Those who live to please another person may think they have valid reasons for doing so. I certainly did. One of my motives for living this way was based on what I thought God wanted from me. I read the Bible and knew it directed me to be loving, kind, accepting, and giving. I didn’t want to act selfishly or appear unloving. So I hid what I liked, what I really wanted, and how I believed God was calling mewhen they did not coincide with my husband’s ideas.
Peace at any cost…Eventually, this way of life led me into burnout. I felt dead inside. Still, I tried so hard to make everyone happy. I wanted to please God, but my actions proved that someone else was more important to me than God.
I slipped deeper into depression, overwork, and exhaustion until I reluctantly admitted, “I do not want to live this way any longer.” Although uncertain about just what to do, I began to be honest with God about my thoughts, emotions, and needs. In turn, God slowly started revealing myself to me. I found I had some misconstrued ideas about how to be a loving and giving person. For the sake of peace I had ignored what God had showed me about myself and instead adopted my mate’s concept for me. I ended up where I didn’t want to be.
It startled me when I realized that someone else’s opinion and agenda pulled more weight with me than God’s did. I was hurt and upset that I had treated God so poorly. However, my genuine pain gave me the motive and courage I needed to change my direction and pursue God’s intention for me. This is what He wanted from me all along.
My current thoughts…
While preparing for “The Intentional Woman Finds Relief”* Women’s Retreat that I’m teaching/facilitating this weekend, I read the above part of my story. It touched a soft spot in my tired heart and I thought of the verse-prayer, “What you’re after is truth from the inside out. Enter me, then; conceive a new, true life.” Ps. 51:6. (The Message.)
I want to renew my commitment I say “yes” to what God wants from me–and not try so hard to figure out what everybody else wants from me. What about you?
* A 5-Step growth process based on my books, The Relief of Imperfection and The Intentional Woman.
Joan C. Webb
Writing, teaching, coaching to empower and set free.