I’m pleased to welcome Elisa Pulliam as a guest poster today. I know you’ll be encouraged by her words as you seek to begin embracing life change. Affiliate links are present in this post because I fully believe in what Elisa is offering. If you choose to purchase through one of the links, I’ll receive a small benefit at no cost to you.
Do you remember making vows when you were a teen about how you were going to do that a whole lot differently when you grew up?
I suppose the average teen girl plans for her future from a place of despising parts of her present. For me, that despising didn’t pass with age, but I didn’t know how to make good on my vows. Honestly, I felt stuck, plagued with issues that just wouldn’t go away.
Maybe you’re like me, and have felt trapped by labels, insecurities, and heart-wounds that never seemed to heal.
Maybe it’s the label you put on after a regrettable relationship? Or battling an overarching fear after a bad career move? Maybe you feel defeated by plethora of unhealthy habits? Or do you wish your personality had more assets with less obvious flaws?
Our hurts and disappointments can easily turn into vows we set toward the future.
But what if those vows don’t reflect God’s best for us?
It’s like that linoleum tile that was pulled up during a kitchen renovation in one of the homes we lived in. Underneath the fake-brick, worn-down floor from the 80s was a layer of flowery patterned linoleum reminiscent of the 70s. Below that was another, darker version and yep, below that one was a lighter one.
It’s interesting how we do the same thing in our lives — swinging to an opposite extreme, maybe from a place of pain or simply from a desire for something all together different.
In many ways, that’s exactly what I was doing with the vows I made in my teens and twenties. I longed for a totally different life, not realizing that the change I craved needed to start in my heart.
My dreams of a corporate career, affluent lifestyle, and the perfect husband and kiddos weren’t ever going to meet the deeper need I had – the desire to be loved unconditionally, cared for intentionally, and appreciated daily. No accomplishment nor relationship can tick all those boxes.
While I pursued my dreams, God was pursuing me.
God got a hold of my heart in college, opening my eyes to see that the promise of eternity through faith in Jesus Christ was more than I could ask or imagine for my future. Yet, I still clung to the belief that “If I could fix the outside, I’d feel better on the inside.” Ahem, nope.
It took me more than a decade to realize that the life I craved begins with God getting all the way inside my heart — it’s still a lesson I’m learning.
I walked through those early days of my new-found identity as a Christian believing that if I did it all “right” — as in going to church, joining a small group, making it to Bible study, and praying often — then the life I wanted would become a reality . . . at least eventually.
Yet, no matter how hard I tried, there was this one piece undermining everything — me!
Oh yes, the problem was me and my own heart-bound-up issue manifesting often in my bouts with anger. Of course, my God-given, strong-willed, justice-minded temperament simply added spark to the unattended wounds from my past.
While I can’t change that part of my personality – nor do I want to (because God’s design is fearfully and wonderfully put together – Psalm 139) – I did need to deal with the way my anger was hurting those I loved the most.
Years of praying and trying to control my environment accomplished nothing, because I wasn’t dealing with the root issue. I was only dealing with the trigger, until I heeded the challenge from my husband and dear friend to get help. The cost of staying “as is” was too much to even imagine.
Saying yes to embracing authentic life change began with owning up to what was going on inside my heart.
“But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you.” – Matthew 15:18 (NLT)
As I share in Meet the New You, with the help of a counselor and the leading of the Holy Spirit, I sought God honestly about what was stored up inside of me.
In the process, I discovered I need to ask Him for forgiveness for the sins I committed, and tried to hide from Him. I had to move forward in forgiving those who hurt me, even if I couldn’t interact with them personally. This was key to deactivating the anger within me.
In many ways, it was like stripping the linoleum off that kitchen floor in order to prepare the foundation for a stable, beautiful new one to come.
I was experiencing a process of transformation, similar to the one that happens in a kitchen renovation — first the gutting out and tearing down, then the preparing, before the new installation.
Through the process of healing, I discovered with each passing day that embracing life change isn’t about waking up one morning and being totally different. It’s about choosing to believe the Truth, as it’s found in the Word and walk in it.
Those truths form the foundation of our habits, because we live out what we believe.
When our minds are steadfast on the Truth, our habits will eventually change.
And when our habits change, even if our circumstances do not, we’ll experience the life God intends for us live — a life transformed from the inside out.
Are you ready to begin embracing life change with God by inviting Him to transform you from the inside out?
Note from Esther: If you are feeling stuck in your life or faith, I highly encourage you to check out the Infuse Course! I am going through it right now and I am gaining a lot from this experience. Elisa brings a wealth of wisdom in this course & book. I want to thank Elisa for sharing her story here on WellnessMomLife.
Elisa Pulliam is a life coach, coach trainer, author of Meet the New You, speaker, and life-long mentor passionate about seeing women experience authentic life transformation for the sake of impacting the next generation. Her mission as owner of the Kaleo Agency, a life coaching and leadership development company, and as founder of moretobe.com, a ministry passionate about training and equipping women to mentor, is fueled by God’s redeeming work in her life and twenty-plus years in youth and women’s ministry. She counts it a privilege to connect with other women online and in real life, and strives toward savoring each moment with her husband of 20 years, Stephen, and with their four tween and teenage children.