In one of our women’s bible study gatherings, I remember someone asking how to hear the Holy Spirit speaking to us; and someone else said that it might be a thought planted in our head. After 6 months or so of attending the Praise & Worship Center (PWC), there was an occasion where I was standing in my bedroom closet and the word TRANSFORMATION came to my mind. I believe that “God moment” in my closet was the Holy Spirit speaking to me, telling me what I was starting to experience in my life.
Soon after that moment in my closet, I attended the PWC women’s retreat in January of 2020. During one of the retreat sessions we were asked to choose a word for the year. Immediately I knew what my word would be: transformation.
Transformation can be difficult. With that, I pray for the grace to love, or at least accept, the transformation of an aging physical body and all the accompanying changes. I pray that these (necessary?) changes will improve my stance to do Your will, dear Lord. Looking back, I think this physical transformation had its beginnings a few years ago with an injury that I experienced at my job. As a result of that injury, now I am able to empathize with those who experience the pain(s) of arthritis, or similar physical ailments. In addition, aging has also brought me the ability to empathize with people who struggle to read the print on labels. Large print, you are now my good friend. I believe that with empathy comes the building of a loving community.
With regard to spiritual transformation (the kind that I was thinking about during that time in my closet), I do think that God started this in me sometime within the last decade, when I noticed myself becoming less fearful to speak in a group setting. Anyone who knew me before, knows that I was afraid of my own shadow, or afraid to say boo, as the old saying goes…the stereotypical quiet librarian. This transformation has been a sea change, which I hope is the beginning of my being able to proclaim and speak up about God’s goodness and mercy more publicly than I have up until this point in my life. Sometimes I feel that I missed the boat, but then I remember the mantra that I am now so fond of- all in God’s perfect timing – which was introduced to me at one of the monthly PWC prayer retreats.
I am learning that transformation is a continuous and necessarily incomplete process. It’s also a process for positive growth. If I ever felt finally transformed, I think there could be the possibility of becoming stagnant. I will likely be on the road to “being there” for the rest of my life. It’s a journey, as people these days are so fond of saying. Sometimes it is one step forward and two steps back. This is especially true for me with my transformation of head knowledge into heart knowledge.
I am grateful for the opportunities that transformation is affording me: the opportunity to be more fearless in my praise and worship; the opportunity to empathize and thus be better able to help in building a loving community; and the opportunity to work on transforming my head knowledge into heart knowledge, to name just three among many others. So, it’s time to start bringing my transformation out of the closet. Praise God for transformation.