Standing At The Checkpoint

Talking with a friend of my Dad’s about isolation and being alone and how God has been moving in my life this past two years – planting the seed a year ago about starting a biz and how he has maneuvered my life little by little to support the idea that he planted and to help me adjust to being alone. He created a way for me to fill the empty spaces – with his ideas and a biz. He helped me when I was fearful and took that fear and transformed it into the beginnings of something beautiful, a new opportunity to do his work.

You see – God is about relationship and he is committed to helping us see how much not only that we need him but also how much he wants to and does for us. He only asks that we reach out to others with those bits of grace and mercy that he gives to us with each opportunity that we can find. Note: I located the movie – The Grace Card. I was not familiar with the movie. How fitting as the day started with thinking about the grace God has shown and continues to show me. He gives us opportunities even in isolation and silence, to be a light in his world. He finds ways to keep us connected to relationships.

What I mean is this. I have found that when I’m in real need, someone always either calls or comes to my home right when I need them. He places our names on each others heart. That is not by mistake. We are built for relationship. We thrive in relationship. When God places someone’s name on your heart, we should take that as a message from God perhaps, that the someone has a real need. We should reach out to them, even to just say hello. You could be the angel unaware.

The next thing we discussed was about the fear and experiences in the past and how God has used them to transform me for the better. We spoke about how those connections had graced me …had been a rope of survival in the days that I was going thru cancer treatment. They were bits of light to me – a light to move toward.

At one time in my life I was not only in survival mode in the midst of an emotionally abusive situation, but I was also in the midst of an emotionally draining situation during cancer treatment. God placed many people in my path during that time. None of them were by mistake.

I look back and see that I was searching for ways to hang on. God provided those ways through people. I truly love the song – God Gave Me You – Dave Barnes.

God Gave Me You”

I’ve been a walking heartache
I’ve made a mess of me
The person that I’ve been lately
Ain’t who I wanna beBut you stay here right beside me
Watch as the storm goes through
And I need youGod gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I’ve lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you

There’s more here than what we’re seeing
A divine conspiracy
That you, an angel, lovely
Could somehow fall for me

You’ll always be love’s great martyr
I’ll be the flattered fool
And I need you

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I’ve lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you

On my own I’m only half of what I could be
I can’t do without you
We are stitched together and what love has tethered
I could never undo

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt

God gave me you for the ups and downs
God gave me you for the days of doubt
For when I think I’ve lost my way
There are no words here left to say, it’s true

God gave me you
Gave me you
Gave me you

 

That’s what in his awesome wisdom that he does. I have written about it before – we have a need for a light – God will provide the light. If we need someone with a particular strength – he sends them, even if they do not realize they have that strength or even that light that we were searching for.

I have found today after expressing it to my Dad’s friend that I have reached forgiveness in my heart for myself in overstepping a boundary years ago. It was a boundary that I never thought I needed. I loved all people and I accepted them for who they said they were. I had no need to question, unless they showed me first hand. I never even questioned when someone said they were a Christian. I believed the value of their word.

I learned a tough lesson a few years ago that boundaries are good to have in place. I had to learn a tough lesson also that someone’s word may not have the value that I initially think that it does, but that will not keep me from showing love to others. It also showed me the importance of how my words should be of value to others. I had to reach this point in my life to be able to say today that I forgive the past and I forgive myself. That experience has shown me great value. God worked through that situation to show me that he can take even moments when our belief systems are nearly shattered to bring about beauty.

It has taken a while but I actually see that love and forgiveness are together in my heart. They sit side by side. You can still feel fondness and peace for unhappy times in the past. When you can speak openly about something once so painful, is progress.

Forgiveness and love are the same. To forgive someone is an act of love. To forgive yourself is an act of self love. There is such freedom in the word love. God has shown me that Valentine’s Day is not about the paper hearts or the candy or the flowers – it is a day to express love to the special ones in our life but Valentine’s Day’s should be carried throughout the year. Valentine’s Day is about love and God is love. He is our greatest Valentine. He gave us the greatest act of love – his son Jesus – who in his sacrifice to us ..for us – was the greatest Valentine who ever walked this earth. He sacrificed. He loved and he forgave.

God also showed me today that we can even thank those persons who retaliate against us. He showed me that while it is not pleasant, that the retaliation in itself can show us something that we can use in our lives. He taught me in these last few years about boundaries that were formed after retaliation. I already had protective walls and they are okay too when one is faced with a survival situation however, boundaries and walls are not the same. Walls keep others out. Boundaries allow us to still reach or step across the line but are there to serve as checkpoints in our lives. Checkpoints to take stock in where we are standing or in the direction we are traveling. We can still have checkpoints and boundaries and have relationship.

I see today two major things – God has been working in my days of isolation. He still sprinkles me with bits of grace and mercy with connections that I make. He has helped me not to be afraid of the quiet. I rather enjoy it now. My walls have fallen back to the ground but today I do have boundaries.

If I cross over a boundary or one was not erected, such as the one I stepped over last night, we only need to learn from it. Late last night I was watching my favorite food channel and for the last 12 days I have been trying to eat healthy. Who knew that something that brings such relaxation and giggles while sitting on the sofa can cause one stumble? I chose something to snack on that was not on my list. I see today that while I will still love my favorite food channel, that it may not be the best for me to sit and watch for long periods. If I do decide to watch going forward, I will make sure to have on hand with me healthy choices for those triggered snack moments. You see – I have learned the importance of boundaries and checkpoints.

Sometimes we find times in our lives that we may have to erect those walls and we are not to beat ourselves up for erecting them when safety is an issue however the truth is, boundaries are much better choices. We can look over the fence of a boundary. When we stumble and fall, forgiveness is the white wash on the fence of that boundary. It says without words – I stumbled but I am standing again and that boundary was there for my benefit. I forgive myself. If someone stumbles across one of our boundaries, again forgiveness – the white wash on the fence of the boundary are that person as well. Forgiveness lets us stand on each side of the boundary but still have relationship.

We can reach a point with God’s help to forgive those times when we have crossed our own boundaries or those that have crossed ours. Relationships are important. Forgiveness is important. Boundaries are important. We can reach the place in our life when we see and really understand that relationship, forgiveness, and boundaries are of great worth and value. We can understand that there are some lines that we will not cross and that they are as much for our health as they are for others.

God is a God of relationship. He is committed to helping us see how much that not only do we need him but that we need other relationships as well. God only asks that we do the same for others as he does for us and to reach out to others with those same bits of grace and mercy in every opportunity that we can find. Even if we find ourselves in isolating situations – such as in a virtual job situation, we still can build and form relationships.

What boundaries do you have in place in your personal life, in your business or your professional life? Have you ever crossed a boundary one of your own or one belonging to another? How did you handle it? Did you ask for forgiveness? Did they ask for forgiveness? Did you both forgive and begin again?

I ask you today to think about those walls and boundaries – those needed and those that maybe you should consider that are more of a wall than a boundary. Do you offer forgiveness to yourself and to others? There is more to life that standing behind a wall or on the other side of boundaries – stand at the checkpoints today in your life and examine what they represent – safety or are they holding you back from forming relationships with others?

Share your story today – and offer the grace card where necessary and remember God gave us each other!

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