Do you ever wonder if you are reaping what you’ve sown? Are there days when holding your tongue, choosing the high road, blessing those who curse you, volunteering, tithing, giving, sacrificing or praying seem to get nothing in return?
Patience is difficult.
Years ago, Chris and I were looking to buy our first home. We found what I felt was the absolute perfect home for our family (to this day I can tell you every detail – I loved it!!). We made an offer and it was declined (the homeowners later tried to come back but we had already found something else). I was crushed and for years lamented on “what if” we had gotten that house over the one we ended up buying (in Monroe) and eventually having to sell.
Loss is hard.
Recently, my husband was in the general vicinity of that house that we “lost out on” and expressed his absolute relief that we didn’t live in that area. I also expressed my feelings of gratitude as we began to talk about our friends and our church and the community we are now a part of by “default.”
What some might consider negative, and possibly the result of not having God’s favor, we choose to see AS God’s favor – He knows what we need. WHO we need. WHERE we need to be. You see, favor and blessing does not always look the way we might think or want it to. We may sow seeds of financial blessing, and reap in great relational reward. We may volunteer our time, miss a promotion, but be provided for in other ways than a monthly paycheck. Just recently I felt moved to give more than I felt we could afford on a Sunday morning, only to get a substantial and completely unexpected refund from our dentist. I have had some familial struggles, only to have God bless me with extended “family.”
Don’t give up. Take a break and go back in the ring. Make no mistake, God is not mocked. Ever. He will always make sure that what we put out in honor of Him will result in reward and blessing and favor for us. Always.
A friend once shared her concern for a relationship I was in. She eluded to my choosing to walk away from it, saying it was not honoring to God. I took that deep into my spirit and meditated on it for quite some time. She was right, of course; regardless of man-made rules about staying through thick and thin, til death do us part, and a true friend never gives up….At the end of the day, my acceptance of the nature, and depth, of unhealthiness in my relationship, in no way brought God honor.
Something needed to change.
What I’ve discovered is that everyone’s journey is so very unique and different. Each of us has a specific calling, a purpose by design, and what may be the right decision for one might not be for the next. Sometimes it is good to change boundaries, to press in, or to step back. Sometimes we end the relationship. Sometimes we need only redefine it. Or look more honestly at ourselves and our own part in the dissension…
In my situation, I chose to redefine. God has done remarkable things, and I believe that the healing that has evolved is a huge testament to the power of faith and prayer. However, while it has worked in this case, there are other relationships in my life that ended for good, only to reveal new freedom, self acceptance, and fresh relationships in their stead. We can never predict what the outcomes will be – only trust that the Word of God promises He will work ALL things to good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28). He may not cause a situation, but His creativity is unparalleled when it comes to giving us beauty for ashes (Isaiah 61:3).
If you are facing a relational decision, remember to choose faith first, family second, and all else follows… Take a deep breath, and remember that with the right choice for YOU, comes peace unsurpassed… Therein lies your answer.
This past weekend some of my friends surprised me with an early birthday dinner – I felt so blessed!! They are each such remarkable, and yet vastly different, people, and it’s a tremendous honor to have them in my life.
I was looking at a picture of us again this morning, and began to think about how differently some of the poses could be perceived. (I over analyze nearly everything, so maybe you don’t do this, but bear with me).
So, I am in the center wearing peach. I reached around and put my right hand on my friend Marian’s shoulder, sort of in a backwards hug. But, in the picture, it would appear I am reaching in front of her (in a rude sort of blocking fashion) to reach out to my friend, Robin.
The reason it struck me is that I think we can all take the exact same situation, and depending on where we are already positioned, or the information we already have, we might perceive things differently. Those who know me would know that Robin and I spend more time together, and might see my reaching across to her as a way to include her and disregard Marian being there. Those who know how amazing Marian is, might realize my gesture for what it was, or perhaps not think anything at all.
What we are looking for, we will find. Even when the “proof is right in front of us!” it is simply too easy to misinterpret. At the end of the day, only God knows our hearts and true intentions. Always choose to assume the best – and remember to ask questions if you perceive the worst.
All other positions will produce only a thousand wasted words…
Days that celebrate parents can be extremely difficult for many. Some have lost them to death, to life or circumstance, others have strained relationships… Reading the posts of friends of mine today, some who have faced extraordinarily difficult relationships & still choose grace & honor, I am inspired to always choose the same. To function from a position of humility, knowing that I too, will disappoint those who love me. I am also eternally grateful to my kids & their dads, to the girls’ mom & our extended family, who have chosen to speak life & love over our kids. Hearing Larissa call my husband “daddy” today, & seeing the love my own kids have for their fathers reminds me of the amazing legacy that is being formed into our next generation…
Driving home this morning, I saw my favorite little family of Canadian Geese. There are 4 or 5 babies, and every day I watch as both parents teach and protect them. Usually eating, this morning the little ones were napping as mama and daddy sat on either side to keep them save from predators.
I was struck by the simplicity of their mission – being single-minded, they work naturally together in oneness. No competition, no division. Their daily life is an ebb and flow as they walk together in unity.
The bible talks about being equally yolked. Marriage, as well as relationships with fellow believers, are designed to walk in one accord. Two people or more, with a common vision, working together, not against each other. When two who are “yolked” and yet each desire to go their own way, someone is going to end up pulled in a direction they don’t want to go. Division stunts productivity.
Relationships with those not going the same way are beautiful; they can open our eyes to see new things or a fresh perspective, but we should always strive to find and establish a common goal with those closest to us. Too often we can lose sight of our own purpose when we link arms with people who are heading the opposite direction. Not that either is right or wrong, but simply differently wired and designed.
Stay focused, be intentional, find common ground whenever possible and always take time for a little rest along the side of the road…