We finally had a snow day yesterday! It’s been a snowless winter until now – I was so grateful for a day off work and to myself.
As I puttered around the house, I was thinking back to a blog post I wrote in January about the Women’s March in DC. In it, I shared that in the original language of Genesis 2, the word ‘helpmeet’ – referring to why God created woman – actually translates back to the original Hebrew word ‘ezer’ which means, ‘rescuer, lifesaver and strong power.’ Those words have so much more strength in them than helpmeet. Don’t you agree?
I often share this when I speak – always with the intention of reminding women how much they are valued and treasured by God. I love the ‘whoo-hoo’s’ I hear from the audience when I tell them this world was not complete until we arrived on the scene!
But when thinking about the word ezer yesterday, my mind went in a completely different direction.
The day my mother died, we were all gathered at her house in the evening with family and friends coming by. As you can imagine, after a week holding vigil at the hospital and then with her passing, we were exhausted. There was a bit of family drama going on. You know what I mean – emotions were running high.
My Godparents were among the visitors and witnessed some of the family stress. As they were leaving, and I walked them to the door, my sweet Godfather hugged me and then looked me in the eye and said, “Laura Anne, YOU are the rock.”
He meant this as the kindest compliment and I took it as such. In that moment, he saw me and was conveying that I was strong enough to handle all that was swirling around. I hugged him back, and told him that I learned how to be the rock from my mother.
Next week, it will be two years since that evening.
Over the past 24 months, I have learned so many important truths – far too many to detail here. But as I remembered the word ezer and its meaning, I was reminded of something I’ve learned since mom died..
Often times, our greatest strength can also be our greatest weakness.
As Christian women, we have such big hearts. It’s easy for some of us to become very caught up in being the rescuer, the lifesaver and the strong power. We are natural fixers and may feel it is our calling to rescue the lost, hurting and dysfunctional.
We want to help, inspire, cheerlead, figure out the problem and then fix it. Us to the rescue! We can feel responsible to make everything and everyone ok. Sound familiar?
So here is what popped into my mind as I was thinking this through: Don’t be the rock.
There already is a Rock and it isn’t you.
It’s not your job. It isn’t your role and it won’t work anyway.
You can’t rescue anyone – you can’t fix anyone.
And all the helping and cheerleading in the world will never save a single soul.
Don’t be the rock.
Our role as women – as mothers, friends, siblings and lovers is to…
Be an example
And then, keep pointing to the true Rock, the only One who can save and rescue – the strongest power, Jesus.
Only the Creator can fix what He has created.
In psychology lingo, trying to be the rock, the fixer, or the rescuer of people is called co-dependency.
We Christian girls are amazingly skilled at this and we confuse it with love, caring and compassion. But in reality, co-dependency crosses a line and accomplishes just the opposite.
To rescue your child from pain or obstacles is to teach them to be helpless for a lifetime.
To be the lifesaver for an addict is to prolong their addiction and hinder their recovery.
To try to fix everything and make it all ok for everyone is exhausting, keeps you from living in freedom and hear this truth: it will continue into the next generation.
Don’t be the rock.
Our beautiful and powerful attributes, given to us at Creation are not to be used for our own glory, a search for significance or our need for validation. We place ourselves in God’s role when we do that – and that’s always a problem.
We rescue by taking them to the Rescuer.
We help save a life by pointing them to the Lifesaver
We use our strong power, by loving deep and unconditionally with healthy boundaries.
Our true strength is seen when we allow others to experience their own journey and learn their own lessons – and we do the same.
“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.” – Psalm 18:2
Someone already has been given the assignment – and it is not you or me.
Please, please – don’t be the rock.
Many Blessings,Wednesday, March 15, 2017 | 22 Comments
Thinking of giving something up for Lent?
Will you consider a challenge? This year, instead of giving up a favorite food or TV and those kinds of things, consider giving up a behavior or attitude that gets in your way as a follower of Christ – and, quite honestly, keeps you stuck.
Why not ‘put off’ anything that hinders our witness & spiritual growth and ‘put on’ something new?
What if we put off pride, needing to be right, selfishness, our choice of words (for me, often too many) and withholding grace? You get the idea.
Can you think of a behavior or attitude He has been bringing to your attention?
I’ll bet you can.
For me, it’s that lovely 7-letter word: control. He’s brought this to my awareness many, many times in my life. In fact, I have given up control in so many areas, I thought maybe – hopefully – we were done! But that’s called fantasy thinking!
The Lord is always faithful to let me know when there’s something getting in my way – and so many times it’s my need to keep my nose in His business.
Ever so gently, and then with a little more pressure, He has made it clear to me that there are still many, many things I try to orchestrate and keep my hands on.
An example? I need to put off giving my worries over to God, asking Him for help and then going about trying to fix everything myself.
Yes, I am still doing that.
Instead, I need to put on more trust, more surrender and more faith. I need to ask for help, do what is reasonable & responsible and then take my hands off the wheel.
That – right there – is what control looks like for me. And He wants me to give it up.
And so, Lent is a perfect time to re-think our thinking and align it with the truth from God’s Word.
How do we do it? We confess, we commit and then, through prayer, His Word and His grace, we experience change!
To be honest, we have so much abundance. Giving up a creature comfort really isn’t all that sacrificial – which is the point of giving something up for 40 Days – correct?
Even if you do not traditionally observe the Lenten season, it is always a good time to take an action step toward spiritual and emotional maturity. The eight weeks before Easter is a contemplative time.
Will you join me in spending some intentional time with Him to re-think our thinking so it lines up with His?
Let’s put off anything that hinders our relationship to Him and our witness to others around us. Let’s put on more of His grace and love. Let’s let some things go – are you in?
That, however, is not the way of life you learned when you heard about Christ and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. ~ Ephesians 4:20-24
Action Steps: What is one thing you need to put off that will move you forward in your relationship to Him and strengthen your witness to others around you? Write it down in your Bible or leave a comment here, if you’d like. Confess to Him. Then, commit to praying for strength to put off the thing! Give yourself grace if you experience setbacks along the way – He does! Perfection is NOT THE GOAL!
Prayer: Lord, change me. Help me to drop the attitudes and behaviors that get me nowhere in my relationship with You and keep me stuck. I so desire to reflect Your love, grace and peace to those who are literally dying to know You. I know I can give them quite a mixed message. Help me as I grow and learn to be more like You. Amen.
Here’s to a blessed and meaningful Lenten season,
PS. From today until Easter, I will be posting a worship song each morning at 6:35 AM on my Facebook page. I hope it will accompany our daily prayer/quiet time, as we put off the old and put on the new. There are so many beautiful praise songs. Some will be familiar and some may be new. Music is one of the most powerful ways God speaks to us! I hope it will settle our souls a little and help us start our day with praise. Will you join me over FB each day? Just click the icon on this page.Wednesday, March 1, 2017 | 10 Comments