Ever said these words before, “Why can’t I …? Better yet, how many times do you follow these words with, “It’s never going to change” or “You’re never going to change.” I’ve said these words, too. My husband has said these words to me, and it can feel overwhelming and hopeless.
One of my life verses is found in the Bible in the book of Philippians, chapter 4, verse 13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Paul, the author of the letter, was speaking of being content and is teaching a lesson to the Philippians, and to us, on gratitude in the midst of unfavorable circumstances including suffering. However, God has been faithful, and is faithful, to this verse, when I face the pain of figuring out the “Whys” in my life.
Some examples of whys in my life I've found in self-development have been, when I have felt, or said, “Why isn’t this relationship working? I’m calling it quits.” Or, “Because I can’t change this behavior (spending too much money, eating too much food, watching too much TV), I’m done trying to figure it out; it’s hopeless.” At these low moments in my life, the Spirit faithfully steps in and reminds me of Philippians, chapter 4, verse 13.
I have found figuring out the “why” takes courage and divine strength. More importantly, I have found it is NOT about figuring out the circumstances of an issue. Rather, figuring out the “Why” is about self-examination and self-development. It is about becoming more aware of why we do the things we do. What is deep within our souls driving our thoughts that form our feelings and dictate our actions. This process allows us to find answers but also drives the feeling to “throw in the towel.” Self-development is NOT for the faint of heart!
However, when I turn to Philippians, chapter 4, verse 13, I am reminded that when I am feeling at my weakest I can cry out to God and, through His Spirit, He gives me the strength and wisdom to look deep within. His Spirit enables me to dig deep enough to reveal the answer to the “why.”
I wish God would zap my mind and help me think differently, so I could feel differently and act the way I want to act instead of committing to all of the self-development. However, He will not do this supernaturally. Instead, He wants me to “grow-up” and know Him and myself better. To do this I must be in a relationship with others that help me, through the Spirit, figure out the why. When I take this first step in my self-development journey, God comes close to me, and because he knows me better than I know myself, he reveals the deepest parts of my pain. He also reveals the lies I believe about myself, about Him, and about the world around me. He helps me through community, prayer, the word, and the Spirit to rewrite the narrative of my life. This is my process, the Brave Enough to Change process, of figuring out the “why can’t I’s.”
Freedom from this crazy cycle of “Why can’t I’s” is possible and so rewarding. Feeling good about yourself is possible but it’s not an easy road to travel. Self-development and self-awareness take time and are rooted in Truth. I am a child of God, so are you. Most excitingly, part of His Kingdom is alive within me, and you, and there’s more to come! The “why can’t I’s” are really not as overpowering as they may seem. I know, through the Spirit, I’ve conquered many of them. You can too!
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4
Read on… Philippians 4; 1 Peter 5:7; Romans 12:1-2, 21; Romans 8:37; Hebrews 12:1; 1 John 4:4