This week I'm sharing the ingredients for a deliciously satisfying life. If you missed the intro and the first ingredient you can go back to the meditations entitled "CAKE ANYONE?" and "GETTING HONEST" to catch up then look at the next ingredient we want to 'stir' into our recipe for a deliciously satisfying life..........
AFFIRMING RELATIONSHIPS – Galatians 6:1-3 from The Message doesn't pull any punches about how we should be in relationship with hurting people. It tells it like it is.............forgive, restore, don't be critical, stoop down, reach out, share their burdens! Without this kind of affirmation from others, people seldom have the courage to be honest about their lives let alone feel like they can overcome the 'hurts, habits, and/or hang-ups' that are slamming them up against the wall.
As I shared with Lily my frustrations (read the previous meditations for the whole story), she began to gently explore with me where the pain was. She didn’t judge and criticize or lecture me for not speaking up sooner or for walking in such a harmful way to myself for so long. She simply asked me to share where my pain was and encouraged me to push through the pain as I felt able to, a little at a time, to strengthen my muscles again.
Similarly, as WE come out of denial about the extent of OUR emotional, relational and spiritual pain, we can find help and hope as we reach out in honesty not only to God but to at least one other person we feel safe with.
We need people who will be gentle, encouraging and kind - who will accept us where we are at without judgment and criticism and give us the respect and support we need to push through our pain and gain the strength to live life to its fullest.
Lily didn’t give me false hope but was honest with me. She said it would take time and work to heal but that I COULD heal and be free of unnecessary pain and be able to walk normally again. As I followed her advice and saw how it was helping me I began to trust her and feel more hopeful.
Lily affirmed me in my efforts and applauded any little bit of progress I made. I felt that she really cared about me. I felt respected and supported by her. As she worked with me I began to gain confidence which encouraged me to keep going.
Whether we need help for physical, emotional, spiritual or any other kind of pain in our life, the love, strength, and honesty we find in other people truly are God-like traits. A friend, a small group, a pastor, or a counselor who won’t be frustrated with our slow progress—and who won’t give us quick and easy solutions—is a valuable find.
CARE TO SHARE in the comments below? What person or group has provided the affirmation you have needed to find healing in your life?