This has been a though week in my household. Someone that I love very much ended up in the hospital in critical condition from an accidental fall, and we (I) did not think that she would make it. Neither did a lot of other people including the doctors. But, it was a chance for a miracle. After falling, striking her head, breaking a bone in the side of her face, having a heart attack, vomiting and aspirating the vomit down into her lungs, she laid for two days before she was found (Yes, I said two days), and was brought into ER barely breathing. I truly thought we had lost this precious soul, but God had other plans. Not only is she alive and well, there don’t seem to be any/many aftereffects from this trauma.
At the same time, another precious person was brought into the hospital with pain from a fall. They could not control the pain, found a rare form of cancer that was untreatable, and three days later, he died. I thought he would live, but God had other plans.
During times of trauma, people are not always their nicest. When asked at the hospital “what are you doing here?” by someone I had been at odds with in the past, I did not react with patience and grace. I snapped. When told that a loved soul would die, I wanted answers. It was not my place to ask.
Life is not about me.
See, my brain knows that God is in control and that all things happen for a reason, but sometimes my heart forgets.
When another family member performs her extremely well-practiced control maneuver, I strike back in anger; and I strike hard… the ugliness of life rears its nasty head.
When I don’t understand, Ugly shows up.
When I want my own way, Ugly shows up.
Ugly is another word for sin; and sin is my constant companion in this life. Instead of looking outward toward the world, I need to look inward to keep this in check. It’s what Jesus wants. It’s what he died for. I can never forget this.
Ok, I just found this video and had to share it. I have seen the light!!! This video about human behavior will tell you just how far the enemy can drag you down, and drag you away from others. Jesus' command is to live one another. This perfect example of human behavior is exactly the opposite. Check it out!!! It will change the way you see those closest to you. There will be more to come on this subject, as this is a series of videos on You Tube. If you want to investigate further, check out Melanie Tonya Evan from Australia! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJP0FUk6oWY ~Until next time,
Growing up in someone else’s shadow can be either a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on the one who is casting that shadow. Typically these people are larger than life, famous, or sometimes infamous. Loved, or hated, they are unforgettable.
What happens to the one growing up? They are never seen for who and what they really are. They can be punished for the sins of the elder person, judged for what the other person has done, and even hated for the other person’s wrongs. Or, held up to a standard that can never be achieved. Was that Shadow bearer loved, or hated? Is that view of you constraining you from being who you really are?
The fact is that we are all individuals. Christ said “even the very hairs on your head are numbered.” We are all “knit together in our mother’s womb” individual and created for a purpose. When we are held up against another person like a measuring stick, there is no way we will ever measure up. God is the one who decides if we have accomplished our purpose here.
What I’ve discovered, after a lifetime of this treatment, is when people see me through the filter of someone else, it doesn’t really have a lot to do with me, but more of how that person made them feel.
Are people trying to control me to control the hatred they feel for them?
Forgiveness is the key. Yes, people do wrong - we are not perfect. Yes, there is control and manipulation in the world, but projecting that hurt and pain onto another innocent person is just as wrong. Each person should be seen for the individual that God made them, living up to their own unique purpose and fulfilling their own destiny.
There’s only one shadow I want to grow up in… the shadow and protection of the One and Only, Living God. ~Until next time,
I’ve actually gotten into trouble for laughing too loud at work.
When given my 15 year service award, the manager said “I don’t think she’s ever had a bad day.”
Yet there are those who make it their mission in life to tear me down.
Our lesson at church this week was “take up your cross and follow me”. For a long time I struggled to know what that meant. You see, I’ve always had it in my head that to “take up the cross” meant that you had to leave… go be a missionary in another country… move across the world… in some way physically leave the life you had in order to begin a new one with Christ as the center. Turns out that’s not necessarily true; you can take up your cross right where you are. They key is to put Christ as the center of it all.
My cross is to keep my joy and happiness in the face of those that cannot. When others try to tear me down due to their own unhappiness and insecurity, I keep my spirit of peace. When they try to transfer onto me those attributes that they are not willing to/ or capable of letting go of, I shower blessings on them. My happiness is a choice. My choice, not theirs. As soon as you realize that they truly have no control, life takes on a whole new meaning. Their insecurity, their hatred, their fear, their control, is all their journey - not yours. Never expect anyone else to validate your value. They can't. They can only see the limits of what their own baggage allows them to see.baggage
“Love thy neighbor. Pray for your enemies. Love, as I have loved you.”
