I think I’ve had a breakthrough. …Again.

That’s the problem isn’t it? Breakthroughs. We get stuck in some mental wall and can’t think through it, even though we desperately need to break it down in order to get on with our lives.

Perspective is so interesting.

Thinking in the same pattern or logic, responding a certain way to certain situations, it becomes a reflex. And when you want to change your thought process, your reaction, it becomes increasingly difficult.

Most of what I believed three years ago has changed. You wouldn’t know, though, because my thought processes are still reacting the way they learned to react three years ago. I may truly, deep down believe one thing, but when placed in a situation where that belief is tested, my default reflex is still the old habit.

Thinking is hard.

It doesn’t seem hard, because we do it constantly. (Well, you do if you’re a girl.) Our minds don’t shut off at night, they just start dreaming or they start thinking about the concept of sleeping while you’re sleeping – which is always a weird experience. But thinking is hard. Change is hard. Deciding to actually follow through with something mentally and physically is a challenge. Changing only one part of your perspective takes intentional thinking. Sometimes you have to practice thinking. You have to create new habits, new roads for your thoughts to travel, so that you arrive at the desired destination.

I’ve had years and years of the same thoughts, same reactions and feelings, paved into my brain. It’s hard to break up a road and start a new one. It’s hard to remember that you can’t think certain ways anymore. It’s just like breaking any other habit or addiction. We’re emotionally attached to our thoughts and beliefs. They define us. But they’re not always good for us. Who knew thinking could be a drug? A subconscious one at that. But you can choose what you think. We have to, in order to grow. I want to grow. I want to move forward – past insecurity, past envy, past brokenness or disappointment, past the lies and the failures that drag me down. I want to grab ahold of a higher conviction. I want to feel strength deep inside of me, not hollowness. I’ve discovered this though:

Jesus once said,
“When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first.”

You can’t just clean house and leave it empty. You have to fill it with something. You have to replace your old habits, your old vices, with something new and good and beautiful.

Jesus says to us in Revelation,
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”

Eating with someone implies companionship. You don’t voluntarily hang out and eat with people you don’t like. Jesus offers us not only salvation through his death for us on the cross, and not only eternal life through his resurrection and victory, but he also offers us his friendship. His acceptance, love, and strength. He offers a relationship that is full and faithful.
He offers strength when we are weak. He offers the fullness of his joy when we face sorrow. He offers advice when we are confused. Peace when we are stressed. Hope when we are disappointed.

It’s hard to change your thoughts, your identity, your life. But when you hold fast to Jesus through it all, he is more than able to bring your transformation to completion in his perfect time. We grow in worship, in prayer, in communion with our Savior. And as he takes us forward, replacing our thoughts with his, transforming our minds to know the will of God, we will find ourselves paving new roads steadily and consistently. And the beautiful grace of Jesus will always find us when we waver, catch us if we fall, and bring us back to the purpose God has for us.

But we must choose it. I must choose it.

Jesus offers us his everything – even a share in his glory. But he lets us choose. We can try to clean up ourselves, but we will stay empty. And emptiness can destroy us. We were made to be whole.

I told you earlier I had a breakthrough again. I’ve had this breakthrough a million times, but each time, it brings me back to life. Here it is:

It’s all about Jesus.

He breaks the chains, he makes the way. He is the one who fills my emptiness and gives me purpose.
Every time.

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