January 17, 2013

Shifting Faith Paradigms

The duck/rabbit illustration shows how a paradigm shift can make you see the same thing in a totally different way
As a kid, I used to love to learn new big words that I could use to make myself look smart. The only problem was, I often used them incorrectly or just pronounced them wrong. This sort of blew my cover. One such word was paradigm. I remember hearing it and thinking how I couldn't wait to use it in conversation. Of course I pronounced it para-dig-um.

When I was in college, I heard a lot about paradigms (it's so much more fun to say para-dig-ums) and how they can shift, causing us to see differently something we've looked at our whole lives.

This has definitely been my experience in the last several years when it comes to issues of faith. I learned about God as a child and formed many ideas about who He is and what it all meant. Now, I'm having to un-learn a lot of stuff.

I used to think that I was defined by how much I loved God. Now I see that I'm defined by how much He loves me.

I used to think my value came from how much I could do for Him. I'm realizing my value is demonstrated by what He already did for me.

I always thought peace came from an ability to manage my circumstances in a way that looked good on the outside. I see now that true peace comes from believing what God says is true...even when my life doesn't look the way I had hoped.

I always thought trusting God meant going through life, holding my breath, hoping nothing bad happened. I am learning that trusting Him means trusting in His character. Trusting that He is who He says He is no matter what is going on around me.

I'm not sure exactly how all these shifts took place but I'm glad they did. I still have so much to learn (and un-learn) but I'm grateful for the journey. And I'm grateful that you visited Southern Belle Simple. If the winter winds are blowing where you are, I hope you are managing to stay warm and toasty!