Updated: Aug 24, 2019
By Glyndora Condon MS MFT LPC, speaks on settling for less than we deserve.
By the time a couple, an addict, a family, or individual comes to me, their life/lives are often in a desperate condition which looks as if it is beyond repair. Couples are packing their bags or have separated; the addict faces incarceration for DWI, prostitution, theft, domestic or other abuse, or is recovering from over dose; the family is fractured with children disrespecting and making threats to their parents and siblings, running away, skipping school, and like-and parents are disrespecting and disowning their children, making mockery of their feelings and enabling with their poor parenting styles; and then there is the individual who grapples with strangling fear, anxiety, doubt, hate, depression, failed relationships, loss and grief, mental health issues, or a host of issues. Each of them thinking that it is too late. It is not the problem that is the real issue but the way each think of the problems. As we are in the midst of melancholy or despair we need to ask, are we maintaining this status quo? When did we settle? What is missing? What is needed?
Nehemiah can provide us a few clues as to what we are to do or where we start. As we read the account of Chapter 2:10-20, 8:3, and 1 Corinthians 16:8-9 then we discover that first we must dare to dream again, then we need to take a close up and personal look inside ourselves, and the situation; examining the need, the options, the potential, and also what investment am I and others willing to make towards our goals? This requires a serious survey of the situation. As we ascertain what is needed then we seek God's will and confirmation that this is something that God would want for us to do. Sometimes we delude ourselves into thinking that something we want is something that God also wants for us when in fact, it is contrary with His Word. Is this congruent with God's Word? If it is not, then we need to let go, but; if God has spoken on the issue then we know that He will bless us and lead us with His plan.
Next, we need to do some serious introspection. Am I in private what I wish to sustain in public? How have I contributed to the problem? How many times was I asked to do something yet turned a deaf ear? Am I going to be able to lead others with my example ,or do I first need to work on me? If each person take responsibility for their own issues and contributions to the problems; then each can work on their own thinking, heart, and actions. Often this aspect requires the insight of a professional to assist with this effort, since thoughts are distorted in regards to one's world. One who is objective can more easily find the distortion and aid in how to correct one's perspective and actions; than someone who may be too close to be objective, or functioning from their own distorted lenses.
Afterwards, then we have to have the courage to face the challenge, name it, and attempt to ask others to join with us as we take the lead. Blaming will not work. Words such as, we and us-are a must to encourage others to walk with you. With each step, make sure that all understand that God is also working in this need. In addition, when a good work is in action; then expect opposition to occur. One cannot force another to walk with you so take the lead.
Sometimes this opposition is in our own thoughts and doubts, un-forgiveness of the past, or others who are criticizing. Learn to track the record of these critics and then track the record of our God. Opportunities always come with critics, doubt, and thoughts of hindrance but this is when we must discern the possible consequences of remaining where we have been; verses each option that we have, and then choose the best decision, with the most pay-off, with the least risk, which fits into God's plan for us. Keep a steady pace and stand true.
We cannot allow our dreams to become too small when God is working His plan. Although we feel completely vulnerable in uncharted territory, we must realize that this is exactly where God wants us so that we know He is in charge. God does not normally reveal His plan from the on start, but; forces us out of our comfort zone so that He is given the praise.
One sometimes may point at others and complain that all the others are doing this differently but, pause and think; with God, all things are possible. We have been trying things our way, yes? We have tried things their way, yes? How has that worked for us? Should not we trust our creator who created us and the institution of marriage to pilot both?