Can you hear what God is calling you, and telling you…or is your mind overfilled with what you are telling yourself about yourself?
Cec Murphy, an author and speaker I admire said “Most of my life I was a driven man and felt I had to make every minute count for something productive. Only in recent years have I realized that motivation came out of my need to prove my self-worth.”
I’ve been guilty of that too, and want to make 2020 different. I need to simplify, but how? It seems the more I attempt to slow down the more interruptions God allows. I’ve slowly figured out that instead of fighting all that is happening with caregiving and other areas of our lives, I need to change my attitude about it – to see what God wants me to learn from it, to grow from it, and to discover new things to share with others experiencing a similar life phase.
So, I considered my word for 2020 and knew something had to be Re – something – Re-newed? Re-created — Re-plenished — Re-freshed? These and other words, I felt God telling me were not 2020. He wanted ME to DO something this year that would involve submission and change how I would receive what He wanted to do in my life.
Does that make sense to you? It did to me because of the experience I’ve had with my mother. When I first agreed to be caregiver it was extremely reluctantly as she had been verbally, emotionally and physically abusive. Once I gave up all my strength that there was any possibility that I could drum up a shred of what I needed to accomplish her care in a godly manner, (that He chose to do through me.) I realized what I needed was to submit to being a vessel and allowing God to love someone I didn’t want to love. Who didn’t deserve love.
I realized I’ve felt the same about me for a long, long, time.
What was the key that changed my mother’s care – and opened the door for God to love her though me? The word that came to me then was
It was a re-set of my attitude and more than obedience, a belief that God wanted to take the clay of this vessel and reconfigure it so it could retain and pour out His love. I saw and felt and experienced some amazing things since then, but until recently did not open my eyes to something that I’d missed back then.
I mean, I knew that God loved me because He saved me. I was, however, appalled that He loved me enough to choose me for that specific calling.
Mom had, it seemed, always told me what I was. Bad things. Bad words. Deep hurts. I’m thinking maybe some of it hurt so much because I believed it even though I fought all the negative bombardment of those scars that don’t show. Yet I never did release it all. When someone said they felt I thought I was better than them, it hurt deeply because it was quite the opposite and I felt they must never see I was trying too hard to climb out of the depths. There goes that self-worth complex again.
I thought about the lesson God taught me when He brought about that reset of attitude toward my mother’s caregiving. It was the word honor – I struggled how to honor my mother the way she was, and the way she had been. I could see no good in her to honor. I asked God how He could love her and saw it was the same way He loved me – despite who I had been or even who I was … but who I was created to be in Christ.
When I started treating my mom as though she were all that God created a mother to be, she started being interested in and caring about others.
The day I told her I wanted to honor her as my mother, I realized God had changed me and I meant it. She knew it too for those were the first tears of tenderness I’d seen my mother shed.
Now here I was almost a decade away from when she truly changed after accepting Christ as her Savior, and I realized I’d followed that path of honor for her though I’d known she did not deserve it. Yet, I’d not done the same for myself – another of God’s beloved children – because – same reason -I knew I did not deserve it.
And God was telling me, Delores, you can’t see how I see you and love you because you’ve got your eyes filled with your own vision of yourself.
Scripture says – “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. “ 1Corinthians 6:11
I told a friend the story to this point and the response was a question that startled me to my core. The question was – “And what does that kind of honor and love have to do with the way you should love yourself in light of God creating you in His image?” I sputtered a bit, and then began weeping because I knew God did not want me rejecting the idea of caring for myself (and rejecting His love) because what I saw in me was undeserving.
So my word this year is Reset.
I can reset my attitude about caring for myself. I can reset my actions in light of creation, and in the ways I love on myself, caring for my physical, mental, emotional and yes, spiritual me.
Heb. 2:6-7 …“What is man, that you are mindful of him,
or the son of man, that you care for him?
Heb. 2:7 You made him (for a little while) lower than the angels;
you have crowned him with glory and honor
Are you giving glory to God’s creation you see in the mirror every day? Are you showing that person honor? Can you hear what God is saying about you and who you are IN CHRIST?
Do you have a word for 2020?