Monday, December 27, 2010

Ruin is the Road to Transformation

In my subconscious quest to find meaning in most everything, unravel the mysteries of why/why not, or capture a lesson in living, I often hear a word or phrase that kidnaps my thoughts and holds them hostage for a time.

Tonight, my captor existed in 6 words:

"Ruin is the road to transformation."
(from the book and movie Eat, Pray, Love)

And I couldn't resist the urge to study out some of the words a bit further.

*Definition - situation of devastation
*Synonyms - bankruptcy, breakdown, collapse, confusion, crumbling, failure, the end, undoing, decay
*Antonyms - growth, development, building

*Definition - complete change
*Synonyms - about-face, conversion, renewal, radical change, revolution, shift, flip-flop
*Antonyms - preservation, sameness, stagnation



Holding these 6 words together is the hope that somehow something beautiful, something good, will arise from the ashes of destruction in one's life.  That out of confusion, out of our undoing or yet another failure, we might become stronger, more courageous, more....

With 2010 ending and the New Year approaching, it is not unusual for me (and I would guess most of you) to evaluate the past twelve months and imagine what the future holds. I find myself asking what can I do to improve or make better myself and the circumstances that surround me.  What did or didn't work and what can I do differently?

And of course, always at the forefront of my wondering is how can I draw closer to God and step toward fulfilling my destiny.  Because without Him, my life has no meaning and I have no purpose, no hope.

With all of this swimming around in my mind, the above mentioned phrase seemed to pounce on me the instant I heard it.

What things in my life currently lay in ruin? 

Where is there confusion, crumbling, failure, undoing?  In what areas am I lacking growth?

Although 2010 has had it's challenges for me, there has been nothing tragic or catastrophic to alter my course.    My faith has been stretched and I have had to trust God in areas where I was still trusting myself or my husband.  I am still learning to let go of control.  He is prying one finger loose at a time.  Can you see my white knuckles? :)

There are places, though, where my growth has been stagnant or unchanging.  And there are always areas I need renewal.

Maybe your ruins are a bit more extreme.  Maybe you have walked through the fire this year. 

Maybe you are there now.


Allow God to take you from that place of ruin and raise up something good.  Don't let it be the end of you, let it be the beginning of a transformation in your life, a drawing closer to your Savior, a way to minister to and help others, even in your pain.

Some struggles or trials that we go through are intended to harm us, meant for evil.  But God can turn them around and use them for good  (Genesis 50:20-21).  During these times, our character can be proven or exposed.  Layers of pride that keep us from experiencing God's best can be peeled away.  And a way, where there seems to be no way, can be paved for God to do the miraculous on our behalf, showing forth His glory in our lives.

I am expecting good things in 2011.  I am expecting victory in areas where I need victory and strength to overcome obstacles that have blocked or hindered forward progress.  I know that I can't make things happen apart from God nor would I want to, but I also know that I can and must play a part.  Like my last blog post, I must find my place near Him.  I pray that the areas of my spiritual life that have been stagnant or unchanging this past year would be awakened and renewed.  I pray that where there has been confusion, God will bring clarity and give me the courage to step forward into the plans He has for me.

And I pray for you...that whatever it is that lay ruin in your life will be the road to transformation in 2011.  Set aside some time to seek the heart of God and His will, His plans and His purposes for your life.  He knew you before you were even in your mother's womb  (Jeremiah 1:5). And His plans for you are not to harm you, but to give you a future and a hope!  (Jeremiah 29:11)

Join with me in looking ahead with great expectation for 2011!

5 friends had this to say:

Desiray said...

great post!

Anonymous said...

Woman of God, this is an awesome word!! God will allow our "reputation" to be destroyed so that our true character will show forth. I am learning to embrace what we call ruin in this earthly sense because it is really just a method that the Lord uses to promote us. God is faithful at all times & circumstances of life! The Lord gives & the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. Love you, Tamra

Heidi said...

"Ruin is the road to transformation" I love that! Being believers we can have joy in the midst of ruin because of the hope that springs forth in His transformation! Wonderful thoughts! I really like your blog title, so cute and don't we all say "Is that you God?" every day?! Blessings!

Warren Baldwin said...

This is an incredible statement. As painful as ruin can be, realizing it is the road to transformation can give the "ruined" person hope and motivation. David experienced ruin, but from it he wrote some of the most penetrating Psalms (like ch.51).

Great post. wb

Sharon Kirby said...

Wonderful post, Shelly. Very timely for me. (I'm like you - I've got a few white knuckles!)

What I really liked was the idea that the opposite of transformation is stagnation. Yes, ruts can be so comfortable that we don't even know we're in them.

I'm tired of the same old, same old.

I'm sharing your dream for 2011 - that God will do good things (even if they're painful) - to accomplish His purposes in my life. That's all I really want...