You: a Vision of Revival
At times I view the span of my life like the passing of a single year.
Our old-timey symbols of a new year [baby and elder] mirror the idea that our lives follow an expected rise and decline when it comes to youthful qualities like potential, beauty, energy, inventiveness. Auld lang syne and such; celebrate “for old-time’s sake.”
Yet hope lingers in our resolution tradition.
Failed-resolution jokes aside, the tradition endures. Resetting the calendar symbolizes our potential to reset. Sometimes a successful woman turns back the clock. Inspiring people sustain the motivation to abandon useless habits. Renewed health brings a youthful glow. Courageous ones face the risks of calling, connecting, or community. Another one steps out of comfort to follow long-buried passions. Life revives into a golden age of prosperity.
Perhaps these transformed butterflies are just enough evidence giving lasting power to the tradition of resolutions.
The butterfly rises above the banality of its own cliché, because the cliché falls short. During metamorphosis, the organs of the bug come apart. Cells die and are digested, or move out of the way. The cocoon gut becomes not so much alive, as it is bug mush.
It is like a gutted remodel, pun intended.
Remnant cells revive with a completely different expression. It’s not the same bug with new tricks or healthier habits. The end bug is unrecognizable from its former self. And yet this bug is more than twin to the first; it is the self-same bug. TRANSFORMED.
Did you know this inner death follows a scheduled, detailed process? Whose plan? Certainly not the caterpillar’s design or even intent. A necessary plan in the interest of future butterfly generations.
I know transformations like the butterfly.
Utter upheaval, and inner death of, for example:
- feeling in control
- indulging in escape during hardship
- placing joy and comfort in pleasures
- seeking validation from people and accomplishments
Renewal is a series of awkward transitions that leave me a vague memory trail of slightly embarrassing episodes. It feels like adolescence. Stripped down to bare essentials of identity, I live confused. Overwhelmed. Uncertain of my purpose as it relates to my next step. Groping for impetus while feeling as lethargic as bug mush.
You might say I ate my heart out. My plan for inner death? No. But a necessary plan, unless I would rather remain adolescent.
In hindsight I remember praying God would reveal unworthiness.
“Ohhhhh, God, show me any blindness to my errors.”
Unsurprisingly, God honors these lofty pleas. I laugh at myself, not because I was insincere; but because I never imagined it would hurt so much when I prayed for growth. Not that God causes my hurt to motivate change. The hurt was already there from want of development.
By seeing the hurt I feel its painful impacts personally.
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Romans 12:1
I am grateful to leave the remnants of my caterpillar past clinging to the earth below.
As painful as revival can be, I pray for it again… and brace myself. Because it’s heartbreaking to think I could have missed others’ need for me to change. Me, a mother someday seen as distant by her adult son, perhaps. All because I continued in blindness of my child’s unmet need. Or me, remaining unequipped in strength of body or character to participate in God’s designs.
When put that way, I’ll take the chaos of becoming. Let me not continue in blindness to my errors!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17)
God’s power enables the potential for revival in every facet of our identity; physical, mental, professional, relational, emotional, and spiritual. In this season of health resolutions, fitness is neither vanity, nor is it unimportant. Focusing on the daily commitment to health instead of a number goal can lend endurance to your self-vision as a new creation.
In pursuit of healthy change, be assured of your beauty and value today, because you are in the image of God.
You can be the inspiring one!
Can you envision your new self? Would you leave the vision open-ended, trusting that God’s designs are immensely better than our ideas? Focus not a rote list of goals, a new routine, or determination we pick up like trendy accessories, only to put aside about as quickly. Not even will-power or discipline, merely. Vision. Reliance on God’s vision for you brings lasting revival.
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is… (Romans 12:2)
Shift from the common end marks of outer success. Enduring growth comes from a renewing of the mind. Revival overflows from the spiritual abundance of embracing God’s vision and design.
Question: To embrace your Vision of revival, what thoughts need renewing?
Andi is a wife, a mother to three boys, devoted to listening to and learning about Jesus through reading and writing, and is passionate about molecular biology and appreciating God through observing the world. She is also an occasional water-color painter, violinist, and swimmer; a lover of rich conversation and healthy portions of solitude, in turn. Her family makes their home in beautiful Oregon.