“You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings” (1 Corinthians 7:23).
I thought chronic illness had changed my people pleasing desires. I can’t keep up with social events, host family get-togethers, or work a full-time job. It seems like my priorities changed overnight, as I let go of everything that stood in the way of my recovery.
Now, family time is my number one priority. While I learn to conserve my energy and organize my days, saying, “no” is the most difficult thing I must do.
My husband and I have large extended families, a very social group! We are already getting invitations for events. And, as spring rolls around, and I hear the neighborhood kids outside playing, I get a little sad thinking about our families. Often feelings get hurt when I can’t attend these activities.
I know if I push myself, I risk hospitalization. This is a hard time for me, full of uncertainties, questions, and limits. Yet, I constantly try to come up with a plan that will allow me to go to as many events as possible.
And I beat myself up when I know I have to decline.
When I think about the lengths I want to go to, just be included, I see the tendency to please people still lingers.
While I prayed about this and read this scripture, I felt like God was speaking directly to me.
I understand I have a choice to make. Push against the boundaries that God has set, or trust Him to bring goodness out of this challenge? Live for God or the desires of others?
Really, is there a question? I’ve got to live my life to please God, even if that means others will be disappointed. So, I lean on Him for the courage and strength to do just that.
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your unconditional love. Help us to love ourselves as we seek to love others. Give us peace about our current situations and the faith to trust You to bring good into our lives. Amen.
About the Author:
Dorothea Love lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Norman. They are the parents of two adult children. She has lived with chronic illness and pain for over 30 years. She knows she must rely on God’s grace to strengthen her whenever she faces a challenge. She invites you to read some of her other work on her blog: http://www.dorothealove.wordpress.com.
Have you had to decline an invitation but have eventually seen God do something with it?
As Dorothea explained, we have to choose to follow God or we end up doing the dance of trying to please everyone and we never come out ahead. This is Blanca singing “Who I Am” and this song has some great lyrics about trying to be someone who we aren’t, versus being who God calls us to be. Hope it blesses you. -Lisa