“God’s love isn’t based on me. It’s simply placed on me. And it’s the place from which I should live … loved.” Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely
If us okay seekers and people pleasers lived by this quote, confident that we’re loved by God, we’d actually be okay, easier to be around, and more accepting of the people around us.
In her series Call to Discipleship, Erilynne Barnum said our goal should be single-mindedness (having one driving purpose) for God. If not, she said we’re tyrannized by anything and everything because Satan wants us distracted from the purpose God put us here to live out, which is always, always, always about walking each other Home.
Everyone has at least one tyrant. It’s interesting that one of Merriam-Webster’s definition of tyrant is a usurper of sovereignty. That sounds like someone or something in our lives capable of knocking God out of first place.
Some people struggle with work and busyness. Some people struggle with addiction. Some people struggle with disease.
And some people struggle with people.
If Satan ever wanted to get my attention away from God and off of my purpose, all it took was a relationship problem. Even the smallest issue with someone I cared about could set off a frenzy of emotions that I tried to calm by scrolling social media for hours or staying in bed for days.
I lived like my okayness depended on everyone else. I constantly readjusted how I felt and how I acted depending on who I was around and what happened between us. It wasn’t until a virus shut down the world that I looked at Jesus more than the crowds, and I found some peace.
Sometime last year, the channel of my life flipped from people to God. I stopped trying hard to say and do what they wanted. In its place, I worshipped, read my Bible, and listened to speakers online and in person who talked about God’s purpose for my life. I wish I’d made this decision a long time ago and intentionally, but my change happened because of painful relationships and the fact that there wasn’t much else to do during a pandemic.
No matter why it came about, though, I’m grateful I stopped trying hard to be okay with people so I could finally be okay with God, and that made all the difference in being okay with people too.
In This Together,
FYI: I’m blogging my book titled On The Other Side of Trying Hard: Healing, Happiness, and Holiness. Because these blog posts are a manuscript instead of stand-alone stories, some posts may leave you hanging. I hope you’ll hang in here with us anyway ‘cause a happy ending is coming. My blog post title includes the chapter title first. The phrase in parentheses is the subheading. I’m over-the-top grateful to have you here. I’d love to hear your reflections, questions, and comments.