The heart of a man plans his ways, but the Lord establishes his steps.
When things go from amazingly good, to strangely bad in a matter of days, a person tends to drift your mind to the thought of “Why is this happening to me, Lord?” For a while now, I have had the carpet pulled out from underneath me with unexpected things happening in my business. Exciting new times for staff with new beginnings, but unexpected worry and strain on my business because of lack of staff and our busiest time of season upon us.
Change is never easy for me in business. I make decisions quickly when it’s necessary, always with my heart because my business is and will always be a part of my ministry. But it almost always becomes a stepping stone for someone’s future. I suppose it’s always like that in life. People need change, people need purpose, people need to search for bigger and more. My purpose for my business and the reason for growing it beyond myself has always been to help people be who they want to be, to grow them spiritually as much as they’re willing to, as well as give them a platform to grow their own business, within my already established one. I love people. I love to be a part of a team. I love the fun we have while making people feel better about themselves. My work gives me pleasure as it’s always been my desire to see a person move from sadness, despair, heartache, unworthiness and feeling ugly into the beauty that God sees inside them. I love my work because I get to see how a little, positive Godly love along with a paint and polish can make a person feel worthy and ready to take on the world again.
Recently though, I have felt more alive putting pen to paper, I have felt safer writing my blogs and spending time with God. Recently, I have had this unquenchable thirst to create and be a part of something deeper with Christ by my side. To share my heart as God unravels it inside of me. I have seen how even if you love, care and encourage human beings, they will disappoint and abuse you if it will further or benefit them. They will lie, cheat and steal even when there is nothing in it for them. I have seen how even Christians and close brothers and sisters in Christ, would rather stay quiet and concentrate on themselves than help someone else in their search for guidance and encouragement. People are too busy trying to find their own purpose that they don’t even assist others with trying to find theirs. We get consumed by self. What is MY purpose? Where am I suppose to fit? What decisions would God want ME to make in this situation? How will God place ME within the kingdom? How can I become a leader? What is God’s plan for MY life? And that’s only Christians.
With everything that has been going on in my life and in my business, for the first time this week, I really have seemed to struggle with the disappointment of people’s decisions and how they affect my business and my life. I have been consumed by the hurt and abuse of the fact that I try to be kind, generous, loving and giving more than any business owner should be. I have been saddened by people and their actions.
I have been joking about the fact that I would LOVE for God to send me a 10 point plan via e-mail about what He expects me to do right about now. Complete clarity on why He gives me a book full of songs to write and no one to listen, a business full of clients and therapists leaving before season, a heart for writing yet no time to write, a head full of dreams but no opening to live them. I need to know the PURPOSE for it all. Why did He make me this way? Why could I not be the hardcore business woman that will fire if you step over the line, why could I not be the no-nonsense employer that is all about growing business and the employee stays the employee and not apart of your heart and family. Why is it that I will give chances and turn a blind eye because I truly hope that PEOPLE will do the right thing eventually?
Am I being naive? Most people reading this will right about now would say yes…
Well I am not.
Naive: showing lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment, of a person natural and uneffected, innocent.
Well I am not.
PHILLIPIANS 2: 1-4
So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you looknott only to his own interest, but also to the interests of others.
I know and realise the nature of people. I understand that the self in all of us is very strong. I prefer though to try and see the better, kinder, honest, compassionate, giving, loving, generous and respectful side of people’s lives. It hurts though, I can tell you, it HURTS! Especially when people cannot see that side of themselves. And then I am reminded of Jesus on the cross, dying for our sinful natures, calling to God for mercy on us as we know not what we do! Was Jesus naive to think there are all these good things within us?
Well I believe not! He knew and knows more than we will ever know about ourselves. Our PURPOSE is not connected to the words I or ME or MINE or SELF. If we change all those questions to the following one question:
GOD LET YOUR WILL BE DONE.
Maybe we will get that 10 point plan a lot quicker…
Take some time today, to lend an ear, read a friend’s looooooong sms or blog you never have time for, AND REPLY. See the good in someone even though they have hurt you, or if you have hurt them, say sorry. Show some compassion to someone hurting or even lashing out at you and say I forgive you. Support your friend in something they are trying with encouragement. Offer a hug to someone that’s hurting.
Today, try to look past yourself and look through Jesus’ eyes. Maybe today you will receive your 10 point plan because you have removed the ME in all the questions.