I came across this picture with a quote that said: “GRACE CHANGES EVERYTHING: The secret to being enough in a do-more world.” It goes along perfectly with the theme of grace we’ve been discussing in a small group we’re participating in at Hood Memorial Church entitled Freeway. In going through this the past several weeks, my wheels have been turning. This group has been a safe place to talk through some ways in which I let shame control my life. This group has given grace and therefore freedom.
This past week, the theme for the group was on acceptance. I was not really wanting to go there. That might bring about some emotions that I’d rather keep stuffed. I don’t see myself as unique and I really don’t want to talk or think about that. But something came up that made me glad that we did venture down the path of acceptance.
I love tasks. I like to stay busy and love to do things for others. That’s the temperament God gave me. Several years ago, I began to see that instead of living out of who God made me to be, I was living out of who I thought everyone wanted me to be…the person who had it all together…the person you could depend on to get things done…the person you could call on and she would always say yes. I was burned out and when I realized it I became angry. I wrestled with it, and I started saying NO to everything! I needed a break. I think that is what I needed for a season. I needed to be still and learn who God was and who I was. But as time has gone on, I’ve realized that being a task-oriented person that loves to serve others is who I am. I’ve stifled that because I thought it was bad. It was physically affecting me. But now, not being those things is physically affecting me. It’s making me miserable and others around me wonder what is going on with me.
This past week while talking with a friend in our small group all of that came to full circle. I realized that I was unable to see that the way God made me was not a mistake. I definitely couldn’t see myself as unique. I thought I had started to see how shame controlled my life, and I thought I had developed boundaries to protect myself from letting shame speak so loudly. I realized that instead of boundaries, I had put up walls and now I was miserable. I was trying to be me so hard that I had gone to the opposite extreme. Wow! This has been very powerful for me. It’s ok for me to be me. Yes, there are certain people and groups that I need boundaries with so that I don’t get used and burned out but there is freedom to be me. There is freedom to love others the way God made me to love them.
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