After making a string of comments about certain aspects of my life I felt God whisper over my heart, “I cannot fully open up what I am trying to do if you refuse to fully accept where you actually are.”
I had caught myself making statements about my relationships and connections here, and they simply weren’t true. It was almost as if trying to keep certain things at an arm’s length had become some sort of safety mechanism. If I can say, “I’m still not settled,” I don’t have to deal with being actually settled. If I can speak about things as if I’m lost, or isolated, or not connected, then I don’t have to walk out a story with accountability.
As I have been trying to let God unfold that thought in my life I have started to notice how often I define, set parameters, or frame something in a way that protects me. I had another moment in a similar vein where I felt God say, “If that was actually not how things were, would you even be willing to see it?” The truth is, we grow so comfortable with some dynamics, even those we also wish were different, that it is very difficult to allow space for change, and in turn, possibly even truth. And the more ingrained these false narratives become the more we hang tight to the sliver that keeps us attached to the old story.
Let’s play this out…
You have a difficult friendship or family relationship. You feel obligated to keep trying for whatever reason, but it’s been years. You tell yourself, and others you vent to, that “things will never change.” Then that story begins to identify and define that dynamic. It just “is what it is,” but what if it isn’t? What if it could be, or maybe already is, different? What if you can’t see it because you are too stuck in the old story?
Things are frustrating at work, or maybe your feeling outside a social group or church. It bothers you. A few things confirm that irritation. Maybe you gather a few like minded people. Now you feel validated. And you probably are. But then, someone tries. Something gets a little better, something gets a little closer to fixed. Someone is trying, but that doesn’t seem to matter. You are already so entrenched in the language of a story that is trying to give you a plot twist, but you can’t see it.
When we don’t check in with our own narratives from time to time we may miss something new. We may miss healing. We may miss belonging. We may miss the remedy to the very thing we are saying we are frustrated with. It may already be here. God may be right in front of you, arms stretched open holding the very opportunity you are longing for, but you prefer the old story, the one you are used to, the one that keeps you safe and absolves you from your piece of the situational pie.
If things in that frustrating situation or difficult dynamic were different, would you be willing to see it? God cannot open up what He is trying to do in your life if you refuse to accept where you actually are, and where others can potentially be.