Ahhh, Thanksgiving is but a few days away.
This is a season and a time to be thankful. Often, when we're supposed to be the most grateful, we can be the stumbling block that stops us from relaxing in the presence of God.
So many preparations, things to do, people to please, decorations to put out...
Holidays can bring out the best and worst of us.
Myself being no exception, after recently "blowing it" and reverting back to old behaviors and and patterns I thought I had dealt with and were a "thing of my past," found myself seething with disgust.
Thoughts of, "how could you, Nicole... If you were only good enough you wouldn't have fallen for something so trivial... Why can't you just be happy."
One after another, the thoughts kept creeping in, eroding every sense of self-confidence I previously thought I had. Can you relate?
Whispers and lies from the enemy have a tendency to creep in when we least expect. I realized after a week of giving life everything I had, I was so depleted. Recovering from overactive adrenal glands has been such a hard season for me, one I've refused, tried to "overcome" in my own strength and pray away.
In my strength I want to run, shine, engage with others, be, do, go here - there and everywhere. All the while neglecting ME in the process. This season God's been doing some REAL deep heart work in me and I am starting to realize like a small child throwing a tantrum when they're too tired, I am no different.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2 Corinthians 12:8-9
The tendency to reach towards short term "fixes," behaviors, relationships and stories we've adopted from our past is heightened when we're exhausted from living life.
While not an excuse, it begs us to reconsider where our strength comes from and to look at what lifestyle choices HAVE to go in order for us to be whole, full of joy and experience the FULLness Christ offers.
I love the song, Masterpiece by Danny Gokey... I believe the words so beautifully illustrate the point I am trying to make :)
In the midst of sharing my short-comings with a loved one... they responded with, "I can understand why you would struggle with this, you're just looking and searching for anything to help you feel better."
Insert grace moment.
I couldn't help but think, that's how God sees us and without hesitation extends His perfect grace to us when we least deserve it. Receiving God's grace is a completely separate topic.
In my own life, I've discovered any time I couldn't seem to receive God's grace ONLY occurred when I clung to control and self-condemnation for not living up to the "God standards" I kept for myself.
My friend, our "God standards," whether based on performance, perfectionism, pride, un-confessed sin, beliefs adopted as a result of years of living, negates the necessity for Jesus in our lives and the greatest grace gift of all, His pardoning for ALL sin through the cross.
While this girl has known God all her life, there is so much more that Jesus is teaching me about myself, my perception of Him and how to open my heart to receive His unconditional love regardless of when I "blow it."
Sometimes we have to get out of "God's way" not just our own, so we can be exactly who He created us to be.
Allowing Him to melt my human "God standards" and self-imposed perfectionism to be a certain way is what I desire most. While I am grateful for so many things in my life, I think the greatest gift of all is God's grace.
So this Thanksgiving, before you might find yourself "blowing it," just know you don't have to be perfect and have everything figured out or together.
Reach for and receive God's grace in every situation when you're tempted to be or do something you know deep down you're not.
Ask for help when you need it. Don't endure one more minute of unnecessary self-imposed pressure.
Instead of turning to control or self-sabotage... let God work "the mess" into a Masterpiece.
Nicole Zaagman loves Jesus, her high-school sweetheart, Ken and their pint sized Shih Tzu named Hadley. Zaagman is a born again believer, loves Jesus with all her heart and desires others to know the healing power a relationship with Him can bring. She is a full-time entrepreneur as Marketing & Design Director for Zaagman Home Remodeling and Brand & Design Expert of Nicole Zaagman Enterprises, LLC. Nicole is bestselling author to Bee BADASS and Brilliant and Rise Higher - Believe in Your Dream Cuz' No One Else Will. If this post has touched you, Nicole would love for you to share the link. If shared in any capacity please properly credit: An excerpt by Nicole Zaagman at NicoleZaagman.com. May the Lord bless you!