This reflection was written by a leader of one our Missio Communities. It's reflective of the inner work that Jesus is doing in many of our lives. She gave me permission to share it on the Missio Lux blog in hopes that others would have courage to take the narrow road of truth and healing:
Dear Prayer Team,
I hope that you all had a wonderful Christmas celebration and are filled with hope for the New Year. I have never been one to make New Year’s resolutions, as they seem to me to be a set up for failure, but last New Years in my prayer and reflection I sensed God telling me that in my efforts to honor others I must also honor myself. I wasn’t really sure what this meant, and when I shared it with those sitting with me around the table at a post New Years worship service they responded that it sounded self centered, and I felt embarrassed. But as it turned out 2009 was an incredible year of self learning and boundary setting for me.
Here are a few of the things I learned (through much turmoil and difficulty) in 2009 that have changed the way I approach life.
1. If I don’t focus on something I am really focused on nothing at all. (I must say no to a lot of good opportunities.)
2. I am responsible for my feelings. Though someone or some circumstance may trigger a very negative intense feeling in me, I get to decide how to respond, and invite God to help me make a choice and act if necessary. This is so empowering!
3. God celebrates, and I get to too, when I learn a new lesson, even if its small and took me a long time to get.
All of these lessons helped me practice honoring myself as I honor others. God created us each uniquely. We are His individual treasures and He desires that we each live in a way that protects and honors His treasure by taking responsibility only for what he has given us so that we can effectively reflect His glory in the world.
This approach to life leads to freedom from guilt, blame, anxiety and fear, so that we are free to love, honor and serve others. I am still working on practicing these principles, but I feel ready to explore what God revealed to me in my reflection and prayer this New Years, “Do everything in love” 1Cor 16:14. This seems like a logical next step to last year’s resolution, but I’ll let you know next year what this one brings.
It’s not too late to reflect and ask God what you can focus on for 2010. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to spend some time with the Lord, and He will show you something to work on that will bring great growth and freedom for you.