You’re not losing weight. Your relationships seem to be going nowhere. You’re still at the bottom of the ladder at your job, with no hopes of climbing anytime soon. God isn’t answering your prayers. Nothing goes right in your life.
What if the reason things aren’t going well in life is because of you?
That may be hard to swallow at first glance, I know, but think about it for a minute.
I used to think everything bad that happened in my life was every one else’s fault. I got fired from that job because my boss just didn’t understand me. Most likely the truth revolved around the fact that I had serious issues with authority.
I was morbidly obese because my sexual abusers hurt me and forced me to eat. The truth was I chose to eat to cover up the emotions I didn’t want to deal with due to the trauma of those events. My weight problem was my fault, no one else’s.
It’s so easy to blame others for our troubles, especially God. We get frustrated because he isn’t answering our prayers. What if the problem really isn’t on God’s end, but ours?
Dr. Rita Hancock writes in one my new favorite books, Radical Well-being: A biblical guide to overcoming pain, illness, and addictions,
“IF you feel as if God isn’t answering you, or if you feel “lost” in your journey for answers, realize the problem isn’t likely to be on God’s end. You may have barriers that prevent you from hearing from God.”
We have to admit our own faults to move forward.
You are responsible for your today, not what someone did to you in your yesterday. That doesn’t mean there isn’t pain. That doesn’t mean everything is hunky dory and life should be grand. It does mean, however, that you can’t blame your future on your past.
If you’re still the same size you were last year, evaluate your situation. Are you stuffing your emotions with food? Have you gotten off the couch to exercise? Are you using the Cheetos as a way to temporarily forget your past?
If so, that means it’s your fault you’re not losing weight. It’s not your boss’s fault, your husband’s, your mother’s, or the Frito Lays Corporation.
We have to identify the barriers keeping us from moving forward.
You can’t seem to keep friendships. You’re negativity has chased everyone away, but somehow it’s their fault. They didn’t listen enough. They didn’t coddle you when you complained about how your boss just overlooks you, even though you work harder than anyone else.
What if the problem is the fact that something deeper in you keeps you from committing to authentic relationships? What if allowing yourself to be vulnerable with someone might show others a side of you that you’re not ready for?
Because of that fear, you push others away. You try to be in control. You complain because you’re not ready to take responsibility of your own fears.
It’s your responsibility to ask God to reveal those barriers to you. Dig deeper and ask yourself what walls you’ve built up to keep others away.
We have to believe the truth about the situation versus our perception.
The truth is your boss doesn’t hate you. You’re not climbing the ladder at work because your attitude stinks. The “Employee of the month” plaque runs and hides when it hears your name.
Why? Perhaps you believe lies about who you are, so you allow yourself to be that person anyway. You’re not bad. You’re not mean. You’re scared. Scared turns into anger. Anger turns into bitterness. You get the idea.
Who are you really? You’re not who others say you are. You’re not who you think you are. You’re a new creation in Christ. You are a child of God. You are not condemned, but forgiven.
Only you can change your thoughts though and believe these truths. No one can do it for you, not even God. Remember that free will thing he created in each of us?
Ask God to show you. Ask him to help you drop your defenses. Ask for compassion. He’s ready to show you truth but you have to be ready to hear it, and then do something with it.
Image by Patty Maher