My usual MO for a Saturday is a video or a quick post, but today I wanted to take the time to be a little more vulnerable.
In one of my many other lives, I am a growth coach. For me, there is something so absolutely moving and inspiring in helping another person discover their intrinsic value, identify goals, encourage personal growth, break free from past hurts, learn to see the world through a healthier lens…
But today, I have to confess, I have absolutely failed. I failed myself.
As I know I have mentioned, I am a recovering co-dependent. As much as I would love to tell you that I have moved past all such tendencies, it really is a process, and one through which I am not confident we ever fully complete. Perhaps some are better students than myself, or perhaps my DNA gets in the way, but for whatever reason, the decision to live my most authentic life does not always (hardly ever!) come naturally.
I have to choose daily, to be intentional about my healing.
When my older two kids were younger, they used to argue quite a bit. Being a mere year-plus-a-few-months apart, they could be the best of friends and the worst of enemies at any given time. Bipolar Seattle weather had nothing on these two. More often than not, however, it was my son who would commit the greatest offense, usually in the form of inappropriate sibling contact. It was often he who experienced the greater of the consequences.
Then, I saw the light.
One day I caught her – my precious, sweet, quiet daughter – taunting her brother. I watched for quite some time as she violated his boundaries over an over again. Like poking the bear, she pulled out all the stops, clearly waiting for that victorious moment when he would lose his cool and lash out in desperation. I could feel my anger rising as I realized the intentionality of her assault on his senses. All subsequent conversations looked very different after that day, with lots of conversation about honor, boundaries and respect.
For the past couple of months I have engaged in a similar situation, not because it’s fun, but because it’s familiar. It plays on my emotions, and I spend a lot of energy trying to offer kindness and patience in response to accusation. I need to be a good Christian, right?? Longsuffering, and laying myself down and all that godly stuff… Honoring what I tell my kids; that “relationship is more important than being right.” And yet, once again, I fail and throw down the snark. Not a lot, just enough to feel better, just enough to let the other person win, and wham!
I am washed in guilt at my failure, and proving “true” what was being said about me all along…
Poking the bear.
It is really easy to know the right things to do, but sometimes it is an entirely different thing to follow through. I want to be honest with you all and confess I rarely have it all together, and that I fall more often than not. And, I want to encourage each and every one of you that just because we fall, doesn’t mean we don’t get to try again. All those “ings” are a process…healing…forgiving…mending…learning…recovering…
Here is the lesson. My thoughts, choices and emotions have been filtered of late, through my perception of how they would be received by this other person. I have made a human the lord over my life, instead of keeping the Lord in his rightful position in my heart. For the comfort of familiarity, I exchanged my right as a Daughter of the King and stepped outside of who I have been created to be.
Zechariah 9:12 Living Bible (TLB)
Come to the place of safety, all you prisoners, for there is yet hope! I promise right now, I will repay you two mercies for each of your woes!
We don’t have to strive – the Lord our God fights on our behalf. Those things which are broken, He promises to redeem. The weaknesses we carry in our innermost parts, He sees. There is nothing that we cannot lay down on the altar that He will not use to reveal His power in our lives. Regardless of the battle or position of lack you are in, or choose to go back to, there is hope. Repent, turn away from the things that damage you, let God take them from you. If you have gone back to the old ways, it’s not too late to turn again and run towards the hope that is before you.
This truth, I confess to you, my friend.