“You seem so much happier lately,” he tells me. I smile because I know this is true. I tell him that I am “learning to love the sound of my feet walking away from things not meant for me.” I don’t tell him I’m exhausted with the walking. I say to him “You know, I’ve never been better. Thank you for noticing.” I don’t mention that I’ve also never been worse, and that people are beginning to notice. I could go on. I could tell him how I’m choosing the right things, and stretching straight into smart space and I am accomplishing so much through the grace of God in this 2017, but I probably wouldn’t tell him how sometimes I still have to leave my phone in the kitchen so I don’t call out to anyone but Jesus. How, on those nights, I sob and shake but I stay and I’m strong because His presence enables me. It occurs to me that anything you cannot avoid while also avoiding sobbing and shaking might just be a serious issue in your life. I read the stats:
“It takes 21 days to break a habit.”
“I know what you’ve heard, but it takes 40 days to break a habit.”
“Honestly, it takes 66 days to break a habit.”
What happens if breaking my habit, is breaking me?
My habit, you see, is reaching everywhere but to Him. As jealous as He is just, He wants first reach and this exceeds my grasp. My spirit is willing. My flesh is the worst.
These days I’m fine and fabulous until I’m not, and when I am not I am nothing. So I ask the Lord, “What on earth? And when will it end? And why, oh why, does it hurt like this?”
He reminded me of this childhood friend I had, who took such a growth spurt he ripped muscles, and had to wear knee braces. He experienced more pain than everyone else we knew, but he was also taller than everyone else, because he grew.
Me? I know I’m growing too.
Not two weeks later, when I was really beginning to doubt it? A precious soul who I had little occasion to speak to even in passing conversation got my number from a friend and asked if she might share what the Lord laid on her heart for me:
“I felt like God was saying that the discomfort you are experiencing is because there can be no growth without discomfort. When we pray for change in ourselves and for God to use us in new ways with greater anointing, there is growing that has to be done, and He uses those feelings of discomfort or of 'What in the world? How am I going to do this??' to drive us deeper in Him and to grow us into what He has called us to be. It’s like children, as they grow and get taller, a lot of times they experience 'growing pains' in their legs. But without that pain and discomfort that they feel, there would never be any growth and they would never be developed.”
This is how much He loves me. That just when I thought I was maybe just hearing voices, someone else heard the same Voice. He is with me, and He loves me. I know it now like I’ve never known it before.
And yes, I am in fact happier than I have ever been.
Because I do not need my habits, the way that I need Him.