Almost ten years ago I came to know Jesus. This was not an effort to clean up my life nor has it been what some have referred to as a “spiritual awakening.” What happened to me took no effort at all. I wasn’t even looking for Jesus. The only thing that happened to me was I went to coffee with a friend and he challenged me to read the book of John and consider the teachings of Christ.
I had never read the Bible. Never. But at the age of twenty-one when I opened a real Bible for the first time something in me just could not put The Book down. I couldn’t even sleep without thinking about the verses written in it.
In the next few weeks something in me changed. The God of the Universe changed me for real.
I don’t know why.
God changed me when I wasn’t even seeking Him.
Adapted from Ephesians 2
In the past I was spiritually dead because of my sins. Yes, in the past my life was full of those sins. I lived the way the world lives. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to follow God. In the past all of us lived like that, trying to please ourselves. We did all the things our bodies and minds wanted. Like everyone else in the world, we deserved to suffer God’s anger just because of the way we were. But God is rich in mercy, and he loved me very much He gave me new life together with Christ.
it is because I am a part of Christ Jesus that God raised me from death and seated me together with him in the heavenly places. God did this so that his kindness to me and my belonging to Christ Jesus would clearly show for all time to come the amazing richness of his grace. I mean that I have been saved by grace because I believed. I did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. I am not saved by the things you have done, so there is nothing to boast about. God has made me what I am. In Christ Jesus, God made me new so that I would spend my life doing the good things he had already planned for me to do.
As I was changing in the back of our car in Atlanta traffic out of my yucky road trip clothes and into my cute party dress I thought about how quickly and easily you can switch from one outfit to another.
It’s easy to put on the Christian look and even talk the Christian talk however, the Christian life is not at all like a quick wardrobe change.
The Christian life is more like an unraveling of yourself. Little by little your life gets turned upside-down and inside out.
I’m still the same Rachel I have always been. Kinda awkwardly funny, super bossy, intense, first on the dance floor and last to leave. But as I continue to walk with Christ all of the parts of me are constantly being unraveled as I recognize old patterns of responding to life without any thought of what God thinks and pursue new patterns as I seek to please a merciful God who changed me when I was not even looking for Him at all.
Marriage becomes unraveled. Being in Christ is not a one time magic formula for becoming the best supportive wife in the world. Constantly I am working to identify old patterns of responding to situations and praying God would redeem them.
Parenting becomes unraveled. As you seek The Lord in His Word, the Christian life helps turn past hurts and harmful patterns into redeeming, new, life giving ways to grow up a new family heritage in Christ.
Friendship becomes unraveled. For me little by little I unravel and discover how to be a better listener, question asker and more thankful for the friends God has given me.
My sisterhood unravels. I have decades under my belt of responding to my siblings in a way that does not honor Christ and slowly… very slowly… those previous patterns are unraveling and becoming new.
You don’t run to the altar on Sunday morning after a nice sermon and walk back up the aisle with a magic formula to now be perfect.
God’s Word does not say, just as you received Christ now be absolutely perfect in Him.
The Word says, now walk in Him. (Colossians 2:6)
It’s not a quick clean up or a wardrobe change.
Knowing Jesus and walking with Him is a lifetime of unraveling.
assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
So ten years later I am committed to this constant upside-down and inside out way of unlearning and relearning.
I know I didn’t get quick clean up when The God of the Universe called me into relationship with Him.
I get to walk in Him and unravel as I go.
I’d love to write more about this unraveling story and share personal stories of unraveled patterns. Please leave feedback if you’d like to hear more about this.
Here is a link to that first study I did ten years ago when my friend asked me to just consider the teachings of Christ.