Strength For Today

A journey of keeping my heart, mind, and body in TODAY

Constantly Learning

on January 19, 2014

For a quite some time, I walked around with a confidence that I knew enough to successfully navigate through life.  I felt that I had “a good head on my shoulders”, and I was strong and independent enough to handle whatever situation should come my way.  For far too long, I set expectations upon myself which I could never possibly meet.  I lived a life of one disappointment after another.  It neared impossible to live up to the expectations I set upon myself. I was in a constant state of frustration, never feeling fully satisfied and not even understanding the word “content”.  My life was a self-inflicted emotional prison.

I am so incredibly thankful not to have to live that way today.  Through the process of recovery from a variety of hurts, hang-ups, and habits, I have learned the valuable lesson of acceptance.  I can live in a state of accepting myself right where I am instead of constantly feeling discontent and setting expectations for myself to live a better and more fulfilling life.  I don’t have to strive for the next “big thing”, and I don’t have to grieve the last “missed opportunity”.  I can grow right where I am planted.

This is truly a gift, given freely to me by the Lord.  He has been working with my heart, teaching and directing me, molding me and making me, into the woman that He created me to be from the beginning.  On the days that I accept His discipline as this “gift”, I remain in a beautiful state of contentment, peace and serenity.  On the other hand, when I resist His discipline, due to the discomfort, I revert back to the place where I feel dissatisfied, unfulfilled, and lost.

Some days the awareness of this discontentment comes quickly, and I rearrange my thinking, and get back on track with God’s plan.  Other times it isn’t until I reach a very uncomfortable, and occasionally even painful emotional place, that I recognize where I am resisting God’s hand in my life.  I have to admit that I much prefer when I “see” myself sooner rather than later.

Today was one of those days.  I have been feeling a sense of discontentment in my relationship with my fiance, Ashley.  He is a wonderful man, and I am so incredibly fortunate to be marrying him in 6 months!  Lately, though, I have been struggling with a feeling of “less than” when it comes to our relationship.  I have been feeling less important than I used to.  I have been feeling less loved than I used to.  I have been feeling less content than I used to.  I wasn’t really able to put a finger on where those emotions were coming from until today.  Today, we met with Marc, the pastor at our church that is going to marry us.  We got into the discussion of what has been going on and I started to verbally state some of the feelings I have been going through lately.  Through my fumbling over my words, and my attempts at formulating my feelings in a way that would not “offend” my fiance, my pastor pointed out something vital.  He said that I was not stating the reality of how I was feeling.  He said that I was side-stepping my true emotions and not stating the root of the issue.  He had me state my feelings again, and I felt empowered by this opportunity.  It felt good to tell Ash how I had been feeling and why I had been feeling that way.  We ended up having some good conversation as a result.  Through all of my “wordiness”, I thought I had gotten my point across and that it was all good.  Pastor Marc, however, made another accurate observation.  He said that although I had been talking for the last few minutes how I needed Ashley to verbally reassure me that he loves me and cares for me, I was missing what really filled my “love tank”.  I was under the impression that my Love Language was “Words of Affirmation” or “Quality Time”.  Pastor Marc pointed out that the minute Ashley put his hand on mine, or his arm around me, he visibly watched my body relax and peace come over me.  He pointed out that my true “Love Language” was very obviously “Physical Touch”.  As he said it, I could not argue one bit.  I feel instant reassurance and love the minute Ashley places a hand on mine.  And I also feel instant “loss” the minute he takes it away.  It amazes me that I still know so little about myself.  I am constantly learning new things and coming to new understandings about who I really am and how I really operate.  For so long, I lived under the umbrella of how I “should” act or feel, that reality sometimes still evades me.  I am thankful that I learned something about myself today.  Now, I can use that information to grow where I am planted.  God never wastes a hurt, no matter how small.  I am incredibly blessed and thankful for that!

Do you know your Love Language?

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