WARNING: Not for sensitive people.
Why I don’t allow someone to continually have “Woes Me” syndrome.
And why I tell them to keep their eyes off of themselves and onto others…
- Feelings, emotions, personality assessments, all good and useful.
- Periods of stress, loneliness, and depression come to all people, no matter who you are.
- My siblings and I dealt with this early in life. My parents left their home country to give us opportunities.
- I left a close extended family. My mom’s older sister took care of us when we were young. My mom had rheumatoid arthritis, and my aunt stepped in to be our guardian.
- My aunt and uncle already had five kids when three more were added to their ranks. They loved us as their own.
- I remember not knowing why we were living there and why my parents would just up and leave.
- I didn’t understand, because my young mind couldn’t comprehend the things keeping me away from my parents.
Then we came back here. My aunts, uncles, my grandmother, cousins and the rest of my extended family disappeared.
—Jump forward to when I was 28. I got the worst call of my life.
My mom finally lost her battle and was resting from her life long physical war. She was finally pain-free and more alive than what we could ever imagine.
- Again, I was missing her, and my adult-sized mind couldn’t comprehend her not being there.
- It took a toll on my siblings. My sisters were in their 20’s, and my younger brother was three years younger than me, but his mind never grew up past the day we both left home. I had just turned 18, and my younger brother was only 15.
- My older brother and sister were adults…carrying self-inflicted heavy burdens from life long challenges they both had to personally deal with.
—I got the second worst call of my life. I would have to travel three thousand miles to say, “see you later” to my older brother.
—My older brother went home to be with the Lord. I was devastated. We had always talked and promised to stay in contact no matter the distance. He had called a week earlier and seemed to be finally happy in the stage in life he was in. He had married a younger person who probably didn’t realize what she was getting into. Yet they were content.
—My older brother had made a decision to follow Christ. He was not perfect, yet his over stimulated and active mind couldn’t let him sleep most of the time; hence the heavy alcohol consumption.
I knew his battles were just beginning. I prayed with him, and that was the first time I had hope for his life to turn around, but it would not be.
—A few years later, the third worst call of my life. My younger brother lost his battle with self-inflicted drug and alcohol abuse.
— There were 3 brothers, 2 had gone way too early in their lives. I was in my early 30’s, and for the first time in my life, I wanted to scream out to the world. The pain was intense. If you have not felt a loss of a parent, or sibling, you cannot understand.
- I wondered why God had me going through this. I wondered if I had done anything that had “offended” God.
- I knew the instant I said this, the Lord answered me and my mind went to Jeremiah 1:5:
—I laughed. Not because of the Sender of the message but because of the last words—prophet to all nations.
- The thing is, God wasn’t saying that I would be a prophet but that He, the —Creator of the universe, the Lord God Almighty, who holds the universe in a perfect symphony, knew me before I was born.
- Before I breathed my first smog infested breath, God knew me. He knew I would be born, and saw my life before it started and after my physical time on earth is done. He sees all because He is all.
- This is one of the most powerful thoughts I have ever had. One that sat me down, staying still for a bit. If you know me, you know I’m fidgety. Being still is not my thing.
Then I see people complaining about work or about being lonely. Most have not gone through one-fourth of what I have.
And please, I am not boasting! I would not wish going through my experience on anyone.
—For those who are always looking inwardly at your own lives, stop doing it.
—Look to the Perfecter of our faith. Jesus is the only One that can change your circumstances. He will not take you out of the fire
—He will a make way for you to endure the painfulness.
—Because He has taken our depressions, our burdens, and our fears.
- All this to say, life will bring you challenges. Things that might seem overwhelming will all pass. The battles you are fighting spiritually, mentally and physically will also vanquish away.
—I ask you to do a few things:
- Parents don’t pass on your personal fears and shortcomings.
Pass along your strengths and allow God to work on you and your kids’ weaknesses.
- Life brings you battles. In those battles there will be defeats. But there will be more victories.
- Specially if you follow Christ.
Jesus tell us in John 16:33–
—For those going through some tough times.
—Or those who have allowed the enemy to convince them that they were born this way and that their personality is that way.
—Or those that are too shy, too angry or too lonely.
Going to counseling is terrific. Getting a personality assessment is a useful tool.
But those things are just tools.
They are not written in stone.
—Do not allow yourself to be placed inside a box.
—Do not allow yourself to shortchange what God has for you.
Instead of looking for self-improvement, look to the One that can change your mindset permanently. Not to psychology or self-improvement.
—Take your eyes off of you and start looking towards Jesus. Be like Him. Pour yourself out on helping others.
—The more you do, the less you have time to sit around allowing the enemy to infiltrate your mind.
—Had I not been serving in ministry all these years, I am not sure if I would be the same.
—I kept my eyes on my wife, kids, work and ministry. This was the saving grace of God. He allowed me to go through all the Greek Tragedy, for me to keep running the race and not looking behind.
—I kept my eyes on my Redeemer. I am still keeping my eyes on Him. Not some self-improvement assessment or psychological profiling. Not on the weaknesses of my parents or what sister Mary Margaret(fictitious name) told me in school. Not what my counselor in High school told me.
—Had I listened to their advice on the things I should not be able to do, I would not be here telling you to keep your eyes on Jesus and reflect His Grace and love of salvation unto others. It’s time to stop whining about how life has been unfair and start living the life God wants you to fulfill through Him…