What has God been teaching you lately?
“I make a lot of decisions based on how I am feeling in the moment. And, that has gotten me into a lot of trouble–especially in relationships. So, it is something I have been really working on a lot in the last three or four years…being more consistent, stable, and grounded in truth…in the truth of who He is and the truth of who I am because of Him.
As a result, my relationship with God is becoming a lot less based on my emotion in the moment, but on who I know that He is, constantly.”
Has that been an easy process?
“No, no it hasn’t…because my nature is to feel and go off of those emotions. I still have to wrestle with that all the time, almost every day.”
For someone who is like you—emotionally driven—how would you encourage them to build healthy boundaries?
“Honesty: Living the passage from Psalm 139:3, “Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Basically, bringing your crap before Jesus.
Self-awareness: Jesus knows us inside and out, better than anyone will ever know us…and self-awareness comes from knowing Him. Over the years, as I have brought myself before Jesus, I have been able see, ‘this is how I am wired and I am okay with that, but there are also some shadow sides.’
Accountability: In many cases, I think most people can benefit from counseling. It has changed my life. Accountability can also look like friends and family. They have been a picture for how the Holy Spirit wants to guide me or lead in a certain issue, like being overly emotional.”
What is identity (to you) and why do people wrestle or struggle with it so much?
“Identity to me is: not me. Rather, it is me finding everything that I am in someone else–that someone else is God.
Does it always look like that?
Am I striving for that?
The struggle comes from selfishness, a lack of being able to give up who you are to God… to allow him to fully transform you. Selfishness is a part of that, but the deeper root of it is probably fear. I think it can be very scary to be fully who you are as a person because if you are living into all of your God-given traits, you are going to be doing things that push you past the limits of what is comfortable…and likely what is socially acceptable too.”
A question I ask: What if identity is fully discovering the aspects or the attributes of God that dwell in you?
Because you are dreamer or a supporter of dreamers, how do you live with broken dreams?
“I deal with broken dreams by being very real with how I am feeling, with myself, with God and with others.
There are days where I have this dream for my life, where I want healing in an area, and it still is not happening. And, today that feels like bad word, bad word, bad word. So, being real with those feelings, saying, ‘This sucks!’ But, also knowing God’s heart is to heal, and He is using this pain for my good and for His good. So, being very real when I am in the trenches and being real when I am on the mountaintops.
What do you do in those broken places?
“That’s where the perseverance comes in.
Counseling. Comforting. Being led by the Holy Spirit.
When I am in that place of hopelessness—a couple days a month—I must go to God for comfort. Otherwise, I would be living a completely different life right now. Broken dreams are a constant cycle of:
‘Holy Spirit, guide me through this.’
‘Thank you for wise counsel.’
‘I’m doing great.’
‘And I am at the bottom.’
Now, do I think we get stronger every time we go around the circle?
Do we sometimes go five steps back?
But, God will still hold my broken heart.
And, it is accepting that you are not going to have an answer tomorrow.”