Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And then it happens

Friends I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart for journeying through life with me on purpose! You all have made this series on relationships so educational, meaningful and personal to me!

And I just have to let you know that I am NOT any more qualified to be hosting this series on relationships than anyone, my only credential that is worth noting is my personal relationship with my Jesus!

I grew up in a home where my mom thought it was important to send her girls to Sunday School, so she did! Thank you momma!

I grew up feeling like I needed to earn the acceptance, love, and approval of my parents and the people around me. I lived my life to keep others happy. I lived for words of affirmation, and applause. My grades, my clothing, my friends, and my successes defined me. I wore a mask of pride, one that looked happy, perfect and completely in control at all times. This mask was one that bore the name "good girl" loud and proud. A mask that began to seep into my heart to tell me I was fail proof. I lived my life according to my plan. I felt a constant pressure to keep achieving, to keep trying harder, and to do more, I felt like maybe someday I would arrive and people would see that I was worth loving.

I graduated high school, went to college, got married, I thought I was doing everything right. For many years I lived life to try and get approval from other people and from God. If I could just make everyone happy, if I could just please God. All this work to try and earn love, and acceptance left me tired and miserable. I felt like I would never arrive, like I was never good enough. I lived for perfection. It was all about was on the outside, it was all for show.

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10

I didn’t want to let anyone down by letting them know I didn’t have it all together. If I failed and couldn’t keep my pride mask on; how would that look? I was living my life to please the people around me. I felt completely lonely and empty.

Then one day I started to listen to that voice inside me, "Why are you trying so hard?" I heard God telling me that He created me because He loves me and He wants to have a relationship with me. I heard Him saying that the relationship with Him had nothing to do with me earning it or achieving or even deserving it. He was offering me a true genuine relationship that would allow me to live life freely in His grace. It was time to be the one my Heavenly Father created me to be; it was time to live my life on purpose!

Knowing who I am, why I was created and living in that every moment!

My life verse, 2 Corinthians 5:15, And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. Because Christ died for me and I have accepted Him as my personal savior I am dead to my old life. I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing! Galatians 2:20-21 I am a new person…the person my Creator wants me to be. I am to live my life for Him. I don’t need to earn His love, or the love and acceptance of others. I need to accept the grace from my Heavenly Father, and that’s that! I find freedom in this verse. The freedom to live my life on purpose, the only purpose I was created for, to have a relationship with my amazing Father; A relationship that He orchestrated and made possible, not because of who I am but because of who He is. He created me for Him.

It is nothing I did, or can ever do to make this relationship happen. Relationships are not meant to be created by us. God wants us to live life with Him. In the everyday!

God is not asking us to get bogged down with getting it all right and knowing all the details,saying all the right things,attending the 'right' church, reading the right translation of the Bible.

He is asking us to live life with Him.

Be in relationship with Him.

When we are living in relationship with our Creator then it will all happen

We will be living in His freedom and grace

We will know Him

We will talk with Him

Dear Heavenly Father thank You for creating this relationship. There is such beauty in Your design God. Beauty and grace. Oh and a love that is freeing, pure, and honest. May our relationship with You God affect all areas of our lives! May we live in the freedom of this grace and loved filled relationship so that it flows over into the other relationships of our lives. Thank You that You have created and designed for it to happen! We love You Lord-Amen


Nicole said...

Such honesty and much truth is written in this post. Love you!

Praise you Father for Nichole. Bless her this day!

From the Heart said...

You truly have a heart of Gold. Some of the things you wrote sounded alot like my life as I was growing up and I always felt inadequate to do anything for God. I always believed in God but never truly got to kow Him until a few years ago. Somethings happened and I had to become the strong one, I was the one who refused to let the enemy have any of my family. It is such a relief to know that God loves us enough to listen to our problems whether they are right or wrong. He does not judge us based on what we do or wear or how we talk, but He looks at our heart and the heart can't hide any secrets so God knows exactly how we feel and still loves us and waits for us to realize that all we have to do is commit everything to Him and He will either solve our problems or help us solve them.

