You know our significant other/s always test us when they realize we are at a new level of spiritual growth. When we are at a new level of emancipation. Of self-sovereignty. They are always the first to know. And they become frightened. And they try to get us to fall back into the old enmeshed patterns. But their test is really confirmation of our liberation and movement toward wholeness. Their fear is that our growth is a reminder that they too can choose theirs. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Growth always involves fear. Most of my counseling clients realize they need to face their own personal fears in order to heal wounds, critique beliefs, and step out in faith. What catches them by surprise is the response of spouses, family, friends, church, etc. Instead of support and encouragement, clients often receive fear-based condemnation. MLK, Jr. understood this human response to change, using it as positive affirmation rather than personal defeatism.
Sanctification is the process of seeing ourselves and others through God’s eyes. This viewpoint provides freedom from an oppressive, restrictive, fear-based human lifestyle. Stepping out in confidence and faith can scare the pants off those around us. Reminds me of Moses at the Red Sea.
The Bible gives us a little information about Moses’ fears and wounds. Each time God told him to talk to Pharaoh was an individual growth opportunity to press into those fears. His confidence in himself and God grew so when he called the Israelites to follow him out of Egypt, they packed up and hit the road. When they got to the Red Sea, God called Moses to symbolically show his growth to the people by stepping out in faith. Everyone around him was freaking out, begging Moses to go back to Egypt and make peace. As Moses courageously stepped into the Red Sea, God spoke to the heart of every Israelite, calling them to grow in faith as well.
Your growth can both inspire and terrify those around you. Ask God to open the eyes of your heart so you can continue to step out in faith. Your godly model provides an opportunity for God to speak to onlookers about their own growth.
Judy Lair, LPCC
Photo courtesy of www.neverthirsty.org