A couple of months ago our pastor preached on, well, umm, hmm… I don’t really remember what the sermon was about….Hmm…Anyway, the one thing I do remember is this – take yourself out of the center. This line has come back to me time and time again since that sermon. Let me explain…
All too often, we put ourselves at the center of other people’s lives. When there is a conflict in a relationship: harsh words, hurt feelings, whatever; we tend to assume it is about us.
I am a people pleaser to a fault. I have gotten better over the years as the Lord has worked in my heart to show me this is not what he has called us to and as I have gotten older and wiser. When I think that somebody is mad at me or upset with me I dwell and stew and dwell and stew on it. What can I say? What did I do wrong? Should I call? Why are they mad at me? What if they hate me now? What if everybody is going to hate me now? See how that happens? It’s all about me; I am at the center of it all. Oh and talk about swinging the door of insecurity wide open for Satan to come in with his pity party crew and set up!
The journey I have been embarking on over the last few months and will continue on for the rest of my life I am sure is this: take ME out of the center. What is going on in their lives may or may not involve me. And, most of the time, they have no idea that I am feeling this way at all.
As a people pleaser, taking myself out of the center might be one of the hardest things I have ever done. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it is true. I have seen over the last couple of months how much I put myself into the center of other people’s lives. Funny thing is 90% of those people don’t even know I feel/felt the way I do. I still am struggling with some of the dialogues in my head. Sweet Sarah decided to cry for an hour last night in the middle of the night, so while I was laying there waiting on her to go back to sleep, one situation where my feelings are deeply hurt came up. In that moment, the Lord quietly whispered “take yourself out of the center.” Amazing how quiet he is…so much that I think He had to say it to me about 50 times in that hour before my soul started to feel peace. Oh wait, maybe that’s because I kept arguing about it in my head…hmmm…that’s probably a topic for another day and another blog.
As a mom I am learning more and more things that we are responsible to teach our children every day. It never really occurred to me that I was going to be responsible to teach Sarah how to deal with hurt feelings or people pleasing until now. I pray she isn’t a natural people pleaser! I am determined to walk this path with Jesus every day for the rest of my life and learning these lessons is so much more important now. I want to be an example for her. I want to be able to run to the Lord when my feelings are hurt, when I feel rejected, when I think I have let somebody down and take myself out of the center and allow the Lord to heal those wounds and direct those relationships because I want Sarah to be able to do that more!
So, if you haven’t heard me say it, you probably will…I have to tell myself several times a day “take yourself out of the center” and some day (soon hopefully) I will truly be able to do it. Until that day, I trust that the Lord will continue to teach me, guide me and whisper to me in His still, and quiet voice!