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Finding Hope and Purpose in all Seasons
For many years I dreaded holidays. And why wouldn’t I since throughout the year I tried to avoid my family? I would numb out, going through the motions, waiting for it all to be over. Oh, I tried. I hoped. I trusted. I put myself out there. But going back into family systems with unfinished business, tension continued to mount. And I always felt empty and guilty.
In 1987, I accepted Jesus invitation to a new life with Him. Because of the difference in me, I thought things would be different in my other relationships. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV) My hope was mutual love, respect and appreciation without being judged. Acknowledgement of the purpose and direction of my life from my parents/step-parents was important.
My desire for their blessing, was normal. The problem was not my desire, but rather where I went looking for it. It was like trying to draw water up from a dry well. In my frustrating brokenness, God impressed upon me another option He was providing. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13) I stopped trying to make something happen and started trusting God.
My purpose of gaining acceptance and affirmation from people was another dry well. Trying to make another person happy is like trying to play golf without clubs or play tennis without a racket. It won’t work. So my purpose had to change. Again, God offered a better choice. “So we make it our goal to please him...” (2 Corinthians 5:9a) “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6)
When I began to allow God to fulfill my need for acceptance, significance, hope, purpose and love, I stopped dreading being around family during the holiday season. When I allowed God to fill my bucket, I was went into those relationships with something to offer them, rather than trying to get my needs met.
His, Bro. Mike