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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

you're doing it wrong (again)

"I'm just terrible with relationships." 

I read the text.  I shake my head.  If they only knew.

What is the old adage?  If it weren't for people, we'd be perfect people?  Something like that.  The way it goes, as long as you have people in your life, you're bound to make mistakes in the way that you treat them.  

It's just wired into us, selfish, sinful humans.  We want to look good.  We want to feel good.  

So, in our relationships, we do what we can to manipulate to make things work out better for us.  

Most of the time, as Christians, we do this subconsciously.  We want our relationships to be Christ centered, we want to glorify God in our relationships!  But there's always that sinful flesh, pulling, yanking, dragging.  It screams, "ME!!!" It manipulates, even twists our best efforts--taking that with which we would glorify God, turning it around and making it into something that can benefit our flesh too.

Win-win, right?

You're doing it wrong.  Or at least I know I am.

Feels like everywhere I turn, every time I turn around, I'm doing it wrong.  Someone is telling me that I'm doing something else wrong.  I need to fix this in my relationship.  I need to not do that, but do this.  I need to avoid that, but make sure there's plenty of this.

I hang my head.  I'm just terrible at relationships.  Why can't I get it right?!

I could turn this into an article on relationships and how to always get it right.  But the truth is, we'll never always get it right.  We'll always be doing something wrong.  Because it's wired into us.  This flesh, until we die and are released from it, will always be fighting our sanctified spirit.

So what, then?  We just sit back and suffer as our relationships are continually strained, cloudy, confused?  

Of course not!  Take godly council and advice, pray hard, evaluate the relationship and your in it part biblically ad prayerfully--get back in the saddle and make it right! 

But be honest with yourself: it's not an instant forever fix.

The truth is, though we will never get it always right, God always uses the times we get it wrong for His glory.  The key is to not despair in the wrong; always remember that.  

Every time I get it wrong, He promises to use it to make something else right.

Most of the time, I don't see the right coming out of it for a long time.  I grow to despair, I get frustrated--why can't I ever get it right?  I'm just terrible with relationships!  

Then, down the road, I see another little girl, struggling...right where I was.  I put my arm around her and tell her it's all gonna be okay.  This what I did, and here's how God can make it better for you.

God uses our times of 'getting it wrong' to glorify Him in discipling those that come after us.  As He refines us, though it be painful, we use those painful experiences to deliver aid to those younger than us.  

He promises that all the experiences that we go through--those that love Him and are called by Him--that they WILL turn out for the greater good and for His glory.  

It's hard.  It's really hard.  It's painful.  It's messy.  It's ugly.

In those moments when I want to give up.  I feel worthless.  I feel frustrated.  I feel like I just can't do this anymore.

Then I get a phone call from a friend, or a text, or an email, "Amy, I've been dealing with..."

...and He whispers.  He guides.  He reassures.  My pain is not in vain.  My hurts aren't to be scoffed.  

My scars are badges.  Marks from the thorns of the paths that I've chosen myself, and chosen badly.  But I wear them because they are also reminders of all the times that He never left me.  I wear them because they're only scars.  Those paths should have killed me.  But I am alive and breathing--with scars on my arms.  Because in spite of my mistakes, He had grace on me and carried me through.

Relationships can be redeemed by the fact that, though in some we may make such mistakes, discipleship and love is worth every moment of pain.  Through the hurts we are stronger.  And being vulnerable means the world to those younger.  

When they look up and see a broken girl, who's made a million mistakes, they smile, relieved; they're not alone.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. (2 Corinthians 1:3-5 ESV)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 ESV)

Monday, March 2, 2015


We all know it.

That deep, dark, paralyzing feeling.

That emotion that keeps us up at night.  

It has the power to twist our insides.  

To cause us to not be able to breathe.  

It moves us to physically shake.

This seemingly over-powerful emotion?


We all know it, I far too well. 

Overthinker I am, I consider all possibilities for all situations...my fear kicks in, punching me in the stomach, knocking me to my knees with my hands in the air.  I'm too afraid to keep moving.  I'm too afraid to press on.  

Because so many things could go wrong.

If I stay right here, nothing can go wrong.

Nothing can hurt me.

If I take another step, there's a possibility I could trip.

But I forget the King of the Universe standing next to me.  And He's never left.

He's always there; constant in my walk.  On this journey, He's seen every stumble, every misstep, every fall.  But He's also watched me run.  And it's only because of Him that I have the strength to take the next step.  

He whispers to me, 

"'Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'"  ~Isaiah 41:10

Again, He whispers, comforts, calls me to cast all my anxiety on Him.  He surrounds me on every side, commands me to be strong, for He is with me.  He knows me better than I know myself.

As my heart quivers, He whispers gently to let Him bear the burden of fear.  Do I trust Him?

Do I trust the King of the Universe to take my burdens?

I do I trust the Maker of all things to protect my steps?

Do I truly desire His glory?

And am I willing to lay my fear aside enough to relentlessly pursue it?

Because I believe that in His holy sovereignty, God will make good on His promises.  

He promises to always be with me.

He promises to help me.  (Imagine, the King of the Universe, reaching down to help me?)

He promises to love me.

He will never allow me to under go a single moment in time that is more than I can handle with Him by my side, helping and loving me.  

The King of Heaven is calling me forward.  

He calls me to be bold; to be fearless; to be His fierce daughter, who knows that her Daddy is standing there, never wishing her to under go any unnecessary pain.  

Never going to allow her to walk through anything that would crush her.  

Never allowing anything to destroy her.  

He calls her to trust Him and cling to Him for constant strength and she will not be moved.

My beloved readers, whatever fears may be staring you down today, I encourage you to face them head on.  Call them out for what they are: distractions from the Lord's glory.  The fears that keep us from moving forward for His glory; call them out, and cling to your Father's hand.

Trust in His sovereignty.  Be bold and take the next step.