Yesterday, my 5-year old (Kayleigh) walked into the kitchen while I was finishing off the salad that would accompany dinner. Mind you, this was probably her third trip into the kitchen to remind me that she’s starving. As I thinly sliced fresh mushrooms to add to it she said, “Mommy, your putting mushrooms in the salad. That’s different.” Translation – I don’t eat that. As I complimented her on how smart she was, she followed up with a frown on her face and said, “I don’t like different.” Naturally, I chuckled to myself, but how often do we find ourselves in the middle of recognizing something different, that does not quite feel right, but because we are so hungry (for a change) or so frustrated with our current situation that we know we cannot stay where we are or continue to settle for what we have and/or see? Now, as a parent of picky-eaters, I knew different could mean resistance but I also knew that my children trusted me in the kitchen. Wait, before we go too far, let’s get some backstory on this particular incident.
Around the beginning of the month, I completed a lifestyle shift which had not fully impacted my family, yet. After saying for years I was going to commit to being healthier I made an aggressive decision which pushed me from saying to doing. This shift changed almost everything about the way I do food but my family, for the most part, had only witnessed the shift. Over the course of the last 3 weeks I have cooked and prepared foods that they have only seen and not eaten, yet often they have complimented me on how good the food looked or smelled. But last night, I pulled them off the cliff with me. Nothing major I cooked pan-seared chicken breast (almost no oil), seasoned with crushed red-pepper flakes, garlic, and a few other ingredients but there was almost no salt. To accompany the chicken breast I made a low-risk veggie salad (spinach, mushrooms, cucumbers) and one of my daughters made mashed potatoes (they needed something familiar to accompany this shift). So not only had I added mushrooms to the salad, there was no season-all or salt heavy seasoning on the chicken.
So there we stood, my brave 5-year old who had verbalized what almost everyone else was thinking, we don’t eat that/you are doing too much. I simply replied, “Change is not always bad nor easy, but it is doable”. Fast forward to the end of dinner and long after I had forgotten our little discussion about different. Kayleigh says, “Mommy, I didn’t even taste the mushrooms!” All I could think was, I wonder how often God has prepared a plate of “something different” for me, that I have refused to eat? At least Kayleigh trusted me enough to eat what I prepared.
Wait, what did I just say? Did I just say that maybe the reason I keep rejecting what I see is that I do not trust God, who I proclaim to love and trust? But wait, I do love and trust Him…then maybe the issue is really me. If I know that He is loving, if I know that He is just, if I know everything works together for my good, then even when it does not feel good its still all for my good…right? Maybe that was too complex. Stop for a second. Breathe. Now take a personal inventory, think about who you are and who you are not. What situation do you keep running into, over and over again? Evaluate it through the lens of you? How many times have you heard, “You cannot run from your problems” or the equally similar, “No matter where you go you take your problems with you?” I say it to my daughters like this, “If everywhere you go, you keep having the same problem, then maybe you need to re-evaluate what everywhere has in common – you.”
Introspection: a reflective looking inward : an examination of one’s own thoughts and feelings…
Introspection is not the easiest thing to do, often we are too hard on ourselves and if we are not careful instead of examining and reflecting we begin to condemn ourselves. I challenge you to persist past this point of condemnation and truly explore what you feel, why you feel it, and what triggers the response/reaction that leads you down this unending road. Allow yourself to discover the conviction, which compels you to change. Choose not to live in condemnation and pay attention to what the Spirit is revealing to you about yourself, this will lead you to unfamiliar territory…a place called Different. Different feels weird and unnatural, but it if you trust God, then you know this new place, this different space leads to your best self.
Has he ever done anything for you? Has He not proven Himself strong on your behalf before? Do not forget who God is and who He has been to you, for you, and on behalf of you. Do not be so quick to forget that it is His pneuma, His breath, which courses through you and keeps you afloat. Don’t be brand new. Trust the process but more importantly trust the God you serve and grow-up from the inside, out. Have a personal revival first and watch it catch like wildfire.
Allow the words of Fred Hammonds Breath Into Me Oh Lord (Psalm 119:25) wash over you and remind you what God wants to do if you let Him.