There are a few phrases that have had a major impact on my life in 2015. I heard them from my pastor, but I know the inspiration behind them came from Dr. Henry Cloud. These are those phrases:
- If you don’t have boundaries in your life, you are living someone else’s life. Boundaries protect your values, thoughts, and passions.
- You were made to be an original, so don’t die a copy.
- You can’t and shouldn’t try to remove consequences from life. You learn valuable lessons from failures.
This year has been one about balance for me. But the elusive question is how do you achieve that. And the answer is balance isn’t always achieved in a day. It’s achieved over the course of a life time through seasons and the changing of them. There will be times when you have to focus specifically on certain areas, and then move on to others. You will have priorities, but there were will be times when what seems to be highest on your priority list will take a back seat to something that pops up on the immediate radar. But I’ve learned, and NO, it was NOT easy, to ask myself in a lot of areas of life….am I doing this because it reflects my heart, my passions, my interests, my responsibilities, my desires, or is it simply because of what I see people doing on Facebook, is it a whim, is it because I am following the crowd, or is it the voice of my flesh? And a lot of times, I have to ask myself whether this is what I really want or just something that sounds good right now?
You see the truth is I want to be me. I want to be who I really am in my heart, but life often gets busy and one can lose sight of that in busyness, cultural values, comparison, logical reasoning, and many other things. But the truth is if you haven’t heard the voice of your heart in a long time, how do you get back to hearing it? The truth? You have to spend some quiet time with Jesus? He is the answer to every question or problem or complex situation you have. Coming to know Him and how much He loves you will enable you to have the confidence to really be you, to take your life back. He made you the original, so be you. 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, and perfect loves drives out fears.” I think it is fair to say that most of us aren’t really the truest versions of our self because we fear we won’t be accepted. But God loves you just as you are, even if you feel unloveable.
Look at what He did for Peter. Luke 22:31-32 says: “Simon, stay on your toes. Satan has tried his best to separate all of you from me, like chaff from wheat. Simon, I’ve prayed for you in particular that you not give in or give out. When you have come through the time of testing, turn to your companions and give them a fresh start.” Jesus knew Peter was going to deny Him. He knew it, but despite knowing his failings, He prayed for Peter and loved him through it all. Jesus knows we have a flesh, and our flesh can be weak and easily swayed. But just like for Peter, Jesus has prayed for you (John 17:20-26). He knew you. He created you. He made you specially from birth. He has plans for you. He has placed desires in you, and His plan was to fulfill those desires in your heart. He doesn’t care what condition you are in when you come. Just come to him, even if you have chosen to run from Him before. He loves you. He is waiting and watching for your return. And in the safety of His love, you can be the real you and find life to the fullest. (John 10:10)
And as you start to know His love you and who you are really, your boundaries that protect your passions, values, and thoughts will start to emerge and though there will be times your flesh will be weak and you might fail or be tempted to fail, you will begin to truly live out your uniqueness and learn from not just the consequences of life, but rather to be led by the voice of your Father who will help you avoid some of those consequences because you have come to know HIs voice and trust His lead.
He loves you. Just as you are. No judgments. No requirements. Just come and get to know His scandalous love for you! You’ll have the fullest life you could have ever dreamed of.