Let God Transform You

Emotions are a part of every person's day-to-day life. Whether it be joy, sadness, excitement, bitterness, contentment, or anger, emotions can come and go as quickly and as often as the ocean’s waves. For me, it can sometimes seem overwhelming to navigate through all of them. I often find myself either overanalyzing why I feel the way that I do, or on the opposite end, pushing them away so that I don’t have to deal with feeling them at all. To add to the layers, I personally have dealt with guilt and shame about being a believer in Christ and not “dwelling on the positive” all the time. If you’re anything like me, these feelings and thoughts can be a little much. But what do we do?

“...but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Romans 12:2 NLT

One of the greatest things that has helped me navigate overwhelming emotions is to focus on my identity in Christ and the renewal that comes through having the Holy Spirit as my helper. Whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed, I try my best to take a birds-eye-view approach to what I may be feeling. Many times, my negative feelings are a direct result of placing my self-worth and confidence in something that cannot sustain me like only God can. For example, I take a lot of pride in being a worship leader. It is a huge piece of who I am. However, I also recognize that when all of my hope, joy, and pride are in that one portion of my life instead of being rooted in simply being God’s daughter, that’s when depression, anxiety, and discontentment rear their ugly heads. The thing I love about this verse in Romans is that it is not saying that God will take everything that we face away, but that He will completely transform the way that we see, interact, and react with and to them. Then through this transformation, we have a clearer view of God’s will and purpose for our lives. 

Recently, I was told by my therapist that we live in a world where we are often told that our purpose defines our identity. As an example, that would be like saying that for me “My calling is as a worship leader and so that is all that I am.” With that perspective comes the need to be perfect, striving to always be the best and to bat 1,000 all of the time. However, what God is teaching me in this season of my life is that there is a different way. There is a life that I can live where I don’t have to feel like I constantly have to perform and earn the love of those around me and the love of God himself as well. Instead of letting my purpose dictate my identity, I can instead let my identity define my purpose. At the heart of it, I am a daughter of the Most High God, created in His image, by Him, for a purpose here on Earth. Whether that’s being a worship leader, a church staff member, a student, a friend, I know that I am deeply seen and loved by my Father, and that is all that I need. 

When we come to recognize that, above all else, we are children of God and when that becomes the foundation that we build our lives upon, the pressure lifts and in its place comes the fruit of the Spirit that we so often read about.

Instead of hate, there is love.
Instead of despair, there is joy. 
Instead of anxiety, there is peace. 
Instead of impatience, there is patience. 
Instead of rudeness, there is kindness. 
Instead of evil, there is goodness. 
Instead of unreliableness, there is faithfulness. 
Instead of harshness, there is gentleness. 
Instead of a lack of discipline, there is self-control. 

There is a better way, for you and for me. I encourage you not to shy away from your emotions, not to fear them and let them take control, but to instead give them to God and let Him transform the way that you see them and ultimately the way that you see yourself. Let your loving Father define who you are, and rest in Him knowing that He has your entire world, every single detail, in the palm of His hands. 

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.” Matthew 6:34 NIV

PRAYER: “Lord, I pray that You would unlock my heart that I might be fully alive to my true identity in You. Give me clear revelation to see myself the way You see me. Teach me to hear Your voice and not believe the enemy’s destructive lies about who I am. I thank You for my uniqueness and that I am made in Your image. I want to understand and feel the deep things in Your heart for me. God, teach me how to see my emotions for what they are, to not be afraid of them, and to give them back to you. Today, I choose to believe the truth about how You see me and the world around me. I thank You that I can hope in the future and believe in the good destiny that You have for me. I know that You have a vision for my future. Help me to live a fruitful life now and overflow with Your love to others. Thank You for this new identity I have in You. Thank you for your help when I am feeling overwhelmed. Help me to live out this truth in my life every single day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

ACTIVATION: Try this grounding technique! When you notice that you’re feeling overwhelmed, find a quiet place and set a timer on your phone for 3 minutes. Plant your feet firmly on the floor, open your hands, and close your eyes. Take some deep breaths. Notice where there might be tension in your body and release it. Ask God how He feels about you and what He has to say about what you’re worried about. Sit, listen, and rest in His presence. When the timer goes off, simply thank God for His provision and grace for your life and go about the rest of your day knowing that you are seen, held, and loved!
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