"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10 NIV
Don't you love how we seem to want one thing, but do another? We want God's love and approval, but we tend to work for man's. I am a people pleaser. It makes me happy when I see others happy. It is difficult for me to see others hurting or upset. It is also very difficult for me to think I disappointed someone or hurt them.
The past four years of my life have been a time for me to stretch my wings and learn to live for God truly and not for man. I didn't intend or set out for that, in fact, I can say I have lived in a bubble of sorts. God has shielded me from the outside world in a sense. I feel like I have been in a tunnel, only seeing what is right in front of me. Don't get me wrong the past four years have not been a joy ride. As I posted a couple of months ago I am now digging myself out of debt and will be for some time. (I will post more on that too.) This time has been meant for the healing and restoration of my soul.
When we live for God and not man it is almost a magical place, but it seems we don't always remain in this place. During my "bubble" period, I was only able to concentrate on God, my kids, my job, and college (The same week my marriage was ending I was accepted to college to get my specialist degree). I had so much on my plate I had little time to think about people's thoughts of me and to be honest I didn't really care what people thought or said. I was numb. I knew MY life and what I had experienced and so did God. That is all that matters. So many people have asked me how do you know what to do when life is so tough you can't seem to breathe. My answer always remains the same, "Lean on God and when His answer is all that matters then you know." (That goes for anything we do in life.) For me, this means seeking God and not everyone else's thoughts. When we concentrate on what everyone else thinks about our life we begin living for man and not God. There comes a time when boundaries must be set and decisions made. I knew I had to live with my decisions. I just prayed for protection for me and my kids and let God take care of the rest.
You are probably asking how will my experiences help you? I hope you will see how difficulty doesn't always mean defeat. The past year (June 2018) has been the hardest in this newfound life of mine. I realized my marriage could never be restored. I also woke up and decided to look at my finances and they were a MESS!! I took chances in my career and got into the world of dating. I could say all of these things were failures, but they weren't at all. They were lessons on trusting God. Looking back I feel like God placed me on my own two feet and said, "Ok it's time for you to walk on your own. I am right here beside you, but I am not going to carry you anymore." I felt this way when my mom died and when I was going through chemo. God carries us in difficult times, just like we carry our children. As a parent, we know when it is time for our children to stand on their own and experience life on their own. We are always right there to help and protect, but we know they must experience life in order to learn.
June of last year until now has been a time of experiences and more learning, some I would rather not have experienced if I am being honest, but I know I will grow from them and hopefully through Christ help others grow too. Life isn't easy and living to impress and please others can complicate things even more. Being raw and taking chances to only be turned away can be tough too, but guess what with each rejection comes a time to reflect and learn. This year has been full of rejections professionally and personally, but with each one, God has given me the opportunity to learn and reflect.
Dear friend life is tough, God doesn't promise us a happily ever after on this earth. He promises us something SO much better!! Eternal life in Heaven! How much better can it get?
Tomorrow I will share how through failures and defeat we can be stronger, more confident in Christ.