Do you know what the hardest part of change is? The discomfort.
We are creatures of comfort, and what makes us stay comfortable are habits or patterns. Even when we have habits that we deeply desire to change, we can find ourselves treading water and being swept away by the current of the familiar. These familiar routes create embedded neuropathways in our mind, making many of our habits and behavior a series of an automatic, thoughtless thoughts and events.
Paul describes this very experience of change in a similar way when he says in Romans 7:15, “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” You see, the comfort that comes with these embedded neuropathways isn’t warm, fuzzy comfort, but rather it is a passive, automatic form of comfort that calms the body down with the familiar.
Our brain operates more efficiently if it can pass items through the same channels, taking neurological shortcuts to conserve energy. The old road, even if those old roads are dangerous and destructive, are easier to keep walking on than recreating new roads in our mind. Adding new habits and replacing old one are all elements of change, and our willpower to implement those changes are up against the synergy of those old roads our mind.
And so, we can become stuck: afraid to try something new; afraid the change will make matters worse; or afraid of failing.
With Covid-19 hitting the scenes, normal isn’t normal anymore. We have been pushed outside our comfort zone and into a new place. Even if all feels well for you and your family during this season, the abnormal routines and resources shakes our comfort zone at its core, which is means this is our greatest opportunity to truly implement change! You’re already uncomfortable! You’re already dealing with discomfort.
Change is worth it. It takes small steps, lots of compassion, and some thoughtfulness to move us forward. But you need your tools.
This is what I love about Jesus. He is the most incredible resource to tap into to make us courageous to face the tides of change, perseverant to stick with it, and compassionate enough to soothe us when we make small setbacks along the way.
You see, God’s comfort is far from passive! It’s active, engaged and bottomless. 2 Corinthians 1:3 says “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord, Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort.” The word comfort (paraklesis) means, “a calling near, summons, exhortation, admonition, encouragement,” or, in other words, He is incredibly active and present (Blue Letter Bible).
With whatever you desire to change, He has powerful resources for you to tap into and promises to BE WITH YOU the whole way through. Check this out:
- God will be with you, always: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).
- God will give you what you need: “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength” (Phil 4:13).
- God will help you be successful: ”Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful” (2 Chronicles 20:20).
- The list could go on.
So I want you to dream. As you are quarantined, what habits are you noticing that you wish were different?
Maybe you are realizing that you have passively been engaging with your relationship with God? With yourself? Your Spouse? Your kids?
Maybe time stuck with your family has highlighted the importance of working through relational issues?
Maybe the stress of this time has magnified negative coping skills or thought patterns that make you feel they are in control versus you?
Maybe there are pressures or distractions that Covid-19 actually took away that you want to learn to keep in perspective post-quarantine life?
Whatever it is, now’s your time.
- Write it down. When we physically write things down, it uses a different part of our brain and engages us into a new realm of thinking.
- Pray big. “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask god, who give generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you” (James 1:5).
- Make a plan. Make small, attainable steps each week that will help you reach your goals. Proverbs 14:15 “The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps.”
Get Community. Surround yourself with inspiring people that can encourage you in your goals. “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves” (Romans 12:10).
Published on Apr 17 @ 3:57 PM CDT