Recently I’ve been dealing with boundary issues concerning my family that I grew up with. Generally speaking for me, life is like an onion. There are many layers to peel away. In my younger years my boundaries were destroyed by a trusted adult. I’ve had to learn healthy boundaries over the years and for the longest time thought my boundaries were good. Then life throws me a curve and makes me wonder all over again, what just happened. Did I miss something? Did I change again? Is this another layer to the onion?
I’m thankful for what I have learned and where I am in my Christian walk. I know I am called to forgive others. I know how important this is, because it is a release for me and a protection spiritually from spiritual darkness and their activities in my life or my loved ones. After multiple confrontations over a family issue, I could see myself and my family doing the dance of anger and I didn’t want to participate in it any longer. I had to break the cycle. We were not getting anywhere. We kept going in circles with our conversations. I was feeling angry, hurt, lost, and becoming resentful. All of it felt horrible to me. I knew I needed to lean on God even more. I had to release these feelings. I repented to God for my part in all of the family dynamics and forgave the others and myself. I wanted to be free of all resentment. I gave it all over to God. Immediately I felt a release, and the heaviness left. The enemy had to go, because of my prayers of submission to God and using my authority to rid myself of the negative feelings and thoughts.
I put time and distance between myself and certain family members. This time of space and quietness was needed to clear my head and to clearly see what to do next as I consulted with God about my next move. I set a boundary for myself. Setting good boundaries prevents resentment, stops the dance of anger, and closes the door for the enemy to come mess in your life. God continues to enlighten me and peel back the onion. Deep patterns of our childhood often carry through our adulthood. We act automatically out of memory instead of growth. We have to move from the under the powerful hold of how we grew up into the relationship of God being our Father. By turning from our old patterns we stay out of resentment. We learn to love with proper limits and at the same time stop evil behavior. Family dynamics can pull you back into old patterns in a second. Awareness is key, and self examination is not easy.
Matthew 7:3-5 New International Version (NIV)
3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
In my situation these verses pierced me. I was focused on how wrong they were and I didn’t realize my lack of boundaries were allowing me to be pulled back into familiar dysfunctional patterns. I lost control of my personal property. My boundaries were being violated. My needs were not being fulfilled by the family. I had to face the reality of my deficit and the need to be filled by the wrong people. Trying to win a fight or to hear sorry come from someone can be exhausting. Hope seems to fade away while we are trying to fix it on our own, and at the same time, the enemy is wrecking havoc in our lives.
Proverbs 13:12 New International Version (NIV)
12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life
God is the one who can fill that need, and bring hope. I had to break the patterns, the old cycles with clear boundaries. It leaves one to wonder what to do next, but God is showing me my path. Sometimes it feels like I’m in slow mode, but I know He is teaching, equipping and healing me. I’m laying down old thought processes, habits, and the way I look at loved ones and situations.
The difference between responding and reacting is a choice. When you are reacting, you are not in control. When you respond, you are. Boundaries are best done with love. We can still love the ones that we have to put a strong healthy boundary around. In the process we are gaining freedom to love. Boundaries help us get to that point.
Father God, I pray for self awareness for all of us. Break the unhealthy cycles, patterns and spiritual holds from our pasts. Holy Spirit come! Fill us with wisdom and the purity of visions to remedy broken relationships. Jesus guide us in our relationships with truth and honesty. Thank you for helping us to grow in freedom and love. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.