Tag Archives: relationship

Learning How To Relate

This weekend has given me a lot to process.

Several people from my church family met with an organization from Virginia, called 3e restoration, that works with people living through homelessness in their area.  They taught us a lot about the mindset of people dealing in those situations, and educated and equipped us with things we can do to help them.

But most of all, they taught me about how to be a friend.  Actually, it was more about how to be a Christian human the way that Christ showed us and called us to be.

And man, is that hard.

It’s hard because the foundation of a lot of my relationships is based in reciprocity.  It’s more than the “if I do this for them, then they will return the favor” kind of thing.  It’s, “I’ve been honest, open and vulnerable with them, so don’t they owe me honesty, vulnerability and openness too?”  And I find myself navigating relationships wondering if the girl I texted yesterday is ignoring me on purpose, or if she really is just busy like she says she is.  Trying to play the passive aggressive games in an effort to maintain a comfortable friendship that avoids any real, honest conversation because it could lead to open rejection and loneliness and pain.

And I think I’ve played the games of passive aggressive behavior, of competition and wall building because I don’t want to be hurt.  I think the biggest point I learned this weekend is that I will be hurt.  Every relationship I have is a possible chance that I will be lied to, manipulated, hurt, rejected.  There is not a guaranteed protection against that.  Because even Christ’s closest friends rejected him.  He was hurt, and lied to, and people tried to manipulate him.  By those he loved and by those who loved him.

But his identity was not found in those relationships.  It was not found in what he could bring to those relationships.  His identity did not hinge on whether or not his was rejected by those he loved.  His power, his worth was not defined by whether or not he was successful as a rabbi or a healer.  Those things were defined by the fact that he was God’s son and that God instilled within him the worth of an heir, the identity of a prince.

And that worth has been given to us.  Through the grace of Christ’s blood that covers us with the power of the Holy Spirit that dwells within us.  We are heirs to an inheritance we already have.  We are children to the Most High King of Kings.  There is nothing left to prove.  Our worth, our identity has already been proven.  We don’t have to be successful. We aren’t called to be successful.  We are called to be faithful.  We are called to wake up in the morning and go at it again, embracing the daily mercies and grace that God gives to us, our manna to get us through our day.

That changes things.  It changes the way I see my relationships.  It’s not about impressing others.  It’s not about having it all figured out.  It’s not about having it all together and making the right decisions.  Because if that was what it was all about, then I have already failed.

Here’s the truth.  I’m going to fail you.  I’m going to disappoint you.  I’m going to have to ask you for forgiveness, probably repeatedly.  I’m going to mess up.  But I’m going to keep trying.  I’m going to stay stubbornly attached to God.  I’m not walking away.  And I want you to walk with me, in this renewed way of relating.  I need people to keep me accountable, to affirm me, to challenge me, to build boundaries and enter into relationships of honesty and humility.

So who’s with me?

The Journey of Worth

Having a miscarriage evokes a lot of feelings.  Grief.  Loss.  Pain, both emotional and physical.  Frustration.  Confusion.  There are a lot of lessons I’ve learned as well, and I’m so grateful and encouraged by all the connections I’ve made on this path.

I feel like God prepared me a lot for this season in my life. especially in the past seven years, I have been on a journey of realizing my own worth.  Realizing the truth that seems to get lost somewhere in our living life.

It stems from the statement that I’ve said and others have said to me, “God has a plan for you beyond your imagination.”  It’s a statement of encouragement, a hope that someday, as I’m holding my own child in my arms, I will look back on this time in my life with gratitude, knowing that my faith led me to motherhood.  That I didn’t give up because God had that plan for me.

This statement means something else to me, too.  I believe it’s a challenge for my faith.  God does have an amazing plan for me, but that plan may not include having children of my own, and if that’s the case, would I still follow that plan or would I deny Christ?

Now, I fully intend on continuing to build our family.  I want to have children of my own.  I want to know my daughters or sons on this earth.  I want to encourage them on their own paths to having a relationship with God.  I want to experience the happiness and heartache of motherhood.  Most definitely.

But I also know that my relationship with God is more important than my chance to be a mother, not that the two are isolated from each other.  I can be a mother and have a relationship with God, but if it came down to choosing between the two, then I want to choose Him.  I want to honor God in every stage of my life and every step of my journey, not just when good things happen.  I want to depend on Him when things aren’t going my way and when they are.  I want to find my worth in Him.

All throughout our life, we are measured and compared.  We are judged by how we look, what we accomplish, how we behave, and what we manage to collect (whether material or relationships).  Somehow it is translated that these things used to judge us are the same things that give us worth.  It happens in our communities and even in our church families.  We may put a “godly spin” on it, but it still comes out the same.  We have to earn our worth by being involved, by knowing the right words, by acting the right way.

But we don’t earn our worth.  We don’t add to it or subtract from it.  We are given our worth at the moment our soul is formed.  God gives us that worth, and its value is so great that he sacrificed His only son so that we may have the opportunity to be in a relationship with Him.

That’s why I continue to speak my story, the story that God has placed on my heart.  Once I realized how much I was worth to Him, how much He longs to be in a relationship with me – a careless, prideful, perfectionist sinner, my life changed.  And I knew that I had to tell others.  Others who think that they are worthless or that feel like they don’t fit into the Christian community.  Others who have walked the halls of the church building, barely putting one foot in front of the other from the pain in their lives.  There is a hope in Christ that can heal, that can bring joy to your despair.

I don’t always live with the knowledge of my worth.  I get scared, and I let fear lead me instead of God.  I cling a little too closely (okay, a lot too closely) to the comforts of my boxed-in life, knowing that God never meant for me to live in such isolation.  I don’t always run to God when I’m seeking answers or peace.  I have dark days filled with the grief of loss and the longing for my daughter.  I’m a flawed human being, which makes me that much more in awe of God’s view of my soul and His desire to be in my life.

It’s why I take each day as it comes.  It’s why I have hope for my future.  It’s the same story for you.  We can live without fear but know that God wants to do amazing things with our lives so we can live it in an abundance of joy, strength, and peace.  It doesn’t matter where you come from or what you’ve done.  It doesn’t matter what labels you have received or what choices you have made.  It doesn’t matter your failures or your successes.  God loves you, and He longs to be in a relationship with you, to walk with you in your journey through this life.  And that’s all that truly matters, and to me, it’s definitely worth it.