"Some things never change."
That's what I thought as my Dad and I repeated the conversation it seems like we've been having for the past 30+ years.
As always, I shared an accomplishment---something I was excited about---a landmark in my journey.
As always, his response was how it could have been done better, why it should have been done better, and how he definitely would have done things differently and better if he were doing it.
Sigh. Here we go again.
Ever since I was a little girl, this has been our relationship. His hang ups don't allow him to be happy for others, his insecurities arise and we have the same conversation. After years of allowing the Holy Spirit to work on my heart, I've come to accept the fact that unless there is a miracle transformation in his life his response will probably never change.
However, and this is a BIG HOWEVER, there's a large part of the scenario that has changed.
I have changed how I respond.
You see, years ago, I would have been crushed. I'd have taken his words to heart and been hurt. I'd have reacted in pain and anger and we would have had a big fight that only left me feeling guilty for how I responded.
But that doesn't happen any more.
Instead, I've chosen to take a different path.
Having found my identity and significance in Jesus, realizing how deeply I am loved by my Heavenly Father, and knowing that He smiles from ear to ear and is proud of me just because I am his daughter, I am now able to see that my Dad's reactions really are a result of his unresolved issues. Finding everything I need in Jesus, I can hear my Dad's response and think, "That's just Dad being Dad," and move on.
Knowing my value and worth to Jesus and living my life to please Him, I can shrug it off and move past it without the hurt feelings, the big fight the guilt, or the agony.
What I've learned in the process is that even though some people or circumstances may not change, I still have the choice to change the way I react and respond to them.
I have the power to break the cycle.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, I can choose to walk in freedom. I don't have to stay the same even if I'm going through the same old situation.
Today, I want to encourage you with the thought that no matter what same old circumstances, problems, or people you may encounter in your life, you are not trapped in a detrimental cycle.
You have the power to choose how you will be affected, how you will respond, and whether or not you will repeat the same old patterns.
Through the power of the Holy Spirit you can choose to be different even when it seems like things will never change.
It doesn't matter if it's a parent, a child, a spouse, a friend, an ex, a boss, a co-worker, or even just difficult situation---even if nothing changes, YOU CAN CHANGE and that will make an incredible difference in the outcome and your outlook.
The truth is that somethings (and some people) never will change.
Yet, through the life changing work of the Holy Spirit in your life, you can change. You are a new creation in Christ and you can choose to live like it.
As you make this choice you'll learn, like I am learning, that even when things stay the same, you can still have peace, joy, forgiveness, and even compassion for those who make the sad choice to stay the same. You can choose to live in victory, allowing the Holy Spirit to change you moment by moment and day by day.
The change you want starts with you!