It’s that time of the year when we start to set goals and plan for the seasons ahead.
For me, setting the tone for the year began a few weeks ago as I was praying over certain areas of my life.
I sensed God talking to me about things I normally don’t like to think about.
Areas that have got to do with why I do what I do and how my attitudes affect the outcome of my prayers and expectations.
I’ve been blessed to know great people who speak into my life.
People that I look up to and who share great wisdom and point me towards being all that God created me to be.
A few weeks ago – and this was no new revelation – I realized that I like to have any and all suggestions to improve or rebukes or correction to be heavily coated with love.
For example, when it comes to business or ministry input, I don’t like it when someone “bursts” in and straight up tries to improve me.
I like it when someone first recognizes what I have achieved, the things that I am doing, before they start offering suggestions to improve.
What happens when they don’t approach things the way I like and I feel particular irked by that?
I create a distance.
I start to come up with all kinds of reasons why I shouldn’t do what they are proposing.
I tell myself “they have no idea what they are talking about…if they knew how hard I have been working, they’d tell me something different”.
All this time, I will be very sad on the inside, very irked and frustrated because my heart is going “Please affirm me, affirm me, affirm me!”
The roots of my nature
As a child I grew up craving my dad’s attention and celebration. My dad loved me very much but he was not expressive. He mostly communicated his love through high expectations and tough discipline.
Right now the reason I hee and haw is because I grew up with tonnes of discipline and expectations and the feeling of “my dad isn’t pleased with me“.
It irks me and breaks me to receive that all over again.
I love to achieve – I inherited my parents industrious genes – but I want to know that I am loved and accepted first.
Otherwise I go into defense mode.
Which includes putting a distance between people that can help me, fielding excuses, sinking into anger and irritation and feelings of hopelessness, feeling like I am not good enough/will never be good enough why bother e.t.c
It’s not about your daddy
As I thought – and prayed and cried – about it, God showed me that my “issues” were not necessarily parent related, all though that’s part of it.
They are mostly about me; expecting others to give me what God can give.
Expecting my mentors or husband or parents to affirm perfectly in the way that only God can.
I would repent of my sin of idolatry and ask God to help me because I had been round that mountain in the past.
In my upcoming book, Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily-ever-after in the Early Years, (now available here!) I talk about why it’s so important to address your own issues, before you try to address the issues (you think) your husband has.
God has not called us to fix our husbands or to make our marriages whole. That’s His job.
But He’s called us to obey Him and trust Him and allow Him to work in us first.
Yet often, because of pain and fear and brokenness the last thing we want God to do is fix us; we want him to fix our husbands instead.
Will you allow God to fix you first?
As you think about the new year and goals and habits, can you think of areas you need to address first?
Often we are quick to fix the things we can see and ignore the roots under the surface.
We forget that outer habits originate from within and until we are healed from within, any changes we make on the outside are cosmetic and won’t last.
I hope you allow God to fix you from within first.
Those things He reveals to you, the checks you feel in your heart concerning certain attitudes and thoughts, I hope you’ll stop and linger and ask Him to speak some more instead of rushing out to create resolutions and band-aid solutions.
Don’t rush out to meet the new year/new season as if you can make it happen all by yourself.
Instead, pause and listen and work with God. If He can reach your inside, He can fix your outside and give you the best year of your life yet.
Isaiah 40: 27 – 31(MSG)
Why would you ever complain, O Jacob, or, whine, Israel, saying, “God has lost track of me. He doesn’t care what happens to me”? Don’t you know anything? Haven’t you been listening? God doesn’t come and go. God lasts. He’s Creator of all you can see or imagine. He doesn’t get tired out, doesn’t pause to catch his breath. And he knows everything, inside and out. He energizes those who get tired, gives fresh strength to dropouts. For even young people tire and drop out, young folk in their prime stumble and fall. But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, They run and don’t get tired, they walk and don’t lag behind.
Are you wrestling with feelings of overwhelm in new marriage? Is shutting down, fussing, anger, passive-aggressiveness common place in your relationship? Do you want to bring back the feelings of closeness and warmth you once enjoyed? Or maybe you just want to love better, create the marriage of your dreams. Your marriage can change! Get on the road to a great marriage when you pick up my book Blues to Bliss: Creating Your Happily Ever After In The Early Years. Buy it > Amazon Paperback I Kindle I Barnes & Noble I PDF I UK/Europe PDF . Or Click here to go to the book page.