In my past, I had a world full of people around me, yet I felt so alone.
I had been hurt that others in my life were not listening or there for me in the ways that I thought they should be. I read recently that those that overshare on social media are often the loneliest people and that was me. I was so lonely. Yet, the lonelier I felt the more isolated I became. Shutting people out, to avoid the feelings of hurt.
I lived in a world where others were not being aware of MY needs. When these trials arose, I would often pout, shout or shut down completely into a world of poor me. I began to get bitter and turn people away.
I can see where this destructive pattern began. There was one that cut and hurt me so deeply, it shook my very worth. I was done with living and I was done with people. So one by one, I deleted them from my life. I was not going to face that abandonment again. I would dispose of them before they disposed of me.
While my flesh was saying that this was the way to self-protect, God pointed out ever so gently in His amazing ways that I was on the road of self-destruction.
Where my immediate family is concerned, In the early days of wife and mother, I had completely ruined the atmosphere in my home with my grumbling and complaining.
I would blow up when my comfort levels were disrupted or when they were not meeting my need as I felt they should. If I called for the kids to stop arguing and talking back and they ignored me I would yell, react in the flesh and get bitter rather than giving the soft answer that the Bible calls for. If my husband wasn’t giving me the attention I wanted I would complain about every other little thing he would do, rather than discuss the issue. I would shut down and hide inside myself, making the problem worse, not better.
I was unhappy, depressed, to the point of suicidal. Nobody was there for me (my perception of the moment) and I didn’t know why. I was in the darkest place and when I asked the Lord why. His answer shook me.
The issue was not them, but me.
I was not loving!!! I did not LOVE myself, my family or others.
Love is not self-seeking.
Why is it that I find their actions concern me so much? Why was my comfort level controlled by their actions? Were my desires so much more important than theirs?
In order to understand the fullness of joy the Lord has for us, we MUST comprehend love.
When I am not seeing my needs be met by humans, I need to seek the Lord to meet those needs. I need to ask God how can you use me to help show your love to others?
God has made it very apparent to me what love was a while back. And for the most part, great joy has come in as I settle on the word and apply love like His in my life. I have become more patient, more kind, more peaceful overall.
I do fail and I do miss it, but thankfully I fail and miss it less and less as I learn more and more.
Love is an action. It is not a feeling. When I am irritated, self-seeking and impatient I am not acting in love. Criticism and judgment is not love. Manipulation and tantrum throwing is not love. Bitterness and impatience is not love.
The bible is very clear on the actions we are to take in love. Jesus was loving, he was giving, he was kind and I am to be Christ-like. I want my friends and family to see the kind of love that lives and dwells in me when I allow my self to get out of my own way.
Challenge this day my friend: Find areas that we can exhibit love that we never thought was an act of Love before. Look at the individuals you have cut off and ask yourself… was that an act of love? Sometimes God calls us to walk away for a healthier us, but sometimes, we are a healthier us by growing in the act of LOVE.
1 Corinthians 3:4-7
Love is PATIENT, Love is KIND.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is NOT SELF-SEEKING,
it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs
love does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth.
It always protects, always trusts always hopes, always perseveres