It never ceases to amaze me what circumstances God can–and does–use to speak to His children. For instance, He spoke to me the other morning through my impatience with another’s lack of willingness to try to understand and accept yet another. Confused? Allow me to explain…
A dear friend has an ongoing internal struggle with what he feels is the absence of his parents’ acceptance. It doesn’t matter what he does or what his children accomplish, he feels as though he’s always living in the shadow of his brother and his brother’s family. Try as he may, and he tries desperately, he cannot get what he’s needing from them. In fact, more than needing, but rather craving.
It wasn’t long ago that I felt like the black sheep of my family as well, and in fact, had for most of my life. It wasn’t until I learned serenity and peace come through acceptance, that I was able to let go and see my role in the play. In fact, it was the lead role. While I spent endless years feeling sorry for myself because I was “misunderstood,” and “not accepted for who I was,” all it did was make the chip on my shoulder–and in my attitude– that much heavier, driving those who loved me further away while I acted unlovable.
God let me know that I wasn’t trying to understand and accept them as they were, either. I was expecting from others what I wasn’t willing to give. He taught me that I cannot change anyone else, but only accept and love them. I can, however, change my attitude and perspective. And He gave me the wisdom to know the difference.
When God gave me the wisdom and the strength to let go of that burden and give it to Him, I felt a freedom I had never known.
So I thought I had figured it out and I was good to go. But God wasn’t done teaching me the full lesson yet. Either that or I’m a slow learner. 🙂
The other morning, when I found myself frustrated yet again with my friend who continues to struggle for something he may likely never receive, God showed me I still wasn’t practicing acceptance. I wanted my friend to feel something other than what he was feeling, and that wasn’t fair. Who was I to expect him to feel what I thought he should be feeling?
God told me I don’t have a right to expect anyone to be anything other than who they are.
It’s better to lovingly meet people where they are, as they are, and pray for God to bring them peace how He sees fit. After all, He is our Creator. He knows what each of us needs better than any of us can begin to understand.
Since my friend’s parents haven’t always been this way, changing as they age, as we all will, I pray he can meet them where they are, as they are, realizing they aren’t the parents of his youth, and likely won’t ever be again. I pray he can stop expecting what they cannot give, and appreciate what they can–and have given.
I’ve learned that when I spend time with my heavenly Father, truly listening to Him rather than speaking at Him, is when I learn the greatest lessons. I pray my friend can learn why he’s needing the acceptance and validation from outside, when he has everything he needs from the Father of all.
I’ve learned to try enjoy another in peace rather than struggle to change them, for it isn’t my place to change another or expect anything from another, but only to love. I pray he finds that same peace.
I wish I could say I’m successful all of the time, but that would be far from the truth. But since God has shown me what is best for me to do, it’s my job to work at it. As I once heard, God will move mountains, but he expects us to bring a shovel.
I pray God continues to use every opportunity to teach me lessons that lead me closer to Him.
We are all a gift and blessing to one another. I pray we not be dissatisfied with the gifts He gives, but appreciate them.
All is Grace.