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Get Your Own Change of Heart

Kaleigh Lang

 1. Understand that your situation is either God’s will for your life or is a result of living in a sinful world. “Trouble and distress have come upon me, but your commands are my delight” (Psalm 119:143, NIV).

2. Ask God to open up your mind and your heart so that you can accept your situation. “I desire to do your will, 0 my God” (Psalm 40:8, NIV).
3. Continue to ask God to change your heart, and don’t expect it to happen immediately. “Pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” 
(1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18, NIV).

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A Change of Heart

by Kaleigh Lang

I had to learn to ask God for something other than what I wanted all the time

 I lay on my back as stars zipped across the sky in a spectacular midsummer meteor shower. The stars were so big and clear that I felt like I could reach out and touch them. Overwhelmed by God’s dazzling light show, I felt as though He were sitting right next to me. I threw my arms wide open to absorb the splendor of His presence.

It was my ninth summer at Big Lake Youth Camp in Oregon. I’d had the privilege of growing up at summer camp since my dad was the camp director. I’d spent the summers exploring the surrounding forest with my siblings, playing with the staff members, and watching countless campfire programs. Through these experiences I grew closer to God. He became real to me as I listened to the staff members’ testimonies and watched campers accept Jesus for the first time.
Since Big Lake was where I fell in love with God, my dad baptized me in the refreshing waters of Big Lake. That camp was my spiritual lifeline. Then came the bad news that severed that lifeline.
Just after my eighth grade year began, my parents made an announcement: we were moving to Georgia in November.
“I’ll never forgive you!” I yelled at my parents as I ran out of the room.
My parents knew how much I loved Oregon, so I didn’t understand how they could take me away from everything I loved. Not only did I yell at my parents, I pleaded with God to change the situation—to keep our family from moving.
As my parents explained that God had called our family to move to Georgia, my passionate love for God cooled. I recognized that my parents wouldn’t make a big decision without seeking God’s guidance, but I just couldn’t handle it. I felt as if God had abandoned me by not answering my prayers. As our moving day drew closer, I pulled further and further away from God.
The big move
Ironically, our family began the cross-country trek from Oregon to Georgia on Thanksgiving Day that year. Even with numerous things to be thankful for, I felt like the most ungrateful person that holiday season.
When we arrived in Georgia, as I expected, it was terrible. I immediately decided that it wasn’t possible for me to be happy in the South.
My parents encouraged me to make friends at church, but I refused. “I don’t need any new friends,” I informed them. “I am getting out of here as soon as I can!” I determined to make sure that my family knew how unhappy their decision had made me.
Yet with each passing week, I found that maintaining my unhappiness became more and more exhausting. Going back to Oregon seemed like the only solution, so I continued praying that God would change my situation.
One night I climbed onto the roof of my new house to look at the stars. Like my relationship with God, the stars weren’t quite so clear or so close as they had been at Big Lake. I wanted to throw my arms wide open and feel God’s presence like I had before, but turmoil in my heart held me back. In spite of all my prayers, God hadn’t changed my situation—I was still in Georgia.
Just before climbing onto the roof that night, I had read the encouraging words of Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (NIV).* Throughout my life I had learned and observed that God’s way is best. I knew that God had a plan for me in Georgia, but I did not want to accept it. As I processed Jeremiah’s powerful words, God spoke to my heart.
“I want the best for you,” He gently whispered.
In tears I pleaded, “I know, Lord, but this is killing me. Please let me go back home!”
“Ask for something else,” the impression came.
What? Ask for something else? All I wanted was to go home!
When I figured out that going home was not an option, I realized I had two choices left: I could continue being miserable with my circumstances, or I could learn to accept my situation. So, hesitantly, up on the roof, I said to God, “Lord, I want to be happy, but I don’t know how. Please give me a change of heart.”
After that, my world began to change—for the better. Actually, asking God for a change of heart has been the best prayer I’ve learned to pray.
*Texts credited to NIV are from the Holy Bible, New International Version. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, International Bible 
Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.
Kaleigh Lang is a mass communications major and hopes to work for the church when she graduates. She loves her family, summer camp, gymnastics, and sunshine. And she is so thankful that her parents chose to follow God’s leading. Moving to Georgia was a growing experience that strengthened her relationship with God.

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