He is so precious. There have been times that had it not been for Him I don't know where I would be today. I can tell that you have reached that point. It took me a few years longer to "get it". God loves us.

Thanks for sharing your heart.
From my heart to yours,

Sue J. said...

"Relationships are not meant to be created by us...."

This is a really interesting thought, Nichole. I hadn't really thought about it in that way. God does want us to be in relationships with other people, but I wonder if that isn't something that we put on our spiritual "to-do" list a lot of the time. And for folks who really need to be in relationship with other people--that would be ALL of us!--that can be a difficult thing for which to wait on the Lord.

Thanks for your perspective today! I have found relationships can be exhaustingly difficult to maintain, and perhaps this new perspective will kick start some prayer time in a new direction.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I needed this tonight! I've not been "getting it right" today; partially, but not in the way I would like. How thankful I am to know the truth of God's love in all of my moments.


SanDe said...

We can NEVER disappoint Him!!!

We are always a pleasure to Him!!!

Sounds like heresy huh? But He is right. We can NEVER disappoint Him ...


When He gave me that revelation, it blew me away. I am still unpacking it and wallowing in it and bragging on Him because of it. It is SOOOO liberating. I am now free to be me.

We must have been twin sisters separated by the pacific cus I lived your life ... and it wore me out. Now I live in the want to's .... so much to unpack in that revelation too but I wont start.

Revelation is so sweet ... aint it.... as apposed to just information. Revelation hits the heart and changes behavior and lives.

Thank you Nicole for your hunger and vulnerability.

~*~KIMBERLY~*~ said...

I love the transparency Nichole!

Father God I seek to be all I can be for YOU. I pray that I can be transparent. I pray that You would let me see what I need to see to be more Christ like in my life. I pray to be better in relationships; with You & others. I bow before You father. I love You. In Jesus' name, amen.

Kimberly said...

I am so with you, Nichole. I have spent most of my life trying to get everything "right." And it is a habit I still have to watch out for!

You spoke today a lot about the word grace. Grace is what we heard an awesome sermon about on Sunday. I have been such a live by the law gal for most of my life. I am learning to live life totally surrendered to His grace. And it really is a learning process for me...a letting go. I want to let go, I need to let go...I want that deluge that Lysa wrote about in her post "Trickle".

You are a blessing, friend! This post is sweet salve to a heart that so often ends up hurting from still trying to get it all right some days.
Love you!

Lori said...

Thank you for your words and your openness. I know I worked hard at pleasing those around me. Doing all the "right" things that society looks up to. It was after I had my two sons that I know God began wooing me back to him. I was a Christian all my life. I don't remember not being one. However, I did not have a relationship with Him, like He desires. I didn't even know what I was missing. I had a praying Christian mom, which prayed over me daily tho. I know God was good to answer her prayers.

I'd have to say my personal relationship began when I started daily seeking God through His Word. I took a Beth Moore Bible Study. I diligently attended the classes and did my homework like she asked...about 3/4 of the way thru the class it all began. My love affair with my Father. He has drawn me closer and closer to Him, to the point that I can't even imagine not reading His Word every morning. It's the high point of my day. To awake...make my cup of coffee...and study His Word.

I'm not sure when it was, but the verse you shared, Nichole, -Gal. 1:10, also resonated with me some time ago. I finally got it. Praise the Lord, that we don't have to work at seeking approval from others'. I am the apple of God's eyes.

To be in His Presence...throughout the day. It comes gradually, but, once you've experienced His Presence, you just want to stay there. Talking with Him. Knowing Him better and better each day. Oh, and that this personal relationship would flow over into our other relationships in our lives!

Love ya all!
Lori - AZ
Thanks for your comments everyone!

~*Michelle*~ said...

"He was offering me a true genuine relationship that would allow me to live life freely in His grace."

WOW.....this keeps it real and speaks such TRUTH!

Thanks so much.....I needed to read this.