Posted: 04/21/2009 in me, spiritual growth

i really struggled with my beth moore study this week. 

it’s a very VERY good study. 

i had company, i had forms to assemble, the “if’s” were stressful, two days i had a headache/migraine… i could keep going but after finishing the final two days of this week’s lessons today, i realized this was a very defining moment for me. i missed last week’s bible study group meeting because lizzie faith had a runny nose, cough and yucky ears. usually after a trip up in a study, i tend to slowly throw in the towel. i wanted this to be different. i realize yesterday the only way to make it different is fight through this week’s lesson. i did four days in two days. if you know beth moore study’s you know this is a significant amount of work to do while still maintaining a household/family. i did it! i am already feeling blessed by trudging through it. 

i just can’t let this go. i’ve been mulling over this for months, oh no, years… i’m still thinking. i don’t usually just hear or read something and swallow it whole. i’m afraid i usually even chew so long it just disintegrates. LOL (my husband considers to this be an annoying habit of mine… at times this is a huge asset to our family). 

here’s my struggle. 

beth moore was abused and such as a child. she talks about it some, more on the level of a very scared childhood – not really any more specifics than that. she talks about strongholds and co-dependency a lot too. these seem to be things she has/does struggle with on a deep level and has overcome them for the most part – from what i gather. i guess, saying all that to say, she speaks from experience here. some of these things are issues i’ve had in my life as well…

we’re studying through psalms 129 this week in the study, psalms of ascents. she talks about what (one thing) we are called to do as christians. exodus 23:4-5, lev. 19:16-18 and prov. 24:17-18. these verses speak of your friend needing help – you help, your enemy needing help – you help the same as if it were your friend… talks about not spreading bad things about people around town, etc. to not endanger anyone’s life, not to hate, not to seek revenge, and to not rejoice in your enemy’s stumble. these are all “givens” right? i mean, we can all admit, these are bad things, we know that, don’t do them. 

in a big spotlight we recognize these things as BAD, but in the little day in day out type of situations do we notice when we do secretly seek revenge or secretly rejoice in our enemy’s stumble? i know i have in the past and also in the more recent past. i feel ashamed. i can list all the reasons why they deserved my revenge. i can. it’s ligate. i can also list all the reasons why i don’t deserve Jesus and boy, where would we be on that comparison… just because it’s true or someone “deserves” it does NOT give anyone (me) right to seek that revenge! do i beg for mercy when i deserve revenge? you betcha!! 

here’s my next struggle… (yea, two huge pieces of meat in my mouth at the same time that i’m trying to chew.) through out my life i’ve had a lot of friends. friends that usually i was the one who severed the ties. i think at each time even i questioned why i decided to do this. i’m sure on the other end it was received as the most hurtful cruel thing someone could do. be an active member of their life and then one day just simply stop returning phone calls after an argument, a breaking point or a breaking point where i just can’t take it anymore. i feel badly. there has got to be a better way. i strongly believe i have not done a lot of things right in my life. or gone about doing right things the right way. 

then i read this scripture today (also in the b.m. study) and it hits me. isaiah 51:22-23


 22 This is what your Sovereign LORD says, 
       your God, who defends his people: 
       “See, I have taken out of your hand 
       the cup that made you stagger; 
       from that cup, the goblet of my wrath, 
       you will never drink again.

 23 I will put it into the hands of your tormentors, 
       who said to you, 
       ‘Fall prostrate that we may walk over you.’ 
       And you made your back like the ground, 
       like a street to be walked over.”


then beth says

“…we can offer people our love without offering them our backs. we can offer them compassion without offering them our backs.”

oh wow! i get it. that’s what went wrong in every friendship. i got down on the ground allowing them to walk on my back. it wasn’t always their fault that they walked on my back. i offered it to them! how stupid of me! how destroying! this lead to seeking revenge and such, the reason why i’m deal with this first “piece of meat” i’m chewing on… 

so here i sit today. wondering how in the world you have a friendship without offering your back AND if you do offer your back, how you get back up without severing the ties of that friendship? how do you establish clear boundaries within friendships and also how do you decide your clear boundaries BEFORE getting into a friendship? 

hmmm too deep for a tuesday, eh??? i’m on overload – gonna go eat! 😀

  1. Shonya says:

    Yes, that was a really good study, wasn’t it?! I have struggled with a similar thing, my friend. Serving, serving, serving someone, then suddenly one day resenting that I was the one who always gave, the one who always called, the one EXPECTED to carry the load–and not really appreciated, you know? None of us wants to feel taken for granted or used. . .but sometimes we are the ones who set ourselves up as such. Moderation, moderation, it’s always about moderation, isn’t it?! Wonder when I’ll get it! 🙂

  2. jenifriend says:

    this is a great topic of discussion, breanna, and i’m glad you brought it up and offered your vulnerability in this indecision to the blogging world! 🙂 it speaks of an enormous amount of strength you have!

    i look at friendships as i do all of my serious relationships. serious relationships are those with my family and that with my HTB. and they are one of those items in my life which i have little to no boundaries with. i believe in vulnerability and the need to own up to something whole-heartedly. i think to give to a friendship in moderation is to indicate the level (or non-level) of importance that relationship may be. don’t get me wrong, i do believe in boundaries to an extent. as an example, i had a very dear friend of mine who was being physically abused by her (now ex)boyfriend, and i did everything in my power to be there and be available to her repetitive stories of heartache and pain time after time after time. it wasn’t until i found myself needing therapy and a serious psycological break that i had to detach myself from so many of her stories, as i was beginning to take on her pain, and that wasn’t healthy for me. i had friends in college who, looking back now, i should have dealt with in moderation. but those were people whom i shouldn’t have been friends with in the first place and people who didn’t deserve the kind of honest friendship i have to give. it wasn’t until i met really exceptional women after college, and rekindled high school friends in women who meant the world to me, that i realized my true potential in the friends i could possess, and the kind of uninhibited friendship i could give to them in return.

    you deserve that kind of friendship breanna. the kind that you don’t have to place boundaries on because there is no need to place boundaries. there is nothing to fear in the relationship and everything wonderful to gain from it. there is a reason, however ridiculous it might be, that you walked away from relationships the way you did in the past. and it could very well be so that you could realize the inadequacies now and learn and change from having that knowledge.

    i love you and pray you are able to walk through this with Him as your guide. take care.

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