Friday, May 30, 2003

The Process of Partnership with God

This is what's in my head this morning. Someone close to me is going through a rough time. I've been through similar situations in my own life, more than once, and I have been praying for clarity on how I can best help now. As I was writing in my journal a little while ago, I found myself replaying my own experience and some very clear steps I took (and continue to take) with God came into focus. I thought I'd share them with you, too.

When I am faced with a difficult situation I don't know how to resolve, I follow these general steps:

  • I pray, listen carefully, and do exactly what I receive in prayer--immediately. In the prayer, I ask God to reveal to me anything I am doing to cause the circumstance and tell Him that with His help, I'll face it honestly and allow Him to show me how to heal it. (invite God in)
  • I take full responsibility for my situation and accept it as a learning. (face myself clearly without judgment)
  • I weed out self-pity at all costs because self-pity tells me that I'm powerless and a victim of the situation, which isn't true. (recognize the power of change is within me)
  • I make sure I'm willing to do the work--and I do it, even if I don't want to. When God reveals something in me that is unhealthy, I immediately begin to apply what I learn. This takes self-discipline (which I often need to pray for help with) and humility (because I am often surprised that I have so much to learn). Luckily, God provides more of both of these things when we ask. I've learned that if I don't apply what I learn, the situation will continue or come back in another form until I do. (apply what I learn)
  • I try to stay thankful for the experience, no matter how dark it seems, because it is drawing me closer to God and revealing those places in me that have not yet been healed by His light...but they will be. (be thankful)
  • I watch for even the smallest signs of change and growth--and claim and give thanks for each one as it appears. This keeps me moving forward--I can see that God is leading me out of the situation, bit by bit. (watch for the good)
  • I diligently step forward into that new place and refuse to be dragged back by fear or doubt into the place I'd been before. (claim each step and move forward)

This process with God has worked many times for me in many different circumstances--through divorce, financial troubles, illness, and more. You may have a much different process, but in the end we can all be sure that God will bring good from our situations in many ways. At the very least, the situation will be healed, God will be at the center of our lives, and we will have been given an experience and a witness of faith that one day may help another person find the path out of a dark valley.

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