I’m going to jump right in to the final area where cooperation with God helped end the frustration of always starting over, freeing me up to finally be who I knew He was calling me to be.
“Truly trusting God to guide me along, knowing He wasn’t upset with me because I was a little slow (my perspective, not His)”, was the third area I shared on Tuesday. This is really two parts. The latter is probably the most important. When I learned what it was God wanted me to do, at any capacity, I had a tendency to feel like I needed to be able to do it right away. If I didn’t, I would kind of freak out and feel like God was mad at me. Now, this is a bit psychological and a therapist would probably say my parents helped create this angst within me. To a degree, that is true. I did always want to do things I was “supposed” to do, because I feared upsetting my parents for various reasons. I was always on alert, wanting to do everything I could to gain the approval of my parents, because I hated upsetting them. So it seems reasonable that I would have a similar relationship with God, since I see Him as God the Father.
Because of this I would stress myself out, try to do things in my own strength, and get really burned out and frustrated when the cycle we have been discussing continued to repeat itself. My eyes were finally opened to the message of Galatians, where we are exhorted to rely on God’s grace AFTER we come to Him. After all, this same grace is what led me to Him, this same grace should be what transforms me, not myself. So I got that. Finally (but in His timing of course). Then I had to deal with the issue of trusting Him to do so.
Trust was a big one for me. Circumstances had taught me that I cannot always trust the people in my life to always be there for me, or to look out for my best interest. Unfortunately, disappointment had me quite jaded and self-reliance was a VERY BIG part of my mentality and approach to life. When I had moved in my own strength and things didn’t work out (this is now no surprise, if God calls me, He should be the one to equip and move me), rather than seeing it as a blunder on my behalf, I pointed to God and asked where He was in all of it. This did not help my trust issues with Him. But God is relentless in His desire to change us from image to image and glory to glory. In my prayers He would point out what was going on. In my study time, He would open up Scripture, and I would see where I identified with people like Moses and Peter. Zeal had gotten me into a pickle. But like Moses and Peter, God had still called them. God didn’t give up. I could trust God to do the same for me. Eureka, I finally GET IT!
Why did we get into all this again? If we go back to Tuesday, I was recalling my perpetual cycles of wanting to do what I knew to do, only to not do it. This recollection was due to the boundless energy I was experiencing (and have continued to experience since), enabling me to live out long held convictions. The boundless energy is directly related to the Whole30 challenge, and staying committed to the process. The ability to stay committed, this time versus the countless other times, is attributed to understanding how negativity affects me and my decisions, understanding I needed to stop feeding the habits I no longer wanted and exchanging them for habits I did desire, and finally changing some long held beliefs that caused me to trust God loved me, wasn’t upset with me and wanted to move me as He needed to, in His timing.
Seeing all this in one place, makes so much sense (to me anyway, hopefully it resonates on some level with all of you). It really does go beyond wanting a bag of Cheetos, instead of wanting an apple, and lacking the will-power to not give in. It goes beyond not having some character trait that causes us to stay locked in, or to be able to stay in the “hustle”. It goes beyond not having enough love for ourselves, to make loving choices. It is so much more. The three areas that helped me, may not be the same areas for you. I would encourage you to pray about it and see what God reveals to you. He will. If you sincerely want to know, and truly want the cycle to end.
I apologize if all this became a little too wordy and long-winded. But if it opens up even one small area of understanding that helps you to do this time differently, it is all worth it.
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