Inspirational Stories

Why is Change So Hard? What Should I Do?

Woman's head on her kneesWaiting to be Saved

With anxiety and fear, I stared out the window of our bedroom in Colorado. I was hoping and praying to see my husband pull into the driveway.

I needed him to bring me the comfort that I could only find with him near me. Thank goodness the kids were all in bed asleep…even brand new baby Lily. I paced the floor only taking a break to walk back over to the window to look for him.

I could see the snow falling lightly in the glow of the street lamp. The park across from our house was quiet and slowly becoming a serene blanket of white snow. It was such a contrast to what was happening inside me. I was a mess.

How did I become such a shell of the person I used to be?

The Old Me

Not even a year earlier I felt so alive. My life was almost as perfect as it could get. We lived in a nice house on a cul-de-sac. I would take Maddie and Lyndon to story time at the library and spend hours in the toy aisle in Target. We lived at the pool in the summers surrounded by some of our dearest friends. We adored our community and we loved our sweet little life in Texas. It was cozy, fulfilling, peaceful, and predictable.

Couple smiling together

That person seemed so far removed from the person I was now.

We now lived far away from our friends, we had a brand new baby, and the straw that really broke the camel’s back was that I was dealing with PPD and anxiety.

Mom holding baby

I felt raw.

I longed for the life I used to have. Longed for the person I used to be.

I had serious doubt that I would ever be that person again.

A Lesson From Chip & Jojo

I’m a fan of the HGTV show, Fixer Upper. You know the story, right? The adorable couple, Chip and Joanna Gaines, find homes that are in serious need of remodeling. They renovate these homes and turn them into their clients dream home.

It’s such a fun process to watch. They work miracles with these old, tacky, fixer-uppers.

The most recent episode I watched was a little bit different though. Instead of finding an ugly old home for their client, they found a loft apartment that was brand new. As you walked through the door you could immediately see there was nothing that needed to be changed. It looked perfectly move-in ready.

HGTV empty loft apartment

But none-the-less, they saw the greater potential that it could be and planned to renovate it for their client.

They demo-ed practically everything in the space. They knocked out walls, removed the entire (brand new) kitchen, and ripped up perfectly nice flooring. When the demo was finally finished, the apartment looked nothing like it did before. It was bare and empty.

What did they do? I trusted them (because I’ve seen the show before and I know the miracles they can create) but I kept thinking, what a waste. Why not just keep it the way it was? It would have been fine.

Looking back on my time in Colorado, I felt the same way as that apartment. I felt demo-ed. I was a perfectly fine person before everything happened. Actually, more than fine. Life was very happy. I was content.

But now I felt stripped of everything I once was. I was felt naked and exposed. Why couldn’t I have just stayed the way I was?

Why was I being torn down?

My Personal Remodel

As I continued watching Fixer Upper, I watched Chip rebuild the walls, install a new kitchen, lay new flooring, and hang new light fixtures. But with the new renovation, the walls were in a better location, the kitchen had many more bells and whistles, and the new flooring + lighting made the space feel cozy and welcoming.

HGTV newly decorated loft apartment

It was breathtaking.

Once I finally saw the entire outcome of the new space it seemed absurd to even think about settling for that old look. in made the old space seem so blah and standard.

The transformation was incredible.

When I saw what the finished space had become, I laughed at what I once thought was “just fine”.

My Growth Inside and Out

I’ve come a long way since that night in Colorado, staring out the closet window for Jon. As I look back I can see that just like the apartment which seemed perfectly fine the way it was, I too was being renovated.

I was stripped down to the studs so that I could be re-built in an incredible way.

God knew what He was doing.

Heavenly Father knew the person I could become. He saw my potential and knew that life was going “just fine” for me but he didn’t want me to settle for “just fine”. He wanted me to be amazing.

And so he pruned me. He cut me down to make me even better.

He allowed me to go through pain, trails, and heartache in order to help me grow and become the person I’m meant to become.

Several years ago, toward the tail end of this trial, one of my dear friends, Ashlee Miller, shared something that she had learned as she herself had been going through a time in her life when she didn’t feel quite like herself. A time when she was being “renovated”.

She said,

“As I read the scriptures this week, I just prayed that there would be something just for me, for this weird season I had found myself in. This season was lasting far longer than I wanted. I opened my scriptures and started reading about pruning and that is when I knew that Heavenly Father knows exactly where I am at. He knows He is pruning me and He even knows why He is doing it. Even though I felt so comfortable before, this pruning will make me even better. As I read the scriptures I realized that sometimes even trees that are bearing great fruit need to be pruned in order for them to bring out even better fruits.

I realized that the pruning, while uncomfortable, is the best thing for the tree. The tree will be limited without the pruning. The pruning is critical in order to produce the very best fruit possible. Pruning doesn’t happen because the tree is broken. It happens so that the tree has the very best shot at making a difference to the world. It isn’t that something was wrong with me, rather it was time to do some necessary pruning.

When a tree is being pruned, it doesn’t stand in self-judgment and think, “Why am I not producing the fruit like that tree over there? Why am I not producing even the small fruits I know I am capable of?” The tree goes into a resting phase and prepares for the next season of blooming. It trusts that the fruits will come again and has faith that the branches and leaves will fill back in. I for one, can’t wait for that day. Yesterday as I read the scriptures, that quiet voice said, “This is the pruning. I know it doesn’t feel natural, and I know you don’t like it and you want it to go away, but it is critical. For you to do what you are here to do, there has to be a pruning. Trust the process, let me in.”

I’ve been on the other side of my pruning for quite some time, and I can testify that God sees the entire picture of our life. He sees exactly what we need to become the best versions of ourselves.

How allows the pruning to allow us to grow; to shine even brighter than we were before.

The years following that trial have been magical. I’ve experienced life in a way that I never imagined. I found myself again. Only this time, I found an even better version of myself.

Mom with daughter in car backseat smiling with Mickey Ears hat

Learning Through Change

I’ve recently been going through even more pruning.

It doesn’t feel as harsh as it did that first time, but I recognize what is happening. I see God pruning me again, preparing me to once again move forward and become even more of my true self. I see glimpses of the person He is shaping me to become.

It’s still uncomfortable but this time, it’s exciting because I know what treasures lie beyond the growth. So I’m hanging on tight and trusting the process.

You may be finding yourself in the midst of pruning right now, if you are ….Hold on.

You’ve got this.

Your big reveal is coming.