the other side of humility…

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As a therapist I have to be careful. I can’t internalize my clients successes and I also can’t internalize their failures. The former is pretty easy. I am good at recognizing that another person’s success rarely has anything to do with me and has everything to do with them and God. But that later? Much more difficult to accept.

I remember the verse God placed on my heart last year. Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up (James 4:10). It didn’t matter what part of the Bible I was studying, or what book I was reading, God would always bring my heart back to this place. I wasn’t sure why…I mean…I felt like I tried to be humble. I wasn’t perfect at it, but who is? I didn’t take credit for my place in life. I knew it was only by the grace of God that I even maintained the position I was in. But then God shifted my perspective to the other side of humility. A side I was not familiar with at all.

The other side of humility (for me) pairs closely with the fact that I have a limited amount control. Yes I am in control of my own thoughts, actions, and behaviors. But when I internalize another person’s actions, thought processes, behaviors, or even circumstances – I am anything but humble. I see myself as having way more control that God ever intended. He gave us all free will, and that free will not only applies to them, but it also means I am not in charge of anyone else.

And it doesn’t mean I can’t offer help, skills, suggestions, and always a safe place to be heard and understood. It doesn’t mean I don’t do everything in my power to have as much specialized knowledge as possible on how certain things affect certain people or the biology of how the brain works. Of course I embrace and use these things. But at the end of the day, I have to know the outcome never has and never will rest with me. God has power to do far more than I could ever imagine – or possibly choose to do nothing at all. He always knows best.

When I accept this as truth I am free to give my all — released from pressure and anxiety. I am lifted up beyond the outcome and free to just be me. He asks us to be humble not just because it’s a “good” way to be but because it helps us function in the fullness of His grace each and every day. Humility is a blessing as we begin to realize He is the ultimate author.

you deserve the chance to make a mistake…

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Middle school boys do weird stuff. Like really weird. Over the past 2 years I have gotten phone calls involving bananas, trees, bathroom incidents, middle finger mishaps, and verbage I never knew existed! Looking back I can totally laugh, but in the moment it’s tough to see my kid make mistakes.

If I could encapsulate him in a bubble and keep him from missing the mark – ever – I think I probably would. Well…maybe…

There is also this part of me that says – he deserves the chance to make mistakes – no matter how funky-weird those mistakes are!

And I wonder if Jesus feels the same way. If it’s hard for Him to watch us fall…but letting us because He knows the fall is what we need to heal and grow stronger. Because when you think about it, freedom (including the freedom to totally f*** things up) is a really cool thing. Apart from freedom, none of us would be who we are.

And you and I sit here as adults – no one telling us what to do – and sometimes we get it right. Other times – many other times – we get it wrong.

But here’s the truth sweet friend. You deserve the chance to make a mistake.

With mistakes can come tremendous growth, especially if we practice self-compassion (the ability to say ya, I jacked it up, but I will learn and move on).

You deserve the chance to make a mistake because you are human and it’s what humans do. If we never messed up there would be no need for Jesus. And Jesus didn’t die so we could sit around wallowing in our woes – telling ourselves what a ding-dong we are. He died so we can say, that was weird – I made a mistake – what have I learned? – and God please help me do better next time. 

And sometimes we will do better next time, and sometimes our flesh will fight hard, and we won’t. But we just keep going. Trying. Repenting. Caring for ourselves and those we love. And allowing God to mend the wounds. Because you sweet sister deserve the chance to make a mistake. And you deserve to do it without bashing yourself with your internal baseball bat afterwards. You deserve to make a mistake and you deserve forgiveness, grace, and compassion.

So get up, and try again. Help your kids do the same. They are watching you. And the more grace you give yourself – the more they will learn to do the same. You got this. And even when you don’t – well that’s just part of being human – and you are gonna be okay.