People never really change. They never really grow. They never really get better.
There are either enslaved people or free people.
But the being, the spirit, the heart that God creates within each person is always, always there inside -- one of beauty and strength and power.
This well-known Google-able quote breaks my heart: "You never know how strong a person is until you see them at their weakest". Silly ridiculousness. Do you know what this creates? Comparison. I am handling this a lot better than that person, so I am a better person. Or I feel so so hopeless and they seem fine going through their trials; I must not be good enough.
No. This -- and only this -- is what going through hard times in weakness truly reveals: how close one is to the Father. That is all. Trial comes, weakness collapses at the knees, and one's reactions and responses does not show how strong or good or righteous or who someone is. It shows how loved they are feeling by their Maker or how much they are listening to lies. It shows whether they are are drawing from the strength of His presence or drawing from the world. It shows whether they are enslaved or free.
People can never really get better. Never grow, never change. Our Heavenly heart is always in us. We are either enslaved by the enemy's lies and our rampant flesh; or we are free dancing in the knowledge of Whose we are.
But that person we are, who we REALLY TRULY HONESTLY are -- the princess, the prince, the world-toucher, the life-giver, the fearlessly gentle, the strong -- that person is always inside of us. He or she is always inside. That is how Jesus can love us now. Because that is who we are, since eternity began until it's never-ending end. If that true person is not visible, it is not because that person is not there. It is because the person is trapped and a slave and wrapped up in lies and wounds and pain.
"I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me into the wilderness." Jeremiah 2:2
He remembers who you are. The hurting world sees you scared, beaten down, and flawed -- but He who is holy sees you as YOU. The royal. The perfectly beautiful being that beckons awe and mysterious wonder! He remembers your enthusiasm for Him and for life. He remembers when you were rested and happy and free. And His heart is breaking that you don't see or feel yourself as YOU anymore, that the lies are so loud that they're silently all you can hear.
Let our hearts break with His for our brothers and sisters whose true hearts are hidden, who are hurting. Every single one is hurting. That's why she acts bratty. That's why he acts like he knows everything. That's why she acts awkward and he says the wrong things at the wrong time. But that's all it is: an act directed by the evil Deceiver who is, in fear of defeat, targeting who we really are. Be mercy to the jerk in the check-out line. He's not a jerk. He's a strong prince who is hurting. Be grace to the woman with the sharp words. That's not who she is. She's a princess with swallowing fear and pain.
You, Father, looked at man and said he was good. How excruciatingly ignorant of me to disapprove and counter Your opinion.
We never change or get better or grow. We are either enslaved and acting "badly" or we are free and living in that freedom by how we positively respond to life. So stop trying to get better. Stop trying to feel happier. Stop trying to change! All you ever needed is inside of you: the Presence of God and the beautiful being He made when He made you. Stop. Slow. Rest. Be gentle for He is near. Surround yourself with the Word, the truth, only wholesome things, and His Presence. Before you know it, the lies will lose their grip and the true you will surface for the world to see. Feel His love, say "no" to the things of this world and the lies of the enemy, and experience the most rest and freedom He has to offer!
It is possible. You have lost nothing in your season(s) of struggle and unhealth. All the strength, happiness, confidence, godliness, and purpose you had and will have is inside of you right now! It is a part of who you are! But it's blurred over and buried under all the lies and flesh and sin. But it is there, in the being He made as You, accessible for your use right now. It was hidden but now it can be free! So let go. Stop trying and stop running. In God's presence you'll reach within, and He'll watch smiling because He's been waiting for you to do this: for you use what you have always had. What was always yours. What was always YOU.