Vanessa waved at me as the doors shut, and I watched the train whisk away a friendship of six years. Vanessa and I had met in junior high school, and our common interest in writing stories and shared taste in novels had started an unbreakable friendship that had lasted through all the highs and lows of our teenage years. Now she’d won a scholarship and was going abroad to pursue her degree, leaving me to try to figure out how to go on despite feeling like her departure had pulled the bottom out from under my life. Of course, I’d always known that one day we’d both leave home and go our separate ways, but now that it was actually happening, I was crestfallen.
Recently, I was contemplating the topic of wrong choices, after having made a few myself, and was feeling a bit discouraged. Most of us enjoy finding we’ve made the right decisions, and we can definitely see the benefits in those. But it’s harder to see any good that could come from our wrong choices. We make plenty of those, however, from the small ones that we often sweep under the carpet, hoping no one else noticed, to some real whiz-bangers.
The tree trimmers finally showed up. I’d been nervously waiting for them, both looking forward to them pruning my trees and also terrified of what the outcome might be. I’d known for a long time that the trees needed to be trimmed, but a part of me loved the wild “jungle” growth, and I’d waited way too long before calling them.
I love working out, and I also love food! Cooking a great meal makes me incredibly fulfilled and happy, and I’ve often read cookbooks like they were novels. So, knowing how passionate I am about food and fitness, and seeing all the workout videos and amazing recipes I share on social media, you might imagine me to be a super fit gal who eats only the finest foods.
It was one of those days when anything could make me angry. I was sad, irritable, made a big deal out of small inconveniences, and couldn’t stop thinking of negative outcomes or repercussions. But the day had to go on regardless. I had work to do, deadlines to meet, and part of my job was meeting with people and being the one to brighten their day. Ever been in this kind of predicament?
All of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.
—2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT
Did Christ finish his work for us? Then there can be no doubt but he will also finish his work in us.
—John Flavel (c.1627–1691)
It’s tough to change the things that have become second nature to you. But when these things are holding you back, they need to be countered, challenged, and overcome. That’s what makes change so difficult‚ but so wonderfully challenging—you’re defying human nature in the habits that bind you to doing things in a certain way. You’re altering your course to head in a new direction that will bring forth fruit and growth.