The process of Becoming the best version of ourselves is hard work, don’t you think?
As I am wrapping up my final hours of my four-day retreat, I am reminded of all that has transpired in the last four days. From laughter to tears to facing my shadow self to discerning to letting go to naming my emotions and fears to hearing from God.
It was a process these past few days. A process of allowing myself to be still; to look in the mirror and reflect on the person I’ve become; to confess my sins and name my fears; to hear God; to discern and bring voice to my deepest longings; to be reminded that I’m still on the journey of Becoming.
This journey of Becoming does not come easy. Sure, in some season we feel like we are gaining ground and are on the mountain top, but more often than not, it’s true that it’s the daily choices, sometimes the most difficult of choices, that are our formational experiences. To obey what God asks of us is pivotal to life-long work of Becoming.
Obeying takes on many shapes. It may mean the Spirit reveals to you an area of sin and invites you to confess it. Will you obey? Or is it easier to turn the other way, perhaps making excuses for why that can’t be true of you. It may mean the Spirit shows you a new way of being in the world and there are choices to be made, hard choices? Will you make them? Will I?
We are masters of self-denial and spend a lot of energy feeding our shadow self. Becoming means we lay down the false self. It means we stop running. We choose to come before God just as we are in that moment, no pretending. We take off the masks. We lay down the excuses, and we allow God’s loving light to shine into the darkest parts of us. Loving us. Healing us. Reminding us. Strengthening us. (Yes, of course, there are also times of celebrating. I recently asked the Lord to tell me what he loved about me, it was awesome!)
This process of Becoming means we give our yes to God, no matter the ask. It’s hard! Especially it’s hard in seasons where you don’t fully understand where his invitation to follow is leading, but you know you can’t stay where you are. It’s hard when our patterns of sin are so entrenched that we know a hard road of change lies before us, but the invitation from Jesus remains, Come, and follow me.
As I’ve been on retreat I’ve been taking stock of my life, reviewing choices I’ve been making, discerning hopes and dreams that seemed buried deep within my soul. And truth be told, a few times these last few days I have felt afraid. Afraid of being so still, of hearing God so clearly, of knowing that change is coming, of knowing his asks. Yet in the fear, I’m experiencing the wrap-around love of God. I’m experiencing a growing courage to follow. I’m reminded by God that I have nothing to fear. I said yes to God a long time ago, am I willing to keep saying yes? I am.
This process of becoming is hard, but I’m wanting the transforming presence of Christ to shape my becoming. I’m on the journey, how about you?
The Reverend Carmen Kampman is a woman on the road of leadership. Ordained with the PAOC, she is a steward of God’s call to women in ministry. She is on staff at Horizon College & Seminary, an Associate Pastor at Westside Pentecostal, and holds an MA in Leadership & Management from Briercrest College & Seminary.