I absolutely hate change because it comes with several consequences: uneasiness, frustration, uncertainty, stress, and a whole host of other negative feelings.
Therefore, I often avoid change of all types: change within my actual life and change within my person.
However, there’s a beautiful side that’s often left unappreciated: the transformation. We’ve all heard the common classroom example of a fuzzy, hideous caterpillar that crawls all over the ground and turns into a beautiful butterfly.
What many teachers don’t emphasize, however, is the ever-enduring process that precedes that marvelous metamorphosis.
We need to become more comfortable with change because it’s what makes us beautiful: inside and out. I’ve dealt with a lot of change this past year, and people continue telling me that I look better; like I’m glowing.
At first, I didn’t really understand that. Did my face cleanser perhaps make me look better?
However, after some men at church commented on it, I knew it wasn’t physical beauty per se; the transformation of my soul led to a visible glimmer that said, “God did this.” It’s a supernatural sensation that eludes words.
Suffering usually makes people angry with both God and themselves. They don’t understand why God would punish them––why a good person who obeys his calling to love others and serve him deserves so many hardships.
It takes introspection and careful consideration to see why these moments are repeatedly the most special in our lives. These moments become a new part of ourselves; a hidden treasure that remains undiscovered until we dug deep into the dirt, grit, and rocky soil.
Until we work so hard that our bodies and minds feel physically weak because we so desired that treasure.
Just think of Saul, who later became Paul. He had so many things that were “wrong” with him––things he could have been ashamed of and punished himself for over and over again.
However, Paul demonstrates an appreciative attitude for all these apparently adverse past episodes in his life. He realizes that God could have left him to fend for himself, yet God actually cared enough to make him a new person.
This transformation only came because Paul learned to see the beauty in his brokenness.
I confess I’m not perfect in any regard. I’m currently struggling with an eating disorder that has taken my joy away and made me afraid of seeing any people.
For the last couple of weeks, I was so hard on myself because I told myself I would never be that person who starved themselves to help people notice how much pain they were in; but I became that person.
I felt so ashamed; broken; bruised; beaten. I didn’t want to wake up the next day. I stopped loving both the things I love about myself and the things others said they love about me.
I stopped thanking God for the ways he’s changed me and started spending days in silence in an attempt to numb the savage pain that scarred my sensitive heart.
After some careful reflection during a journaling exercise last week, I understood that I need to start seeing how God’s changing me throughout this process. I’ve become a bit braver in telling friends about my struggles.
I understand the pain others endure. I know what it’s like to go a few days without food, similar to those in other countries. I know what it’s like to have your heart hurt so bad that you can’t breathe.
Wonderful women of God, please know he loves you. He won’t abandon you, even when it seems like you’re walking through a pitch black with no light source for miles. Several of you may feel abandoned––the same way David felt in Psalm 22:
But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads. “He trusts in the Lord,” they say, “let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him.” v.6-8
However, David also realized that God could redeem the tragedies in his life and craft them into beautiful works of art.
Now, that doesn’t mean he never felt despair or possibly even hated God for his pain––but he at least knew that he would become a better person through these “disadvantages.”
Ladies, you’re feeling this way, I encourage you to make a journal entry with a list of ways you believe God may transform you through your painful circumstances.
For example, I wrote he made me brave enough to continue living, even when I feel lifeless. Expressing gratitude is hard when grief buries any joy in your life, but it’s a start to seeing things more clearly.
Think of a rose’s beauty. It starts out as this awful green bud that hides its inner ruby-red grandeur.
But, when we see the rose bloom, we remember that the rose went through a long process of change. The same applies to us, and we have to learn to be content with the blooming process.
“God miraculously healed a twenty-one-year-old Biola University student during the summer of 2017. Long before that process began, she battled erosive gastritis, GERD, panic disorder, depression, suicide, and she even found out she had ADHD.”
God’s Grace through Gastritis, GERD, and Grit by Jehn Marie Kubiak is available from RUBY’S Reading Corner.
Jehn Kubiak is a Biola University journalism graduate and current pastoral care and counseling major at the Talbot School of Theology. She is a San Diego native who enjoys distance swimming, coffee, dogs, and painting. She loves researching and writing about people, sports, activities, and more.