My Long Journey Against Change

chnage

One thing I know about myself is that I DO NOT do well with change. I have dismiss the idea because I feel anxiety and my stomach turns just thinking about it.  I can be a control freak, and I become rigid in my thinking when taking risk. About a year ago, I came to the realization that my resistance to change begin to affect those who I love, and it started to stunt my growth. When did I become so uptight? When did I become so selfish? Most importantly when did I stop relying on God?  To take it a step further… did I ever fully rely on him? As a Christian I was ashamed to even admit that! At work I even avoided firing someone who definitely needed to go. Just because I didn’t want change in my department. Talk about foolishness! I went to the Lord in prayer “God help me to accept change. Help me to accept failure…. and help me to realize that you still love and have grace towards me when I fall”.

My life began to change, and it was unbelievably hard. I begin to let loose on my safety ropes ,and begin to take those 100 volt risk. It definitely has been a long process and a journey. I did things that I would NEVER do. I stumbled a lot, I was so afraid, I cried in discomfort, I tripped a few times. I succeeded and I have also failed. I must admit my failures go straight to my heart. I feel the full impact of the landing. They feel permanent, rejected, sometimes piercing, heavy, or like a tear.  I like stability. I don’t like feeling caught off guard. I like the known. I like planning my future. I don’t like my normal to be snatched away. I like knowing the essence, and intent of people in my life. I like to be liked.  I love to be transparent. I enjoy the process, but hate the ending. How am to have this ideology, in a world with everything being unpredictable. Life is unpredictable. TRUMP IS PRESIDENT! And I am in denial about the change that Obama is not..lol.  I am maturing and beginning to look at change differently. I had to begin to not fear change or avoid it, but look at it as necessary and inevitable. Our relationships change, if not entirely, the circumstances change, our feelings change, other people’s feelings change, our bodies change, nothing is ever exactly the same each moment. We can not fully embrace God while holding on to our lives. Change is necessary for growth. I have no choice but to let go.

Matthew 6:27-33 –Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

What’s most important?

Recently I have taken the time to think about what matters to me the most. Every year around this time I tend to be hard on myself. I isolate. I pull out my New Years Resolution list. Everything on the list is never fully completed. It never fails that I feel disappointed in myself, and I anxiously try to think of a plan to retract myself. No more of this!

These last few weeks I begin to ask the Lord to help me focus on what is important. I have come to a place in prayer where I desire for him to reveal to me what “HE” feels is important for my life. Often what he feels, and what I feel are very different . There are things he desires for me, and there are things that I want (Isaiah 55:8).  To be honest.. I often find myself torn between the two. When I was trained as a counselor, we were challenged and reminded daily to examine our intentions. Why do I feel this way? Why do I desire these things? What is driving my actions? What is my heart revealing? Why I am acting this way? We push our clients to think through these ideas. These person centered thoughts have become ingrained into the fiber of who I am. There is not one single day that I am not reflecting on these things. As a result, time and time again God humbles me and reveals my impure and selfish intentions. Amazingly this process has caused me to be more sensitive, and more understanding to others then I can ever imagine. But the downside is this.. I focus so much on myself and the intentions of others, that I forget to think about God and his intentions towards me. Do not be mistaken… The thoughts and plans you have for yourself will NEVER be better than the plans that God has towards you. The more I pursue life for myself, the further from Christ I will be. My desire is to fill up my thoughts of God, in the place I would normally place myself. My desire is to forfeit my will, and change my behavior. He demands and deserves to be the center of my thoughts. I cant help but to wish that I spent more time this year searching why God feels the way he does, instead of why I feel the way I do. What is his plan for me, instead of my own goals and desires. God your will, not my own.

Jeremiah 29:11-13

fullsizer

He has a desire to please everyone….

