Break the Pattern to Conform
The definition of the word conform is described as the following: to comply with rules, standards or laws, to behave according to socially acceptable conventions or standards, to be similar in form or type, to agree.
I want to focus on the pressures of conforming to social norms and standards which is a paradox for the 21st Century.
Society teaches that in order to achieve success, in order to attain our dreams we must chase after the prize. The prize can be defined as a career, finances, relationships, marriage, etc. The concept behind this theory is to take charge of your own life, to grab hold of what you want and to allow your personal strength to achieve- the unthinkable. While there are positives with this line of thinking, mainly that you must remain in a positive state of mind, courageous and ambitious, this philosophy is a setup for unforeseen failures that society does not teach or help to mitigate. Let’s unpack this philosophy as we focus this month’s post on Relationships.
This topic is something I struggled to write because I felt embarrassed to express my own failures. My hope is that it will help at least one person going through the same pattern of conformity even though my human nature wants nothing more than to shrink back because of fear. What I know to be true is that my testimony is meant to heal, encourage and to break past silence.
As a woman who stands firm on the word of God and was raised with strong Christian values, I hold the marriage of my parents as the ultimate example. They have represented genuine, sacrificial love for me and my siblings. I have learned that in relationships/marriage you must be willing to conquer the highs and low together and that giving up can never be an option. So, how with this example did I find myself in trouble?
I can define myself as a fighter. There are no limits to my compassion and giving. I strive to be a helper, a support, and an encourager. I am the type of person that would slay giants in prayer and on earth for the ones that I love. I’m a warrior in prayer; intercession is a gift that I confidently know Satan fears! I’ve also learned about my weakness in that I struggled to define healthy boundaries. Imagine, the woman who was involved in ministry, on the worship team, mentoring youth/young adults, and teaching at church functions conformed to the standards of the world because two years ago she entered into a relationship that was less than Gods standard.
It all started with my pursuit, the first error. The world teaches us to chase. Warning: when you chase anything, you are laying claim to something that may not be yours. The pursuit led to a relationship that was full of compromise on my end. As much as I taught others that God will send Boaz if we are patient, my own impatience led me to take matters into my own hands.
In the relationship, my involvement in ministry was viewed a threat. I was too strong a woman, and the challenge to meet me was too great. As a result I shrunk back to keep the prize. I started to make concessions and ultimately removed myself from every gift God had given me. As if this didn’t grieve the Spirit inside me enough, I crossed the boundaries of how I was respected and honored as a woman of God. I was brought low, treated as an option, and not even a secondary option, but just any option. Why did I stay? Because I was a fighter! One misguided step led to a series of choices where I conformed to the patterns of this world. When we get to this state, it’s easy for weapons of lies and defeat to creep into our minds. The lie I believed was this is as good as it’s going to get for a woman in her 30’s. So, settling seemed like the best option.
At the beginning of this post I mentioned that conforming to the standards of this world is a setup for unforeseen failures, which is exactly what happened with my relationship. One year of chasing, compromising, settling, and stripping away the woman God created me to be, left me isolated, depressed and confused.
I found myself in the corner of my bedroom one night crying out to God. All I could say was “Jesus forgive me for not trusting you with my life. Help me.” That day, I vowed I would be with a man who genuinely loves me, who speaks words of life and encouragement over me, who will never be embarrassed about my gifts and the call on my life, but rather would champion them, who will treat me as the only option in his life, who sees me as a gift from God, a good woman, as the Bible teaches.
When I look back I ask, what happened? The answer: Selfishness. Society teaches us to conform to unhealthy, below par standards that are rooted in selfishness. In taking accountability for my own actions and spending the past year and a half healing: renewing my mind, body and spirit back to the plans and purposes of God, I had the following revelation: Do not conform to selling a misguided representation of yourself. There is only one unique version of YOU and it’s a shame to allow conformity to dim the light on the best version others will encounter.
By not conforming to this world, but being an inhabitant of it, we have an advantage to break the mold of what is normal thinking and to truly act set apart from the rest. The Intel that God has given us based on scripture is that we can certainly be a world changer if we stand for His standards. His promise: Your increase will supersede anything you could have accomplished in your own strength. Let that be the ultimate example you wish to live by. I look back now and find myself in the most beautiful, peace, and whole season of my life. I could never have written a better outcome. And the best part, I waited patiently, conformed only to the will of God, and unexpectedly, Boaz found me!
Rebekah Mazzei holds a Bachelor Degree with honours in Pastoral Christian Studies from Christ for the Nations Bible College, along with certifications in Child and Family Studies. She currently holds a position in the corporate world where she reviews, audits, and administrates proposals and contracts for the electrical energy sector with private and public corporations in North America. Rebekah has been a mentor to teenage and young adult girls and is an active volunteer at her church and in her community. With her public service and business experience, Rebekah brings a multi-faceted perspective to breaking social norms and walking in the identity and purpose set by Christ.
Rebekah is passionate about bringing awareness and education to the next generation about walking in purpose and understanding the function of the Holy Spirit. Rebekah believes that by all doing our small part and using our unique gifts and strengths, we can equip history makers for the next generation.