Sometimes Change Can Hurt
by Tamara Bernadette
People often ask me; how did I do it? How did I go through the hard times and still keep going? Didn’t I want to give up? Oh yes! I most certainly did. I didn’t understand what was happening to me and for the first few years, I was stunned at how much I endured.
I remember crying out to God on several occasions, asking why was this happening or that happening? One of the questions I asked often was, “are you setting me up for a fall?” I came to a point of being too afraid to trust. I believed my life had become a joke and he was setting me up. You see, no matter what I did or tried to do to improve my life in any way, it would backfire. I was confused as a person standing at a double sign saying, “go this way.” Which way should I go?
I used to think I was losing my mind. Why would a heavenly father who loved me so much, from what I heard, lead me in situations that were humiliating? Why would he allow everything and everyone I love be removed from me? Why would a loving God allow me to hurt so deeply, that I would cry for hours until my guts felt as though I were going to be turned inside out? Why would he lead me into a life of isolation and loneliness, yet expect me to trust him in all that was happening to me? Did I learn anything from this? Were those years worth it? What was my gain?
I tell you, in many ways, it’s hard to explain. I can tell you it was life changing to the deepest part of me. I can tell you without this long journey I would not have had the significant changes in my life as I have had. I can tell you this is something that can only be done alone. I can see that if I was in a relationship at the time, I would not have had as dramatic a change in my life as I have experienced. I say that to anyone because your loyalties would be split. And for me, that is exactly what the Lord was not going to allow. He wanted all of me. I had to be in a vulnerable position to completely depend on him and him alone.
There was a level of faith I had to gain. We’re all given a measure of faith, but my level was shallow. It didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen in a year or a few years. Oh no, it was many years. The process was not pretty and I stumbled a lot. I was in new territory and I fought with the Almighty on a regular basis. I don’t recommend that I’m just telling my truth. Thankfully, because he brought me to this point, I knew he wasn’t leaving me alone. This was his deal, his idea, and plan, not mine. It just hurt like heck.
Did I have a choice? Sure. But did I want to take a chance of letting things get worse by doing things my own way and messing up further than I already had? I would often pause at that point, sometimes my pauses lasted days, and I would surrender my will and let God do his thing and change me some more.
He would chip at me here, chip at me there, chisel this, chisel that, cut out this, cut out that, remove this and remove that. This pattern went on for years that you’d think I was used to it and let it all go. But no. I held on to whatever I could for as long as I could in the hope that I could keep something. If only I had let it go faster, then I wouldn’t have faced such unnecessary turmoil regularly. I was hardheaded, I admit it. But who wants to let go of their life without putting up a fight?
So, that was me. After a while, I began to see the changes. Others mentioned it to me, yet in the hardest stages, nobody saw what I was going through. One day the clouds cleared and I began to see the fruit of the toil and fight. The inner bruises were shrinking and I could smile and talk. I say talk because for a while I had no voice. I couldn’t form a clear thought because my old ways were changing and it was evident by my internal fear and lack of normal response. In some ways it was paralyzing.
Just imagine sitting there among people you know. Your family and friends in a normal social gathering where in the past you were talkative and engaging, then all of a sudden, you can’t speak. Your words won’t come out because your mind is in between a new way of thinking. You don’t even realize what is happening to you; it just is. You can’t process two separate patterns of thoughts at the same time and expect to have an outcome. It just can’t work. This went on for some time. I even began to wonder if I’d get my brain back or if I was lost in a mental wilderness forever.
That’s how it feels. You think you are never getting out of it. You don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. But there is. There is an end. There is an expected outcome. There is a lot going on, but there is beauty in the end.
I may not have enjoyed the journey, just being honest, but it was worth it. I learned more than I could have ever imagined in a lifetime of study. What God has done in me is supernatural. I look in the mirror and see a totally new person. I am happy to say I like this person who looks back at me in the mirror. It was a lonely road, yes it was, but that’s how it had to be. It was the only way I could see Jesus and the only way for real change.