I have the honor of being a part of an accountability sisterhood each Monday morning. We come together, we pray, we share our wins, and we share our challenges. It is pretty awesome! During our call this week, I was reminded of something so significant: being honest with God about how we are doing. Knowing who we are, where we are and how we are doing is so essential for our healing as well as to create proper systems to support us best.
Instead of asking what we were doing, how productive we had become, or how great we were achieving our goals we were asked a simple but powerful question, “Where are you.” This is the same question that God asked Adam in the Garden of Eden after he and Eve sinned and hid. Today, many of us (me included) hide behind the right answers, the right expressions, and the perfect emotions (nothing ever goes wrong in our world). Since we do not know how to be honest about where we are, we often stay stuck. As I’m sharing with you all the significance of emotional boundaries, I needed to get very real with where I am in the journey. I decided to look at the damage a lack of emotional boundaries has cost me and here are a few things I got really honest about. Due to a lack of emotional boundaries, I have the following challenges:
I have a hard time communicating my thoughts and needs.
I don’t give myself room to make mistakes. I go into a negative thought pattern and say ugly things to and about myself. If it “isn’t perfect” it isn’t good enough.
I feel stuck when I don’t reach my goals. I am focused on my “arrival.”
There is a part of me that doesn’t know how to feel. There is another part of me that is wounded and cannot stop grieving.
All of these thoughts came from an emotion. God gave me the space to be truthful that this is where I was, not some spiritual colloquialism to pretend that all was well and okay. This led to really getting real about my thoughts and opinions of God. We all have these ideas about how we have to be before Him, but honest is not one of the words we think about. God is redemptive even in our error, but He likes when we come to Him and admit where we are versus pretend that all is okay. He already knows.
I felt a lot of freedom from writing down what I was feeling, and God didn’t strike me down with a lightning bolt. I felt such peace and freedom in being honest with Him.
When we ignore issues of the soul that are soul issues, we don’t realize that it affects us spiritually. Our spirit is perfected, but our soul needs adjusting and to heal it has to be dealt with. Where we are has to be surrendered to God, and we must also be open to effective counseling to help us to process the soul wounds that have created some of the breaches in our emotional boundaries.
Bringing my real emotional wounds to God is allowing me to walk into a process of freedom that I wouldn’t experience if I stuck with an intellectual knowledge of emotional boundaries. Honesty with God is a part of self-care and vitally important for us to learn how to create appropriate emotional boundaries. The latter part of Matthew 11:28 reminds us that He is “…gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.”(TLB)
God doesn’t put conditions on us as people do and He invites us to partner with Him. I’m learning by partnering with Him to be honest about what and who I have space to be connected to and what is ill-fitting and needs to be let go.
I invite you into the next part of the journey if you are willing. Here are a few action steps to help:
Invite God in and be authentic about your emotions. You may want to grab a piece of paper to write out what you have been experiencing. Don’t worry about being perfect. The goal is to get it out and write it out.
Invite God in for a conversation, sharing where you are through prayer. Don’t worry. Anything you have to share is necessary, and God can handle it.
Allow God to respond. You may experience peace after you share, receive an instruction, or just be able to release the emotions you have tried to hold.
Question of the Day:
- What did you experience when you were honest with God about your emotions?