I lived for a long time afraid that God was angry with me. For many years I put other things in front of my relationship with Him, but on my journey to transformation, I found a new understanding of a God who loves me. My life has never been the same.
My journey started in a women’s Bible study at my church. I saw something in those women that I wanted, the joy and peace that comes from knowing and loving Jesus like they did. I became desperate for Jesus to change my heart. I began studying God’s Word. I read any Christian book I could get my hands on hoping to find the secret of how to make my heart like His. The problem was that I was getting a lot of head knowledge about God, but I couldn’t understand why my heart was still the same. It felt like I entered into a desert of waiting.
But I kept going.
Waiting for God to change our circumstances may be a long journey. It’s in those times of waiting in the desert that we are tempted to go back to our old ways.
The Israelites knew the feeling. After being freed from a life of slavery, the Israelites started to doubt God’s goodness and thought their life was better in Egypt: “It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness” (Exodus 14:12).
It’s in the wilderness that many Christians get stuck. We will want to stop. We will want to go back to Egypt. Just like God led the Israelites to the Promised Land, He leads us to a place of healing and life, but we have to trust that He’s going to get us there.
My focus was set towards the Promised Land with hope that God really was going to do something with me. “And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom 5:5).
I was six months into my transformed heart journey when my sister, Christy, died suddenly. I was already depressed and broken on my trudge through the wilderness, but then losing her stopped me in my tracks and buried me with grief. I wondered if life would ever be fun again, and if I’d ever be happy again.
One day, I cried out to God. “Can you see how hard I’m trying to follow you?” I wailed. “Why isn’t anything getting better?”
I asked Him to show me His glory. Later I was driving, and I looked up and saw a rainbow: a sign of promise. When I got home that day, I had a card in the mail from a friend. It read, “Remember after the rain, there is a rainbow.” Inside the card it read, “And if I have to—I’ll come over and paint the darn thing on your ceiling!”
This was a powerful combo that I received as a personal encounter with the living God. It was a reminder that He does bring healing, that He is a Promise Keeper, and that joy would come to me as surely as the morning (Psalms 30:5).
This moment was a turning point in my relationship with Him. Before this, I’d sit in my Bible study listening to the women talk about how God would show up big in their lives in the-cancer’s-gone-with-no-explanation ways. I didn’t know if He’d show up for me, because my problems felt small, and I felt unworthy.
The rainbow moment strengthened my faith and told me my small things mattered to Him; I began to trust Him more and more. He brought living water to my dry, thirsty soul and encouraged me to keep going. There were days that still buckled my knees, but when they came, I stood on Galatians 6:9 “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we don’t give up.” It’s become my life verse, motivating me to keep going in all seasons.
In my experience with God, in my worst times, there are these sightings. It doesn’t fix me, but it reminds me to keep going. Look for your moments. When you’re tired and weary, draw near to Him, seek Him, and cry out to Him. When you do, be looking for Him to show up: “The LORD will guide you continually, giving you water when you are dry and restoring your strength. You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring” (Isaiah 58:11).
The enemy does not want us to make it to the Promised Land. He wants to keep us distracted and discouraged, so we will give up sowing good in our lives. Don’t let him win! Keep doing what is helpful, beneficial, and beautiful. My sister’s death could have been the struggle that stopped me. I had a choice to get stuck or keep going. We all have that choice.
Being transformed to be like Jesus doesn’t happen all at once, but the closer we follow Jesus, the more we become like Him. The Word tells us that if God starts a work in us, He will complete it (Phil 1:6)!
Jill Kincannon is an interior designer living in Jonesboro, Arkansas with her husband, Darin, and two children, Elizabeth and Nate. She enjoys painting, making jewelry and playing tennis. While Jills’ parents introduced her to Jesus at an early age, she found Him again as an adult in the midst of deep brokenness.
A Heart Transformed is a seven week Bible Study to help others find God’s love, mercy, and grace in their lives and to equip them with ways to grow in their relationship to Jesus Christ. It is perfect study for an individual or a small group.
You can purchase A Heart Transformed on Amazon .