myself as someone who was lovable, so how could God love me?

You see, faulty belief systems are rooted in the enemy speaking a lie into our life at the moment of an unprocessed, painful experience. If our parents are absent and we are unable to process a painful experience, make no mistake the enemy will swoop in and speak a lie that captures our attention and often is reinforced throughout our greatest years of self-development.

Getting to the core of the lie(s) we believe about ourselves and God brings tremendous freedom! The good news is self-development and change are always possible! The good news is if we choose to turn toward God and look deep into the tension, freedom bursts forth as a trickling brook that turns into a rushing river. A truly beautiful and painful process that sets us free and releases the stronghold of dysfunctional behaviors!

Brave Enough to Change documents my process and is being used to help others see that change is possible! I am so grateful for a God who pursued me when I doubted myself the most! God’s pursuing you, too. Start your self-development journey and change your life with Brave Enough to Change.