My 28th birthday is coming up and I’ve been contemplating the large number of lessons I learned during my 27th year. I fought a lot of battles within–mentally, spiritually, physically, emotionally, and financially. Calling a spade, a spade, I have gained so much and lost a lot! I finally feel like I am progressing in my life.
Having a conversation with My Mother and going back to memory lane. I had to ask myself. How do I see the relationships near me? Are they burdens, assets, or liability? I thought anyone who got on my nerves was a liability or burden but that is not the case. We need people in our lives to challenge us to help us grow. I believe I valued more of the relationships that gave me what I needed versus appreciating the ones who challenge me to grow as a person.
Honestly, I was not being honest with myself. I had been deceiving myself for most of my life. I kept facing others who mirrored that image I hate the most about myself. I felt that the image was the only thing that would keep my heart protected. I was unable to stomach the pain I was enduring spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically. I had isolated myself for the past 6 or 7 years, where I did not recognize it.
Ashamed of the healing and pain I was enduring that I shut myself off from the world and even family. Honestly, I was ashamed to show others the pain I was enduring because I did not want to face the scrutiny. The scrutiny was what I ran away from because I was so consumed with presenting an image to others that revealed only half of who I was in God. Being honest, I also felt safe being by myself because I told myself being around others triggered me and disturbed my peace. Now, that concept may have been acceptable about 6 or 7 years ago, but my life was telling me that concept was no longer acceptable for my life now.
As you grow spiritually, you begin to see the world more differently than you did before. Somethings that others found fine with tolerating, I could no longer stand. The things that others found acceptable, I didn’t care. I have gotten to the point that isolation was better and limited conversation kept me safe. I also carried this deep yearning to be my joyful and loving self as I once was. It’s been a battle because when I did show how bright I was. I also face scrutiny, which is a pet-peeve. It was once a very scary thing for me to face based on the judgment and emotional abuse I faced as a child. The change was coming and it was time for me to evaluate the relationships I have experienced in the past, and begin to prepare for the new ones that I knew were coming.
To prepare, I needed to evaluate myself, but first I needed to accept God’s mercy for my life. This weekend allowed me to hold myself accountable for the persona that I portray. I came to the result that my attitude towards others who portrayed the characteristics of others who have hurt me in the past has been negative. I was not willing to give anyone a chance, and I also became paranoid about other’s intentions next to me. No one was off-limits in my eyes. Everyone was guilty until proven guilty.
I have an issue showing mercy towards others who I felt did not deserve to be forgiven or treated fairly. The interesting thing is that I know I am not alone in dealing with this concept. Not accepting God’s mercy allowed me to value my opinion and my way of doing things over God’s. I felt more comfortable with doing things my way in relationships because I did not trust God’s way.
I knew I would always make myself look good, but I couldn’t say I could depend on God to do the same. It was not because I did not think he was not capable of producing miracles in my life. I felt that I did not deserve the miracles that God produced for others in my life. I felt others deserved God’s Mercy more than me. I felt it was meant for me to suffer and be punished much like it was when I was a child.
I knew it was time for me to hold myself accountable for the relationships near me. All sectors of my relationship ended the same by me cutting them off because I decided that I did not want to accept the good, bad, and ugly of others. I thought love only looked like evaluation, but love also looks like preservation. I began to discover how God preserved my life. God was showing his Mercy for my life all my life. I felt I had to work for God’s love and mercy much like I did as a child with my parents.
He showed me how valuable I was even when I faced situations that told me that I wasn’t. God’s mercy and love kept me when I was unhealed, broken, hurt, and abused because he decided to heal me. God’s Love preserved me when I got myself in sticky situations, where others saw no mercy for me. God’s Love preserved me when my mind, body, soul, and spirit was filthy with toxicity. God’s Love preserved me when everyone around me thought I was crazy and left me. God knew what I was facing and he protected me from others who wanted to destroy me.
I had to be honest as to why I felt so undeserving of God’s Mercy for my life. I felt so insufficient to God’s love that I would run away from who God called me to be and who he said I was. I ran away as far as I could from situations that appeared taunting and triggering to me. It was not until later that I began to understand that those were opportunities meant to make me stronger.
I began to understand that those challenging situations were presented to me to help me push to pass the limiting beliefs that kept me stuck, restricted, depressed, and allowed me to self-sabotage myself from situations that would be great for me. Those negative emotions listed above were once second nature to me, but they became first nature to me because I grew ok with being comfortable. I liked being toxic and depending on my self-righteous thoughts because I knew things would be completed properly. My self-righteous thoughts made me feel important. Everyone around me proved to me that they could not be trusted based on their actions, so I was left to depend on myself.
For the past 7 years, I have faced the same scrutiny from others and I ran from any situation that looked like scrutiny could manifest. This was another reason why I decided to isolate myself. I always felt that I had to hide who I was just to make the other people who feel better about themselves.
God’s mercy helped me to improve my relationship with him, self, and others. The conviction came when I realized that I had been treating others with scrutiny and failing to show mercy towards others and their mistakes. God was giving me a taste of my own medicine. I can only treat others the way I treat myself. If I did not value God’s mercy for my life then I was not going to show mercy towards others when they made mistakes even if I was involved in the incident. It was time to change and be my grown women underwear on. I needed to be more forgiven and show more mercy towards others and their mistakes. My attitude needed to change. God showed me mercy even when I did not deserve it and he never rubbed it back in my face.
1 Corinthians 13:5 CEV, ” Love isn’t selfish or quick-tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do.
I figured out that 6 or 7 years ago, I didn’t have a good concept of what integrity was and how it could protect me. I was not aware of how effective being assertive was in relationships. I also did know how essential it is to set boundaries in relationships. I did not know my worth 6 or 7 years ago, but I know it now through the pain and suffering. Years ago, I did not understand that trials and tribulations arrived at me because God knew I could handle it and he was going to use those opportunities to help grow and learn the lessons that were needed to assist me to move forward.
Trials and tribulations showed me how resilient and strong I can be. Let us know we can weather the storm and prove to others how strong humans can be when our minds are clean, our hearts are pure, and God is the source of our lives. God shows how capable we are to sustain the pureness in our hearts and cleansing our spirit even when darkness arrives. Have you accepted God’s mercy yet?
Philippians 2:12-18 CEV
“ My dear friends, you always obeyed when I was with you. Now that I am away, you should obey even more. So work with fear and trembling to discover what it really means to be saved. God is working in you to make you willing and able to obey him. Do everything without grumbling or arguing. Then you will be the pure and innocent children of God. You live among people who are crooked and evil, but you must not do anything they can say is wrong. Try to shine as lights among the people of this world, as you hold firmly to the message that gives life. Then on the day when Christ returns, I can take pride in you. I can also know that my work and efforts were not useless. Your faith in the Lord and your service are like a sacrifice offered to him. And my own blood may have to be poured out with the sacrifice. If this happens, I will be glad and rejoice with you. In the same way, you should be glad and rejoice with me.”