“Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.”
So give yourselves humbly to God… then, when you realize your worthlessness before the Lord, He will lift you up, encourage and help you. - James 4:7-1
I started on this path willing to have my circumstances change and have discovered along the way that what needs to change is me. I admitted that I cannot change myself but came to believe that God can do for me what I cannot do for myself. Drawing on my new-found courage, I become ready to “let go” of my old ways. My inventory disclosed much of what brought me to my bottom and I have discovered the cause of my behaviors as well as their effect on others. Through confession to another I found the flaws which have developed into my lack of moral or ethical strength in the various areas of my life. I also see that these very flaws have become a big part of my being, and to give them up completely and absolutely is a very uncomfortable proposition. I must rely all the more on God to not only remove my defects but also provide His grace to replace them. And I am not disappointed. My new found hope, faith and courage continue to strengthen. The very fruit He blesses me with is increased before my eyes when I become willing to participate in His miracles.
As I sort through my past, I look at what has helped me as much as what has hurt me. I am searching for where I was wrong in word, deed or perception. I seek God’s wisdom in what is revealed to us while I list and then confess to another the exact nature of my wrongs, so that I may gather up “the trash” (those flaws I have discovered) and get ready to have it taken away. Now my house is nearly ready to receive the “makeover” so desperately needed.
First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.
Each step I take builds on the previous step and I draw ever nearer to God as I continue on my journey. The past begins to look not quite as bad as it did, and the future is looking just a little better than it did. What I have done or used to be like begins to lose power over who I am now. What I should be or could be loses power over who I am now as well. I am learning to look less at my past or my future and I begin to live as I am now, today. I have much to do still, but I am already halfway through the steps. I have begun to emerge from my guilt and shame of my past while also reducing my expectations of the future. My focus is on the here and now, looking to do the very next right thing indicated, secure in the knowledge that God is in charge of all outcomes.
“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11