We have two cats in our family – Maddie and Vegas. Siblings, we got them as kittens, and they have brought joy, irritation and laughter for over 13 years now. Recently, Vegas, our long-haired boy, received a much-needed haircut. Being older and not as able to care for himself, his coat had gotten super matted, so the groomer shaved him completely. His sister, Maddie, is terrified of his new look, and not recognizing him, will hiss and run away if he gets too close.
Change can be hard for everyone.
Years ago when I was going through my divorce, my counselor warned me that those closest to me might not like the changes I was about to grow through. She revealed that when we “change the rules,” even if they are positive changes, many will balk at the “new me.” I heard what she said, but largely dismissed the statement as I was certain that a healthier and more well-adjusted version of myself would be a welcome change for all.
Unfortunately, like Vegas, I was not as joyfully received as I had hoped…
What I have discovered over the past 17-plus years is that oftentimes even the most well-meaning of people can project expectations of what our personal journey is supposed to look like. As we grow into new seasons and shed old skin, it can offer opportunity for others to move forward with us. For some, however, discomfort and even resentment, can unfold, and we can experience rejection as we respond differently than we have in the past.
Such change can provoke unexpected hostility and create tensions not easily defined, or navigated.
When we make the decision to follow Christ and to offer our lives to a divine plan not yet revealed, we will often face pushback as our path begins to deviate from the road well travelled. With almost certainty, there will be countless opportunities to repeatedly recommit, or turn back to what is familiar.
Sometimes the road less travelled is a lonely one.
Jesus always let his followers know they needed to count the cost. Nothing of value in this life comes without a price tag, and some change is more expensive than others. Keep this truth in mind, fellow journeyer – God will never require a sacrifice which has not already been filtered through His fingers of grace and deemed expendable in the grand scheme of your life. You can always trust His process.
Take up your cross, my friend. A life intersected with divine purpose is always worth the sacrifice made….
Luke 12:51-53 – Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.
Luke 9:23-24 – Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.
Luke 9:23 – Then he said to them all: Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.
Matthew 7:13-14 – Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.