Personal Development & Process of Change

I’ve still been steeping in the aura of my last Blog post.  I’ve heard from a few of people on it as well, which is really good because more than it lies in any other thing, our capacity to understand lies in our openness to the exchange of ideas, opinions, and information.   When we’re willing to put our opinions ‘out there’, we are essentially putting ourselves ‘out there’ and ‘out there’ is where our influence and reach need to be.

When it (the idea, the dream, the book, the business, the song, the play, etc) is ‘out there’, it’s out of us.  We have essentially birthed it and given it permission to grow.  To take root, or not.  Sometimes we’ll watch it take the shape & run the exact scope we expected it would.  Other times, it’ll change, adapt, and rearrange itself into something that looks nothing like the original concept at all, something almost foreign.

But whatever happens, we can trust and believe that we and those around us are better off because we ‘offered it up’ to this pot of exchange we call life.  I can remember feeling so afraid and intimidated by the mere thought of someone disagreeing with me.  I lived a very small life under the weight of that fear.  I would keep my opinions to myself afraid that I wouldn’t be able to articulate my position well enough.  The ‘right’ words always seemed out of reach in the moment, coming to me later when I was alone.  Oh how I used to despise that process…!

The shame & confusion of not being able to explain my own opinions made shut my mouth for years.  What would I do with the questions?  The reactions?  And what about the loneliness that comes from thinking & being different?

(This Blogpost isn’t about soapboxing, but since it’s come up, please be reminded to participate & practice in the art of speaking your words.   Even if they’re “wrong”.   That’s alright, too.  You have a right to disagree with yourself  tomorrow about something you said yesterday.  The good news is, there is power in sharing ideas.  They sort themselves out in the sharing.)

So…now!  As I was saying…I can’t seem to get “divorce your story” off of my brain.  It’s following me everywhere I go.  Just this morning, I was thinking about two key Christian concepts in correlation.  Repentance & forgiveness seem to me to be directly affected.

I wonder what repentance would begin to look like in the life of a person who develops a habit of divorcing themselves from their stories whenever they need a change.  Is there even any room for it anymore?

God has given us a great and glorious gift in the act of repentance.  When we repent, we are in a state of humbling ourselves before God, regretful, remorseful, in total reverence toward Him, and ready to turn away from the old to go joyfully forth in the new.

Dr. Creflo Dollar preached a powerful series some time ago about joy.  He proved through Scripture that joy comes from what we know.  That if/when we know the Word of God on the matter, that becomes our joy because we know that no matter what, It must ultimately prevail.  Joy comes from Good News.

So the question that kept ringing through my thoughts was, “isn’t it even dangerous for a person to try to separate themselves from their story without the WordSpirit of God”?  What if they mess us, as people often do, and replace the old with a dysfunctional new?  Aren’t they just setting themselves up to be in and out of “self story” marriages?  Always divorcing, never facing.  They say the common denominator in a multiple divorcee’s life is them.  There is a complex on the inside.  The cold turkey of abandonment won’t work in the life of someone who has a labyrinth in their heart they’ve never learned to navigate.

And what about forgiveness?  I think it’s a rare kind of person who can just snap their fingers and be cut off from their old unwanted mental conditionings, but since it’s happening, what does that do to the others who were tangled up in that old unwanted story with them?  Are they forgiven or just divorced?  We are all tied together in relationship for a reason: for the opportunity to learn to servanthood, the art of becoming God and other-centered beings.

So can I learn that by simply calling it quits?  What happens to all those feelings that created the web in the first place?

Our belief systems are tied to our stories.  I can’t reconstruct a new healthy belief just by turning my back what’s sick.  If I’m to believe it’s gone just like that then this whole thing about a process was a lie.  It’s finger snapping, spell conjuring, and wand waving we need, not a walk with God.

So call me deep or crazy if you want to, that’s fine, but this is “my story” and I’m sticking to it.  I think we need our past to learn from if we’re ever going to be strong enough to handle the type of witness God needs in us today.

And Lol….I’ll be the first to tell you, I’ll jump off the deep end in a minute.  I often need a loving friend to reel me back in but (and don’t say I didn’t warn you) I’m coming back with more questions like this:

If I divorce my story, who gets custody of all those children, all those Ishmaels I birthed, born from the seed of my struggle?  Huh?  Am I responsible for them or are they, too,  orphaned?

Timothy Bond, my publisher (True Vine Publishing) is also an author.  He who wrote a book entitled Fall In Love With The Struggle.  It’s about the benefits and blessings we receive through our willingness to connect with God through the struggle, the polar opposite of divorcing ourselves from it.

The word REMEMBER is found 148 times in the Word of God.  I do very much want God to grant me a new perspective about the things of the past.  I want to see through the eyes of a healed and renewed woman of God.  Virtuous.  Strong.  Gracious…

I want what I’ve been promised: victory over any and every obstacle & stumbling block.

What I don’t want to ever do is forget.  I don’t ever want to be separated from the memories of the way I felt (feel), thought (think), or behaved (behave) because I believe it  serves as the seat of my compassion & understanding.

And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.”  “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors.  One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty.  And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both.  Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?”  Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.”  And He said to him, “you have rightly judged.”  Luke 7:40-43 NKJV

I need my story, every jot and tittle of it.  I need it for a stronger connection with God & with others.  I need it to serve….

I think we all do.

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About Alaina Odessa Expressions

Alaina Odessa is a Christian poet and author of Slow Running Honey, an anointed book of poetry that speaks to the secrets, self deception, and lack of self awareness that is holding many of God's people back from the abundance He created them for. She is creator of Alaina Odessa Expressions, a company dedicated to helping others 'Cultivate the God made self' through poetry, theatre, workshops, lectures, & television. Godly information fosters the mind renewal process all Christians must undertake to experience the fullness of Christ's sacrifice. Alaina Odessa Expressions strives to provide edifying, life changing content.
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2 Responses to Personal Development & Process of Change

  1. cheryl says:

    Alaina, I am digging what you are putting out here, and I am right there with you. I feel we should never forget, because it is what has made us who we are today, in Christ. God loves us especially because what we have been through, came from. I don’t want to be remembered by what I.have done, but it may make where I am today appealing to someone who is going thru the same situations. Many people feel they are not worthy.to be in Gods presence because they are soooo far from perfect, and that is the furthest from the truth!
    Love your posts….do it my sister. Miss and love you soooo much:)

    • Ahhhh, Cheryl…thank you for sharing your thoughts and wisdom. “I don’t want to be remembered by what I have done, but it may make where I am to day appealing to someone who is going thru the same situations.” That’s a perfect way to share the importance & relevance of our past experiences for present & future gain. I miss you too, Lady. We’ve got to go get some more of that ice cream and rice when I come back in for a visit…:-) Love you bunches!!!

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