I used to doubt that God was capable of changing my desires. I figured that my desires were essentially set in stone and that they honestly couldn’t be transformed. I do believe that some desires are God-given and aren’t mean to go away. But I’ve recently started to see God change my desires in unexpected ways.
The Things That Used to Matter So Much
One of the unexpected ways that I’ve recently seen God change my desires has been with Sean.* As I’ve written about many times before on TTT, I had a major crush on a guy named Sean all throughout college (and before college…and after college…ahem). Sean clearly wasn’t interested in me, but his lack of interest in me didn’t dissuade me from hardcore crushing on him. It made zero logical sense to obsess about him when he didn’t even know I existed. But my hormones didn’t need logic; they just needed a moment to find him in a crowd and go wild.
Clearly, I desperately wanted Sean—and I desperately wanted him to want me. But as a junior in college, I realized that I wanted him too much. My obsession with him was really unhealthy. So I wrote down the following words in my prayer journal: “…help me loosen my grip on [Sean].”
That was my sporadic, half-hearted prayer for about a year—as I struggled with liking him, being mad at him for not liking me, and finally coming to the point where I could write these words about Sean: “…my grip is loose.”
Three months after I wrote those words, Sean got married. To someone else. (You probably knew that that was coming—I sure didn’t. R.I.P.) God sometimes uses hard circumstances to change our desires, but He definitely changed mine.
Letting God In
When You did awesome things which we did not expect, You came down, the mountains quaked at Your presence. For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, nor has the eye seen a God besides You, who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him. (Isaiah 64:3-4 NASB1995)
The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes. (Proverbs 21:1 NASB1995)
It’s funny now to think about how obsessed I used to be with Sean. My grip on him was tight. I felt like I needed that relationship in my life. But my desires were no match for God’s transformational power. It took time (and prayer) for me to see that I actually didn’t need that relationship in my life.
Perhaps you’re in the same place that I was in during my junior year of college—longing desperately for something (or someone) but feeling helpless to feel any other way toward that thing (or person). And you’re just not sure if God can take away this deep desire or even lessen the intensity of it.
He can, friends. He’s fully capable. And He doesn’t need you to show Him that you’re strong enough to let go of things (and people) without His help. All you have to do is open your hands; let God do the transformational work in your heart.
*Name has been changed.