Written by: Rhonda Sue Page
Dare I ask how your holidays were?
I’ll place my faith that they went well unless you share otherwise……..but some of you might want to throw your shoe at me just for asking.
Maybe all that build-up to one season has just left you empty and tired and wondering why you try so hard. Maybe you didn’t get to spend time building the relationships you wanted to. Maybe someone special was missing and it sucked the joy right out of you. And just maybe it wasn’t ole santa whom you were expecting great things from.
It hurts when we plan for outcomes we don’t receive doesn’t it? When our expectations and hopes fall short at the hands of others, or events we don’t want………it’s not always easy to deal with the aftermath. Especially if it’s family or close friends.
I personally would like to hit myself with your shoe. I’m trying by God’s grace to learn to manage both my expectations and emotions. If you don’t know this already…..It is messy business. At least for me it is….
I had some painful younger years. They were marked with neglect, rejection and abuse. I’ve allowed myself to walk away and create something new and there was great grace on that for a time.
There is a shifting now. That season is drawing to a close. God is asking me to begin dealing with people I’ve allowed myself to walk away from.
It’s partly messy because I have to own it. Yuck. If I’m honest, I’d rather get rid of it.
Like that floral print dress that looked amazing on the mannequin but on me looks like grandma’s curtains. It’s so much easier just to put that sucker right back on the hanger and keep walking.
Great for clothes………but what if your issues involve actual people?
I think for me, the hardest part is that it costs something. You actually do pay a price for being in relationship with someone. Be it time, energy, attention, emotion or literal money, there is payment made. It seems like nothing when you want the relationship, but what if your not so sure?
Deciding how to spend well requires perseverance, faithfulness and the guidance of God’s Spirit.
Some of you may have relationships that overwhelm you with the amount you invest in them. Perhaps you care for an aging parent or a baby that wasn’t planned for yet. Maybe you carry financial burdens that you didn’t create in order to breath opportunities back into broken situations. Maybe your spouse can no longer care for themselves and you’ve taken on duties that tax and strain.
It’s so tempting to walk away.
When I look up and listen………….I hear Him say, “Don’t hide yourself away. This is what my grace is for.”
That should be comforting, but in this moment……where I stand……It just hurts.
I want no part of the drama, the rejection, the negativity, the demands, the abuse.
You see, I want to believe the best……..But I must face a very real possibility that the people I’m in relationship with may never change. The question is …. will I?
Will I trust God? Will I believe that where He’s leading is better than where I am…no matter how comfortable I’ve become?
Will I pay the price to allow God to change me?
Will I still trust Him if it all seems to fall apart before it gets better?
Will I still trust Him if I’m the only one who changes?
Will I allow Him to work out the brokenness and bind me to Him in ways that free me to love others unconditionally?
These questions help me form a “yes”. At my core they speak to the woman I want to be.
AND let’s face it, they are much better questions than the ones I started with. If you read closely, that might have had something to do with my focus:
Do I need or want any of this? Do I think this person is worth it?
Will it ever be good enough for me? Will I ever be good enough?
Will this relationship ever bring me joy or satisfaction?
In the end, when I stand before Him, I want it to be with the “yes” still on my lips. I want to be caught in the act of trusting Him no matter what the cost. Maybe you want this too and we can walk this road together.
I know today wasn’t the light-hearted talk you’re used to getting from me, but I’m hoping that if you relate…….we can encourage each other.
If I get off-track….throw your shoe at me. If you need to talk, I’ll listen without judgment. But before we part, we’ll both promise to remind each other that God is good and He has a plan to break us free of the dysfunction and instead bind us to His goodness in ways that benefit everyone we have relationship with.
Let’s get caught trusting Him together this year……