This is part of a series on UGM's Core Values. Read a variety of staff members' musings on God-dependence, Christ-likeness, Pursuing Excellence, Thankfulness and Total Accountability. Next up, Unified Teamwork.
UGM Core Value #4 - Life Transformation
Broken and dysfunctional people are often caught in a self-destructive cycle from which they cannot seem to break free. They may seem to do really well for a while but then fall back into the old patterns.
They may not know they have the ability to break the cycle, or they may not believe they deserve to change. Whatever the reason, in order for them be changed, they need to learn practical steps to stop the cycle.
Most significantly, they will have to develop a new concept of themselves: a new internal image in which they see themselves as healthy, productive, and constructive.
Addictions and other dysfunctional behaviors are very often passed from one generation to the next. Children are imprinted with the behaviors modeled by their parents and learn how to navigate the world and life based on childhood family dynamics. They need to have a new internal image of who they are in Christ and what they can do in life through Him.
Life transformation can begin when people realize that there is another way to live and believe a healthy, happy life is possible for them. Usually this process involves small steps forward with occasional steps backward.
It is important to understand that with every setback, earlier progress is not lost. Learning occurs all along the way, and change is a process. Discouragement must be continually resisted and successes strongly celebrated.
The grace of God, the Word of God, and reliance on the guidance of the Holy Spirit are essential to the life-transformation process. Support from a strong, loving faith community that provides a stable and accepting environment while requiring accountability is also necessary.
True life transformation can come with these ingredients, as well as patience and perseverance. The result can impact not only the individual but the generations to come.
~ Kathleen Wilson, Resident Advisor, UGM Women's Recovery at Anna Ogden Hall