By AbbyA

I have really been convicted this week.  Bindu challenged me to reflect on one thing that I am worried about.  I took her challenge and followed her instructions and started thanking God, acknowledging His control and letting it go.  In bringing my concerns to Him, He gave me direction for solving my problem.

I mentioned earlier in the week that I’d like to learn to drain my expectations through a spiritual colander.  I figure if I deconstruct before I react, my communication will sound more like music than a broken record.  Help me Lord to express myself with clarity, truth and love.

I have been sounding like a broken record lately.  No one likes that kind of music.  Not even me.  Listening to myself makes me feel like one of those crazy Walmart moms who has no control over anything but keeps yelling and making threats.

As soon as I began Bindu’s challenge, God quickly gave me some instructions for solving my problem and led me to deeper matters.  He shed light on my expectations.  I feel like a broken record and He knows why.  He challenged me to see that I don’t recognize the gifts and talents of a particular person that I love.  I keep expecting this person to deliver in tune with my expectations.  I am expecting in areas that s/he can’t even consistently deliver for him/herself.  God showed me that if I encourage this person in the area of God-given gifts and talents and provide support in the other areas, this person would grow past his/her own personal limits.  Now, God didn’t promise that this person would then meet my expectations, He just promised that this person would grow past his/her own personal limits.  That means that I would be working together with God to accomplish His will.  Thanks Bindu.

Somehow I know this will make Joan C. Webb smile.  I hope she is right now.

Over Before it Began?

By JMathis

I learned over the weekend that another set of my friends is getting divorced. My third set of friends this year, and we’re only into July.

Well, this year is turning into quite a doozy, isn’t it?

The very weird and perplexing part about this particular relationship is that Brian feels completely blindsided by Dara’s actions. In Brian’s mind, Dara suddenly, without any warning whatsoever, made the big announcement that from this day forward, we’re over.

I talked to Dara about it, and in a way, Brian is not that far from the truth. Dara doesn’t want to try counseling and she doesn’t want to work it out. She just claims that the relationship is beyond repair and not worth fixing.

She’s just so final and resolute about it all, and honestly, I’m not really sure what to make of Dara’s stoic inflexibility about her decision.

She keeps giving me these very Hollywood answers: the relationship has run its course; we’re both moving in two different directions; we just grew apart, J.

From what I understand, we’re not dealing with issues of abuse, infidelity, neglect or constant fighting.

We’re just dealing with over.

Brian, on the other hand, feels like he was never even given a chance to make things right, and that Dara should have opened up much earlier, as to what she had been feeling over the years.

She never revealed to him that their relationship was in trouble. She never gave him a clue as to what was being bottled up inside of her for so long.

From what I can observe from my conversations with Dara, she evidently had all sorts of expectations for Brian—some sort of mental checklist of everything he should have been—and when these expectations didn’t come to fruition, she just decided to just walk away.

I know Brian and Dara are probably an extreme example, but sometimes, I do think God feels blindsided by us in the same way that Brian feels.

We have all of these expectations for God (give me, give me, give me), and yet, like Bindu said, we don’t even bother to really trust Him, get to know Him, or love Him with ALL of our strength.

We don’t spend time with Him everyday, we don’t seek Him out for His presence, and we don’t pick His brain about the little decisions or the big ones.

We expect Him to drive our mind-body-spirit connection, but yet we refuse to give Him the keys.

Instead, we just want, want, want. When we don’t receive, we don’t understand. When we don’t understand, we get frustrated. With frustration, comes blame, and a lifetime of resentful feelings that somehow God just didn’t come through for us.

And then, one day, we declare that it’s over with God. No heads-up, no warning, no explanation. Not even a Dear God letter.

We just walk away. Like Dara.

No one in a relationship needs to be treated with such a lack of respect. Especially God.

Before walking away, or before you start pointing the finger at God asking Him about all of the Why’s and the Why Nots of your life, ask yourself if you ever even made the effort to make your relationship with God truly work.

Did you ever really give it a fair shot? Did you ever really talk to Him beyond a few minutes each day? Did you ever spend time to read the book He wrote just for you? Did you ever love, cherish and trust Him with every fiber of your being? Even when your world is falling apart?

Or, do you just childishly declare that it’s over?

Over before it even had a chance to begin?