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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jackie Minor

Change is Gonna Come

It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come. Oh yes it will.

Sam Cooke

The last year has changed me. I am not the same person today I was twelve months ago when this pandemic started. My world, like all of yours, was flipped upside down. What was once certain became uncertain. What I counted on became unreliable. My bucket went from being full to being empty. Everything changed.

If you’re an educator, change is undoubtedly part of your daily life. Every successful teacher learns the skill of “pivoting” early on. Without the ability to change and adapt, teaching would be impossible. But the change created by the pandemic was different. This change was and is uncontrollable, unpredictable, and universal. The impact has left no one untouched.

It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come. Oh yes it will.

Changes of this magnitude shape us. You simply can’t go through an experience like we have this past year and not be changed. However, I’m not sure we are always cognizant of the changes taking place. Changes in perceptions, feelings, attitudes, and reactions are often subtle and gradual. This isn’t necessarily bad unless the changes are undesirable. Left unrecognized, unwanted changes can cause us to become disillusioned; we may no longer feel like ourselves. We may even catch ourselves saying, “What is wrong with me? Why am I acting like this?”

Not recognizing positive changes can also be problematic, but in a different way. How do we embrace and nurture what we don’t perceive or acknowledge? We can be so wrapped up in navigating our circumstances that we miss how God is transforming our hearts and minds to be more like His. When we miss this, we miss an opportunity to give praise and thanksgiving to Him for our transformation. Heaven forbid we take the credit!

I started off this blog by saying I am changed. I am. It has been a long time coming, and I still have a long way to go, but I am here to testify that God’s Word is true. I accepted Jesus as my Savior at a very young age. The Bible says when we ask Jesus into our heart, we are a new creation. The old has passed away, and we become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). But the change doesn’t stop there. It continues until He calls us home.

“….And the Lord, who is the Spirit, makes us more and more like Him as we are changed into His glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

I am so thankful there is no end point because there is much transformation that still needs to take place in my life. While I have never doubted my salvation experience, I have not always walked as closely with the Lord as I should. I am thankful God has not given up on me. If you have felt similar about your spiritual journey, please know He hasn’t given up on you either.

I have grown so much this past year, and I feel compelled to share it with you in hopes you will be encouraged. I have no desire to toot my own horn; I simply want to shine a light on how good our God is! I want you to know what helped me AND prepare you for a fiery dart that may come your way. It did for me.

When the pandemic began almost a year ago, I was caught off guard. My husband and I immediately began praying and asking for God’s intervention. Although a little shell-shocked, I was quite certain this would be over soon and things would get back to normal. I suspect I wasn’t the only one who thought this! As the months drug on and my circumstances changed radically, we continued to pray. I’m here to tell you God gave both of us a peace that literally was undeniable. I’m not saying I wasn’t concerned or that I didn’t worry from time to time, but God’s peace was ever-present, keeping me from sinking into fear and despair (Philippians 4:6-7).

Never in my life had I been in a situation like this. I knew God was my only hope. As a result, I spent more time in prayer, Bible reading, and journaling. It was during this time God spoke to my heart, revealing areas of my life that needed to change, priorities that needed to be rearranged, and attitudes that needed adjusting. It got personal as I experienced Hebrews 4:12 first hand.

For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating as far as the division of the soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. (AMP)

It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come. Oh yes it will.

At this point, I had some choices. I could deny change was needed, choosing to ignore what God was making known to me. I could resist change. After all, things weren’t that bad, and who knows what the change would cost me? I could embrace change, trusting God only wants what is best for me. Three choices – deny, resist, or embrace. What would it be? I would like to say that I automatically embraced this season, but honestly it was more gradual. The more time I spent with the Lord, the more I began to feel different. I was changing. It’s hard to explain, but I caught myself responding to situations differently. My attitude was different – more positive. I was keeping my pride in check. I was experiencing empathy in areas it had been absent in before.

I’m reminded of a past visit I had to the eye doctor. I went in for my yearly checkup. During the exam, the doctor asked me if I had been doing anything differently. I said, “Yes. Why?” He said, “Well, your eyesight has gotten a lot better.” Apparently, my new way of eating had gradually improved my sight. This is how I feel spiritually. The gradual changes have given me a new perspective. I am seeing things more clearly. However, just like a new set of lenses have to be worn to reap the benefits, I had to embrace the changes God was making in my life by believing the change was actually possible.

Enter the fiery dart. Guess who?

The enemy of our souls wants us to believe that “we are who we are.” He wants us to accept that we will always be selfish, prideful, insecure, __________. Put in your own word in the blank. What do you struggle with? It’s hard for us not to see ourselves the way we used to be. It’s hard to believe God can change something in us that has become so engrained. But He can. When He does, we need to embrace it, claim it, and proclaim it! It may not be easy. Friends, colleagues, and even family members may try to pigeonhole us, reminding us of who we really are. We can’t really blame them. It may take time for them to see the real change in us. It’s okay. We all need to remind ourselves that because of God’s grace, I am not the same person I was. I am changed and by the grace of God, I will keep changing!

I am not perfect, and neither are you. Change is inevitable, and that’s a good thing. Something in our lives will always need changing as long as we are on this side of Heaven. Let’s not deny it or resist it. Let’s embrace it! God is up to something good!

It's been a long, a long time coming, but I know a change gonna come. Oh yes it will.

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