Life has this strange and intriguing way of allowing the very worst to bring out our very best in us.
Sit down with me and think for a minute. Look back on your life and notice all of your seasons that just flat out sucked. No sugar coating. I’m talking about the ones that were just terrible and hard and dark and all of the in-between. Those seasons. They pulled out something in you that you didn’t even know you had, didn’t they? That pain birthed out passion, didn’t it? That frustration helped you to see what the Lord was trying to do all along, didn’t it?
You know, many times, the area we were hurt the deepest is the area that becomes our “why” behind why we do what we do.
I always want to be as honest as I can on here, behind this screen. Sometimes, I feel like I almost push the line of what could be too honest. But I’m okay with it. Because the one thing we all crave is honesty yet at the same time that is the one thing we are all so hesitant to give. Ironic, isn’t it? What we want from other people we must be willing to give first.
We have all been through moments in our lives that really shaped us, and moments in our lives that probably changed the direction of the rest of our lives. For me, the most defining moment of my life was when I chose that I cared more about the call of God on my life than I did about opinions and feelings of those around me.
Well, Hope, that’s kind of vague. I know, I know.
I’ve written about this briefly in my previous posts but in one season of my life I ended up getting engaged. *Jaw drops* Yes, lol I know. (Writing lol is totally not proper or grammatically correct, but this is my blog soooo I can do what I want).
I was in a relationship that seemed good. Where everything said yes but my spirit was shouting no. Where everything practical made sense. Kind, financially stable, hard-working, good-hearted. But when it came down to faith and spirituality, I was trying to carry it on my own. When it came down to morals and values, I was creating them.
There were so many things that were good but none of it was God.
When we are talking about marriage, that is a whole different ball game. Marriage literally means “A union between two people; a combination or mixture of two or more elements.”
Stick with me. Before marriage, you get engaged. Before getting engaged, you date. Before dating, you be-friend each other. Before friends, you are acquaintances. Before acquaintances, you are strangers. One thing leads to the next.
When I was in this season of realizing that I did in fact care more about the call of God on my life than I did about opinions and feelings of those around me – somebody said sat me down and said something to me that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.
This friend looked at me across the table after listening to me rant and he said five words that I have carried with me to this day, “Your ministry deserves this break-up.”
If you know me and my dramatic self, I sat in disbelief with my mouth wide open and my eyes bulging out of my head as if that was the most profound statement I had ever heard in my life. But realized how accurate he was. The people we are leading and the people we are going to lead one day deserve us to break up with anything or anybody that may be hindering us now.
Regardless of who’s watching or what your position is, I promise you I know on this one, you aren’t too far in to take a step back. But I’m not just talking about a physical relationship.
For me, my students deserved that break up. Why? For the reason because God was not in it, I was hindering myself from being able to be my most effective self. For me, it was a physical break up. But from my physical break up, I dug deeper and began to recognize the habits I was married to that I needed to break up with.
Then I recognized the vocabulary I was engaged to that I needed to break up with. Then I dug really deep and saw the thought patterns I was dating that I had to break up with. Then I dug even deeper and noticed the ideas that I be-friended that I had to break up with.
Sometimes, it’s a physical break up. Other times, it’s deeper than that. Before marriage, you get engaged. Before getting engaged, you date. Before dating, you be-friend each other. Before friends, you are acquaintances or you are strangers. One thing leads to the next.
Listen, friend. Some of our habits, we need to make strangers. Some of choices in vocabulary, we need to make strangers. Some of our thought patterns, we need to make strangers. Some of our ideas, we need to make strangers.
It’s time to break up with anything that may hinder who we are wanting to be and who we know we are called to be. There may not be anything detrimentally wrong, or there may be everything detrimentally wrong — but if we know it’s a hindrance to where we are headed, then it is time to break up.
They might not understand it at the time or you might not understand it at the time, but breaking produces blessing.
So yeah, I broke up with the guy. I’ve broken up with some habits. Some thought patterns, too. But it was when I finally decided to break up with humankind, that’s when it clicked. When I decided to grab the hand of the One who made me, rather than the hands of the ones who were trying to make me. I found that I blossomed with His hand holding me, rather than with the hands that tried pushing me.
Wherever you are headed in your life, ministry or not, the people you’re leading deserve for you to have this mentality. The people who you’re going to come in contact with deserve for you to be at your fullest. Your future deserves these break ups.
I know. In a world full of the mentality of ‘What’s next and who’s next’ — I feel my human bones inside my skin begin to soften at the thought that there is a God who can count the beat of our heart from a million miles a way. A God who has this zeal of awakening our hearts to the quiet truth that we are so known even in a crowd that is so obscure. And my bones are softened to know that in a noisy room of opinions and expectation, He could pick us out from the crowd just from hearing or sigh.
We need to train our silence to speak up. And train our intuition to sit confidently. Let’s train our heart to trust the One who made it. Let’s train our eyes to flip through the pages of the room we are in.
Because we need to not be so interested with what people think of us. But rather be dedicated to how people feel around us. And for this very reason, let’s cherish the ability to have our own mess and our own quirks. All for the purpose of sitting down in the crowd with another human heart and giving their lips the freedom to say, ‘Me too’.
I don’t know what your person, habit, thought pattern, etc is. But I do know your break up will be an invitation for someone else’s break up, too.