A Work in Progress

Each day this month I will be answering one question from these December Journal Prompts.

Day 6: How have you changed since the beginning of this year?

To switch things up a bit today, I thought I’d ask for some outside perspective on this question. Naively, I thought, “who better to ask than my husband—the person who lives with me every single day and knows me better than anyone else on the planet?” Sounds like a no-brainer, right? Well, here’s how the conversation went down.

Talasi: Can I ask you a question?

Ryan: Yup.

Talasi: How have I changed since the beginning of this year?

Ryan: You get periods again.

Oh brother. Why did I even ask?! I should have known better than to involve him in this discussion!

Luckily, he did follow up this smart aleck remark with a couple of helpful answers. According to Ryan, here are two ways that I’ve changed this year:

1. I’ve become more compassionate.

Having to look after someone so vulnerable this year has made me care more about the needs of others. With a newborn in your home, you quickly realize that your life is no longer about you! And that can be a hard reality to adjust to, but it can also foster a whole lot of selfless love and compassion. For years before Avra was born, I often told people that I thought I was far too selfish to ever become a parent. And you know, in some respects, that was probably true! But just like my body changed during pregnancy as the life inside of me grew, my heart changed as that same little life became acquainted the world and began looking to me to actively fulfill every little need. Not only have I become more attentive to other people’s needs this year, but I have also acquired a greater sense of responsibility to help meet those needs.

2. I have become less task-focused. 

To clarify, I am still super task-focused! This is a huge part of my DNA, and although it has its downsides and difficulties, I have come to embrace and appreciate this characteristic in myself. But one challenge for me has always been the tension between tasks and relationships. I can become hyper-focused and nearly unresponsive to any kind of human interaction if you catch me in the middle of a mega-productive moment! I don’t want to pause for anyone or anything. This has been a cause for a certain degree of friction in my marriage, and I’m sure it has been a barrier in other relationships as well. But this year, I have realized that I need to worry less about the things I can accomplish and rather leave some space for time investments into other people. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s okay to just let the tasks go and focus on the real life moments that are happening in front of me right now.

I will admit that I was slightly taken aback when Ryan gave me these two responses to today’s question. I thought it was interesting that I had touched on both points in yesterday’s post, when I wrote about how God challenged and convicted the motives behind my work and aspirations for success. It was humbling and exciting to hear Ryan’s assessment of how I’ve changed, because it showed me that I actually responded to God’s conviction and allowed Him to refine and strengthen me in these two specific ways.

This is a timely reminder to me that Philippians 1:6 is truly in progress in my life. It says, “I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns” (New Living Translation). Sometimes I think we can become so focused on our shortcomings and flaws that we forget about this promise.

But it’s real.
It is happening.
Right now.

Each one of us is a work in progress. God is doing all of this amazing work inside of us, and sometimes we just need to slow down, take notice, and say thank you.

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