Have you ever tried to quit something? Have you ever questioned why you do certain things? Do you seek answers from someone you no longer have a connection with? I will cut to the chase and not keep you hanging on until the end in hopes for answers to these questions. The truth is I do not have the answers, although often I wish I did but not knowing has not stopped me from living. I hope you continue reading and my hope is God will provide insights to all of us through this conversation. The first question I posed was “have you ever tried to quit something?” I have tried several through the years and my success rate is “sometimes!” As a child, my mom was constantly asking me to stop biting my nails, that question lingered into adulthood. I have been successful on occasions and yet it is so easy to fall right back into old habits. I’ve tried lots of methods to help me break the habit and what I have learned about myself is that biting my nails is an emotional reaction and a coping mechanism for me. I have a love/hate relationship with myself when it comes to my nails. I love them when they grow and the visual changes they make towards my hands. They make me feel more feminine, prettier and confident. I am disappointed if they chip and break and then there are times I crave the pain the ripping them off. It’s an emotional trigger I seek to keep at bay and I do actively seek other ways to express my emotions. What I am trying to say is we often learn a method of coping with things that are uncomfortable for us and sometimes it is nothing more than a transference of feelings. Talking about these things is the best way to take their power over us away. If you have a mentor in your life talk with them, a teacher, a coach, a pastor, Sunday school teacher, hotlines and counselors and therapist. An objective person who will listen and provide guidance not necessarily answers. My experience has been that answers often dwell within us, they need only to be found. Be true to yourself in discovering “YOU!” It would be easy to simply have someone give you the answers but you must ask yourself, “am I living my life or I am living someone else’s?” There is freedom when you discover who you are and what you stand for. Freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want, freedom is respecting others as you respect yourself. The golden rule if you will, “do unto others as you would have done to you.” And most importantly “Love your neighbor, as you love yourself.” Neighbor is not just the person who lives next door, it’s everyone in the world. It is global, it is the right thing to do as the Bible tells us of the second greatest commandment from God, the first is, “Love the Lord your God will all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:36-40.
My second question was, “Have you ever questioned why you do certain things in your life?” Most of the time this is due to learned behavior and/or mimicking the actions of others. A lot of things I do is because that’s how I was taught to do things and others are because that’s the way my mom or grandmother did things. It’s funny, usually growing up we think we don’t want to be anything like our parents or mentors until there comes a time in your life when things just start falling into place and before you know it, you are saying and doing things that make you tell yourself, “I sound just like my mom!” And it’s not horrible and the sky did not fall! I cherish the things that I do that mimic the actions of my parents and grandparents, I also see the value in the things that I do differently. I used to think for the longest time that I was disappointing my family because I did do and see things differently than they did, but I was wrong. With each generation the world we live in changes, expands and provides experiences that were not afforded to our parents. It was a tough lesson to learn that being different does not mean I am defiant; only different, I was just being “me!” God tells us throughout the Bible that we are each created by Him for a purpose, not cloned.
Psalm 139:13-14 “You alone created my inner being. You knitted me together inside my mother. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.”
Psalm 119:73-74 “You made me; you created me. Now give me the sense to follow your commands. May all who fear you find in me a cause for joy, for I have put my hope in your word.”
Jeremiah 1:4-5 “The LORD gave me this message: “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
1 Peter 2:9 “However, you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”
Seek God and your purpose will be revealed!
The third and final question I posed, “Do you seek answers from someone you no longer have a connection with?” The ultimate “WHY” questions. I have longed for an answer from someone I have not seen or spoken to in almost two decades. And just today I realized I don’t need an answer to my question, what I need to do is let it go. The emotional baggage I’ve been carrying around has not affected anyone but me. The reality is I have foolishly placed this person and their actions on a platform and allowed it to take up space in my mind for far too long. What I consider a pivotal moment in my life, I had given space and light to the wrong recipient! My life took on a new direction and doors opened that I didn’t even know existed, these are the things that should be on my platform not the person. The doors I have opened and those that I have walked into were done by me and God has been with me throughout all of the journeys. Admitted, I’ve made some poor decisions in my life and I’ve tried to learn from them. I love this quote, “I’m not where I should be but thank God I’m not where I used to be.” I have a tendency to hold on to things way past their expiration date, take my free advice, letting go helps you. Hanging onto things will only hurt you in the long run. Forgiveness is for you and not the other person, give yourself permission to take the burden off your shoulders. Ask God to help you, He wants to help you and me!
Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”
Philippians 4:6-7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it fear.”
1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
Matthew 6:27 “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Ephesians 4:31-32 “You must put away all bitterness, anger, wrath, quarreling, and slanderous talk—indeed all malice. Instead, be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you.”
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
In closing, I want to share something a friend shared with me this past week. It is very simple and deeply profound. He said to me, “The moment I knew I was truly saved was the moment I realized I was a sinner.” Hearing this made me think of my own moment of salvation. I remember it clearly and yet hearing my friend utter this simple sentence shock my soul. It is so clear, we are dirty rags, sinful creatures filled with selfishness and God Loves us and wants us. Let me say that again, “GOD LOVES US AND WANTS US!”
Isaiah 64:6 “All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.”
Isaiah 1:18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”
~Blessings and Peace~