Have you ever said (or heard), "It's not you, it's me" during a break up? We often use this saying to buffer discomfort or avoid hurt feelings. But do you know that most of the times is actually IS you?
You may be thinking, "How DARE you make such a self-righteous remark; you don't even KNOW me!" But before you stop reading, hear this: I may not know YOU, but I know ME. And I know that I am not really THAT much different from the 7.7 billion other human beings currently on our planet.
We are ALL created in the image of God, and we are ALL sinners in need of a Savior.
You still with me? If so, you're in for some serious shake-ups here!
You see, we tend to walk around with two primary views about ourselves and others:
Either we think we're basically pretty good people. After all, we rationalize, "I'm not as bad as that guy or at least I do this, and don't do that!" OR,
We know we really aren't so good so we need to constantly try harder, do more, be better.
In which camp are you finding yourself right about now?
To paraphrase Tim Keller: We are more sinful than we could ever believe... and yet are more loved and accepted than we ever dare hope. Now, THAT is good news!
What's going on in your soul right now? Pause for a moment to take inventory. If you want a peak into some painful memories of things that went on in MY soul last summer, here you go:
I can’t stop crying right now. Have you ever been there? Are you there now? I am a straight up MESS - and I don’t mean like cute-mom-bun mess. Or I’m-still-in-my-workout-clothes-because-I-actually-worked-out-today mess. I mean clumpy-mascara-running-down-poorly-applied-foundation mess. Too-many-lines-on-my-face-and-rolls-around-my-midsection mess. Pain-so-deep-I’m-not-sure-where-it-is-coming-from mess.
So I ask again, have you ever been HERE? Because I feel so alone. Really. Really. Alone. Or is it lonely? Sometimes I’m surrounded by people, so I guess I’m not “ALONE” - I had a therapist once tell me that and it stuck with me, for good or bad. There it is: I feel LONELY.
You know what else sticks with me? My feelings of utter worthlessness. I “know” I am created in the image of God, that He choose me before the foundation of the world and all that. But CLEARLY I am struggling with believing that. Oh God, help me with my unbelief!
My teenage step-daughter treats me with utter disdain and I am just broken over it. She used to be my girl and I was her "Mama" - she chose me over everyone else. We were thick as thieves. And now? I could not possibly understand what is happening or what matters now or what is important. Actually, I remember feeling that way about my own mom, quite ashamedly. I’ve told my mom on multiple occasions now (and thank God she is still alive for me to tell her!) how very sorry I am for treating her so disrespectfully when I was a teenager. She has told me she has forgiven me, but I feel like I’m struggling with forgiving MYSELF! I mean HOW could I have treated my mother so poorly!? WHY would I do such a thing!?! Is that what’s happening to me now? Payback?
Ouch: That was painful to re-read! I wasn't able to share that before, because I was still in the "pit." But, I am coming out now. Praise God!
"He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure." Psalm 40:2
You see, like we always say at Connect Point Moms, it starts with YOU. WE are going to need to start OWNING our own "stuff" or IT is going to start owning us! Whether we're talking biological children or step-children, your spouse or your sister, your brother or your boss, you are going to have to do the work to discover why you do the things you do. Because, like Jim Cofield and Rich Plass say, "The quality of our relationships determine the quality of our lives."
Are you now wondering how? Here you go:
By getting quiet, spending time with God, in His Word and in His presence. Every. Single. Day.
By recognizing and naming your feelings and emotions rather than pushing them away or avoiding them with food, drink, shopping, cleaning, exercising, and social media.
By truly being PRESENT with others - not on your phone, not thinking about what you're going to say or do next - but just connecting.
By looking for the joy in everyday situations and actively feeling grateful for it all. You may need to actively practice this gratefulness!
It's not easy. But it's WORTH it if you want to change your feelings of worthlessness, with seeing the worst in situations, with finding everything wrong around you into recognizing who God says you are, seeing the best in situations, and looking for everything that is right around you!
When you are in Christ, God says:
You are His child, coheir and friend of Jesus (John 1:12, 15:15, Romans 8:17, Galatians 4:7)
You have been forgiven, justified, and redeemed (Ephesians 1:7, Romans 3:24)
You are not condemned by God but accepted by Christ (Romans 8:1, 15:7)
You are complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10)
You were created in love to do good works (Ephesians 2:10)
But how can you know those TRUTHS unless you start reading them and believing them? And how can you possibly share them with your children unless YOU FIRST acknowledge them?
You can do this. You are going to need to do this. Let me know if you need help.
#ConnectPointMoms helps you create stronger relational connections with the children in your life. This starts with being aware of your own stuff so you can BE PRESENT with your children in the moment you are in, and then knowing and using the best ways to communicate with them.