My cross is to love those that cannot love me. The reasons and excuses for their hatred and fear don’t really matter anymore. My cross is to show Christ’s light to a screwed up world, in my own back yard - and keep my happiness doing it. And only then, can they see the true light that shines for the world to see. ~Until next time,
The Un-Perfectionist. This type of person knows that they are not perfect, and praise God that they don't have to be. They relish in their own forgiveness and the love of God... however... They expect complete and total perfection from those around them. There is no excuse for others not to live up to their standards. They set the bar so high that there is no way on earth that anyone can live up to it. They forever let you know that you are not measuring up. This is not a new problem. Jesus said: “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust inyour brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank inyour own eye? Why do we hold others to a higher level of responsibility than we hold ourselves? Judgementalism. A dangerous place to be my friends. "Judgement is MINE says the Lord." If you can learn to let go of our own expectations of others, and focus on God, life will be a lot more calm and peaceful for everyone. ~Until next time,
I'm not good enough. I can't do it. Everybody hates me. It's not enough that the world beats us down at every turn, but we have to keep up the fight, and continue to beat ourselves up when everyone else is done. I'm a failure. I can't do anything right. Or, the expectations that we put on ourselves when we compare ourselves to others. I can't make it on my own. I'm afraid to be alone. I don't make as much money as she does. I have to show the world that I am better.
Better = more, bigger, better, nicer, more expensive, MORE.
So how do you let go of those feelings that cripple you. I've heard people say "Just get over it." That seems a bit cruel. These feelings go down deep and shake the very core of who you are. If it was that simple, there would be no problems. The answer is a little deeper. Christ shows us in his life. You see, His purpose for coming here to earth was not about Him. "The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve others." He wasn't put first. It was about us. He wasn't thinking of His own accomplishments, He put others before Himself. We have to learn to take ourselves out of the mix. I will repeat the opening line in one of my favorite books, The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren. "It's not about you." If we can stop dwelling on all of our failures and downfalls, then we can start to get past them. Don't think about how you see yourself, or how others see you. Think about how Christ sees you. Life will take on a whole new meaning. If we can stop seeing ourselves through the judgmental eyes of others, then we can truly begin to see what our real value is. Because, truthfully, all insecurity really is, is the judgment of others imposed on us. Judgment is God's and God's alone. People have NO RIGHT to do that to each other. Christ came to live (and die) for us. If you can turn things around and live for Him, then you will find true value and purpose in your life. Pick up a copy of this book. It will change your life. (No, I get no kick-backs - but I wish I did!)
Because there's never enough. It's like trying to earn your way into heaven. It can't be done. Once you start out chasing after people to please them day in and day out, the bar is continuously raised. Like an alcoholic or drug addict, it continuously takes more and more to please the other person. What pleased them yesterday becomes the standard for today. Tomorrow it will take even more. And more. And more. When is enough, enough? At what point have we all lost control. And when you are busy pleasing the snot out of one person, how many others are being neglected in the background. Enough is enough when we crave the attention and love of other people more than we crave the attention and love of God. At that point everything we know to be true goes right into the toilet. God craves our attention and love. He is all we will ever need. If we can just focus everything on Him, then everything else will fall into place. Where have you looked to try to find value and self-worth? Buying things? Giving things away? Wrong choices in love? Chasing others? God held nothing back for you, even sending his own Son to die for you. Let's not waste that trying to please all the people round us.
In a world gone mad with outward beauty, how do you rate yourself? I’ve always viewed myself as falling short in that area. While not disfigured, or grossly ugly—I definitely don’t fit the “ideal” of what American finds beautiful. And I have always been aware of that fact.
Knowing I am a creation of God, fashioned by His loving fingers, at times helps but at times doesn’t. God doesn’t make mistakes—so why does the world make me feel so unwanted? God knows what He is doing. There is a plan and a purpose and all of it will turn out for my good, so could I get a clue of that plan here?
I have to remember; self worth has nothing to do with me. I must find my value—regardless of how the world views me—in the fact that Christ thought me worthy enough to die for me. Self Worth