There are so many definitions of change, but one that struck me was this one in the Oxford dictionary: “an act or process through which something becomes different.” Isn’t that ultimately what change is all about? Becoming different?
With change comes many things, but one that stands out is anxiety. Our comfort zones often masquerade as our safe spaces; they are our default settings, so when someone comes and says, “It’s time for something different,” our first reaction is resistance. Think about the woman with the issue of blood. In Luke chapter 8, we are told how she’d been bleeding for twelve years, and spent all she had, yet there was no change. No physician could help. I can’t even begin to imagine how ostracized she was. She knew she needed change, but was she brave enough to go after it?
I can hear voices telling her, “Your kind cannot be healed here. No one wants to be around you.” But she knew something had to change. The fact that she had to approach Jesus from behind means the shame was too much for her. She was not able to even face the Man who she believed could heal her, yet she knew something had to change.
I can hear anxiety telling her, “Stop! You’ve tried everything; this won’t work either!” but she pushes through. She touched Jesus and He felt it! A desperate, silent cry brought about change. Her bleeding stopped, but another change also happened. Jesus changed course and knew power had gone out from Him; He stopped what He was doing and asked who touched Him. This was the kind of touch that put a demand on His power.
Philippians 4:6 had to be a reality: she needed to know that she should not have been anxious for anything, but that that was a moment to make her request known to the Lord.
This is what we do in our lives at times – we allow voices of anxiety to tell us change is too risky, but how will we become something different if we don’t rise from our crutch of anxiety and dare to chase change? We choose to stay in situations that aren’t working and friendships that do not glorify God because we are too anxious about what life without these toxic additions means. Yet, the presence of such toxicity eats away at us, until there isn’t anything left but a shell.
If you feel stuck, reach out and touch the garment of Jesus; even if it means approaching from behind, just come from somewhere. Push through the voices of anxiety, fear, negativity and focus on your healing, your change – becoming something different.
Today, those voices also come from social media, where strangers who don’t even know what you had for breakfast think it’s alright to have an opinion about your life, but we let them! Before we know it, their voices are loud enough to stop us from even dreaming about change. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. So, unless we are deliberate about becoming something different, we will remain stagnant.
The woman knew there was a problem that needed a solution, yet, at times, we are too terrified to confront our issues. “What if it doesn’t work?” we say, but what if it does? Those voices had to be further than her faith if she was to effect change, so if it means switching off your phone at times and muting your notifications in order to connect with yourself, do it!
Do not allow the voices that are meant to scare you be louder than the voices that must cheer you on. Choose to dare, rather than to conform.
Women of Reverence welcomes our guest contributor Bongiwe Zwane.
Bongiwe Zwane is a seasoned broadcaster and a woman after God's own heart. She's also MIPAD's Most Influential People of African Descent Class of 2022 and is passionate about the development of young men and women. A wife, mother, and daughter whose life is a Romans 8:28 testimony unfolding.