I don't really talk about my religion here on the blog, but as my relationship has grown with God, I have felt called to get more personal and to be more open about it. It may not be something I talk about often, but I felt it was important to document this amazing growth and transition in my life. I don't want anyone to think that I am a perfect person or that I have never done things that I am not regretful of. Almost daily, I struggle with the way I have allowed myself to be in the past, even getting angry with God at times, when things didn't work out the way I had envisioned. However, more recently, I have really began to open myself up and allowed God into my life unconditionally, knowing that He truly knows what is best for me, and seek opportunities to spread His word to others. I know now that every direction my life takes, whether good or bad, is for the greater journey that He has for my future. This "improved" relationship has truly been a blessing for me, and I have begun to look at my life with a whole new set of eyes.
That doesn't mean that I no longer struggle with allowing sin into life. I get easily frustrated with my children and tend to yell a lot, sometimes even saying things that I am not proud of as a Mom. I find myself still becoming impatient, not just with my children, but with how things in life turn out in general, and even complaining instead of being grateful. But, I continue to trust in Him and know that He is working within me.
In a recent sermon series at my church, we talked about the relationships we all have and allowing God to come into our life and "remodel" those relationships. Like the show House Crashers, but only it's "Relationship Crashers", so to speak, and God is the handyman who is coming in to save the day. Life is a series of relationships, whether it be your relationship with God, your spouse, your children, your parents, your friends, your co-workers, your neighbors, etc. And every day, God is at work within each of us, guiding us in the right direction. However, we all have things that have the potential to sabotage our relationships. One thing we need to remember though, is it all starts with ourself. It's the only thing we can control. We must all take a look in the mirror at ourselves and allow God to show us.
Fortunately, this series could not have come at a better time for me. I was struggling internally with several relationships in my life, and it got me through that difficult time. It also helped reassure me that forgiving people and even letting go was the best choice for us all. I had a friend tell me that "sometimes we move on from people in our lives because they no longer serve the purpose they were put into our lives for". Not only did it fit perfectly, and make so much sense, it really resonated with me for quite some time. Those words were definitely a moving forward point for me. That didn't mean that I wasn't hurt, it just simply put the actions of others into perspective for me, and instead, I chose to be better, not bitter. I put what I learned at the beginning of this series to work by controlling the only actions I could... my own.
Whether it be your spouse or a friend, or any other relationship, people will eventually, in some way, let you down... it's sin nature to do so. That doesn't mean you aren't Christian. Some simply have not walked with God long enough to understand. But, in time, God will show us all. And when you understand that He is also still working on you, just as He is on others, then you can relate to people differently. And, through you, God can be an influence on others, rather than trying to rely on yourself and your own authority to change people.
The first part of the series talked about Three Personal Habits we must follow in order to have lasting relationships with people.
1. A Humble Perspective. You can't have healthy relationships without humility.
2. A Thankful Attitude is critical to healthy relationships. An ungrateful person is always focused on what they don't have. Even I am guilty of this one. I am a complainer by nature, but I am learning not just to be grateful, but to show, through my actions, how gracious I am for everyone in my life. How many times were you thankful for the people in your life this week?
3. A Prayerful Focus. It's easy to pray for those you love and you always feel a connection to, but to pray for those that you don't like, or those that don't appear to be following Christian values, that is a true test of your love for God and our ability to carry out His word.
I learned so much about myself throughout this series, sometimes even being reminded that I wasn't living according to Christian values. No, it's not always good to hear that, but I am grateful to God to be reminded of these things, because then I know He is continuing to work within me. More importantly, I learned that I need to look to God and myself first if I want healthy lasting relationships with those around me. I am truly blessed to have all of the relationships I have in my life, whether they be ones of the past or those that are current because they have brought me to this moment, right here, in my relationship with God.
Have a blessed day!