blackman

Last night I was able to spend some time alone time with my father. The hours we spent talking covered a few different topics on life. We both were fully candid about our thoughts and ideas. It was wonderful. Dad was able to speak some significant truth and understand into my life. I left feeling inspired, and quite emotional. I took out my journal and begin to jot down some questions. “Why do men have an inapt desire to want to please everyone that is in their lives?” Especially the women in their lives. I know most of you are probably thinking, “Well what is wrong with that?” Good men have a desire and unbelievable amount of pressure to meet the needs of everyone. Its drives them and gives them purpose. “It’s a man world”. Men are ruled by their life script of gender roles, masculinity, and the patriarchal model within our society. Consequently, because of this construct they have an unbelievable amount of pressure from those around them. From their mothers, wives, children, girlfriends. If they work in a prominent female profession, they are the leaders in the workplace. Even amongst their peers… Especially if you are a man who has obtained a significant amount of success, you feel obligated to take care of everyone that you are doing better than. But let’s focus on women. Women inherently need men. There is a collection of demands that we long for from our men. We want to be led, to be desired, protected, important, and provided for. A good woman sees the potential laying doormat inside of that man. Putting pressure on that demand is wonderful, but it also can cause a man to no longer follow his heart or dreams. It can cause him to miss Gods purpose for his life. These expectations on him can become a distraction and problematic. In certain situations, these expectations can cause a man to become miserable, unhappy, and live with regrets. He is no longer living a life of his own, but he is now living a life to please others. This kind of lifestyle can cheat him out of complete fulfillment and happiness. Some men will allow commitment to stretch them too thin, by pleasing others. No one wants to live with regrets and disappointments. But some regrets lead to un- fulfillment. Life presents us with opportunities and choices. When we make the wrongs choices, we live our lives with regrets that pierce our hearts.

My ex-boyfriend sent me an email recently. It read “Biggest mistake… ever losing Ambria” I didn’t respond for several days. My response to him, out of fully not understanding and to console him. “There are no mistakes. Just lessons and maturity” He then responded a few days later with these exact words…… “I disagree. As a man, I have matured and reflected.  I have to be honest with myself… and there is definitely a difference between lessons and making a mistake. When there’s a choice and u make, that choice based on the wrong reasons… it’s a mistake”. These words begin to resonate with me. Because I know that he struggled greatly with the fear of disapproval and rejection throughout our relationship.I have heard countless examples from people who have made life decisions based on the wrong reasons. Rather it be out of comfort,money, fear, children, a false sense of obligation, pride, or miscommunication. The list goes on.

We have to be careful not to allow guilt and fear to grip the behaviors of our men. Women realize your power. Men inherently fear disapproval. Guilt and fear can cause someone to say yes, when they want to say no. And to say no when you really want to say yes. Men are validated by approval of those who they love. We say things to them like “do what is right”, “be a man”. And if they do anything outside of this framework, it is considered “wrong”. When a man makes sacrifices for the needs and wants of someone else, without considering his own wants and needs. These core beliefs are wrong. But we call it “being strong”. He walks around unknowingly wearing his “selflessness” as a badge of honor. But we never take into consideration the burden or internal struggle he made with that sacrifice. What is truly driving his decisions? Is it his heart, or wanting someone else to be happy?

When a man is not validated he associates those feelings with weakness, and it can even tap into feelings of rejection. Example; Think of a man who is unable to produce or provide for his family. It triggers feelings of “less than”, insignificance, and lack of manhood. This taps into his masculinity. All humans need approval, but there is a thin line between approval, and the ideas and thoughts of others dominating your decisions. The need of approval can be misused and abused. Which is unhealthy.

I had 6 pages of thoughts on this topic, but I will bring this entry to a close. Men, it is important to live a life that is free and directed by God. A life that allows you to make decisions that you desire and want without regrets. Proverbs 29:25. When you live up to the expectations of others you can miss Gods purpose. Ask yourself, where has God placed me? Who does he have for me? What does God want me to be doing in this season of my life? Whose opinion matters to me the most?

We have to make peace with the stakes of not meeting the expectations of others. You will disappoint those in whom you love. Think about all of the people who Jesus disappointed. Are you any better than him? If you try to please everyone but yourself, you will fail. Do not allow your life to be controlled by others. Do not allow fear to control your life and the disapproval of others to sabotage your relationships and your happiness. Be led by God and be confident in every decision that you make. Anything outside of this displeases God, it stunts your growth and opportunities. Trust your decisions. You deserve Gods best. God is waiting for you to walk into his purpose, and happiness. He has great plans for your future. Jeremiah 29:11

“I’d rather fail at doing what my hearts wants, than succeed at doing what others expect of me.”  Ambria Willis

True strength

This year I found myself pulling strength from within that I didn’t know exist. Giving up when time gets rough should never be an option. Believe in yourself, have patience and persevere though.

“Anyone can give up. Its the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that is true strength” Anonymous