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Quiet Time

    by Kasia Kedzia

Can't Change What You Don't See
Date Posted: May 17, 2011

The first step in changing behavior is self-observation. I don’t always see myself the same way others do. If I did I would never have communication issues or arguments with people. Objective self-observation is hard, but through God’s lens I believe it is possible. There came a point where I was just plain frustrated with myself. I was trying to change but couldn't really put my finger on what exactly I needed to change or how. I couldn't see myself.

Romans 12:3 For by grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think o yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.

I care for people deeply; think about those I love often and hate to see those I care about hurting. As a result I can sometimes try to spare them pain by, well, lets just put it bluntly, telling them what to do. I’m not trying to be bossy, or controlling or judgmental, but that is exactly how it comes across to them. I see something, I call it like it is. However, people don’t always feel the love. I am learning to take the time to really listen and hear the people I love. When people feel loved there is nothing you cannot say to them and nowhere they will not follow you, but the love must be sincere (Rm12:9,1Cor13). This type of love takes time and genuine effort. I am impatient and at times have not taken the time that is required to cultivate this genuine love. I am learning that time is my friend in all circumstances. Prayer is powerful and effective (Jas5:16). Therefore to pray, versus rush in with an answer, is the better choice. Sometimes the situation does not call for immediate action or words and the best thing I can do is do or say nothing at all.

Over the past few weeks seeing myself has helped me to see what I need to change in order to be a better friend, professional, leader and some day, Lord willing, wife and mother. Bottom line, when I use myself as a measure instead of Jesus, I can hurt people and stifle my effectiveness for God. We all do this to an extent; it is easy to fall into viewing people through our lens instead of God’s because it comes more naturally. It takes faith to see Jesus in someone. It does not take any faith to see someone’s sin. It takes prayer and a deeper understanding of who God is to trust him and to trust others. In all the spheres of my life: personal, professional and spiritual I am seeing how God is pushing me. He is pushing me to love more, trust him more and trust those I care for more. In some cases he is pushing me to just wait, in others to be patient in other ways. He pushes each of us in a different way but if we do not see ourselves for who we really are we will miss out on the opportunity to do things differently, to do and be more. I have to give God room to move.

Sometimes in order to really see myself, I need to wrestle with God. In God’s presence I can handle seeing even the ugliest parts of my character- the judgment, arrogance and selfishness- without losing hope or allowing the ugly to overshadow his grace. A great illustration of this is in Genesis 32:24-31, the account of Jacob wrestling with God.

Genesis 32:26b […] he touched the socket of Jacob’s him so that his hip was wretched as he wrestled with the man.

I really believe that sometimes, God allows and even produces hardships so that eventually we can have what we need. I am in the presence of God all the time and yet can so easily resort to my old ways. I can resist God but eventually he will expose my weakness and his strength even if it means temporary pain or injury. God brings me to a point of confessing who I really am.

Genesis 32:27 The man (God) asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered.

God asked Jacob to confess who he really was. The name Jacob means liar or deceiver. When Jacob replied, he was really saying, “I am the deceiver. I am a liar.” And it is then that God re-named him (v28). When I confess to God, “I am a controller, I think my ways are best, I am judgmental and arrogant.” God changes my name too and by his grace gives me gifts to use for his good according to my faith (Rom12:3). Like Jacob, sometimes I must be broken before I can accept his blessing.

God will graciously bring us to a point where we can see and confess who we really are before him. The point where we can pry our fingers off what we want and how we want it and cling to him instead. He will do extraordinary things.

Hebrews 6:10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.

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Biography Information:
Gods brought me a long way from the New York City Housing Projects. I studied the Bible, repented, and was baptized for the forgiveness of my sins when I was 17 and have been repenting and striving towards heaven ever since. The hardest thing about becoming a Christian at 17 was trusting that God would take care of me, meet my emotional teen needs, and help me overcome my enormous insecurity...what else would a teen girl have trouble with?

Since those first days, I have made it out of the Projects, finished my Masters degree in International Development, and moved  to DC  to work in my field. As a young single Christian woman my struggles today are a little different than they were when I first came to know God, but who am I kidding, not much. It's the every day battle for my heart to be pure before God, to strive to please him, and help others to seek and know Him.

Over my years of a faithful walk with God I have received much grace and compassion and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Through out it all one thing has stayed consistent: God's word. Through His word I have been inspired and it has kept me faithful even when faith seemed like a foreign concept and God seemed deaf to my prayers. I started emailing my Quiet Times which helped me stay accountable as I shared my struggles and fought for understanding. Some wrote back and said they too were inspired and could relate. I hope some of my times can help inspire others who are seeking and fighting just like I am, to get to heaven and take as many as possible with me along the way.

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