I knew this person was not pleased with me.
Their tone said it all.
I had not done what they wanted.
Next came the guilt trip.
They never outright said they were displeased. But I had learned all throughout childhood what these things meant and how they wanted me to respond.
As I grew older I began to wonder if I even mattered to this person. They seemed to be using me to get their own needs met, at my cost. It was I who continually sacrificed for a person who was supposed to have poured into me.
Part of my healing was breaking this pattern of manipulation and confronting behavior that hurt me. Even though they had not protected me, and even allowed me to be hurt, I was learning that it was Ok to protect myself; that I was valuable enough to take measures not to allow abuse anymore.
It was not easy, by any means. When you come against patterns that have been in place for a lifetime, there will be opposition. But when you stand knowing that the Lord has led you this way, that He has called you to live in freedom to serve Him, He will give you the strength to stand.
The first thing to remember when you are healing is that anything you give should be given from your own free will. It should not be given because someone made you feel guilty or is manipulating you into it.
Even the Lord gives us the freedom in this.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV)
When you find yourself in a situation where you are giving something you really don’t want to, ask yourself these questions.
What do I want?
What do I need?
What do I want to give in this situation?
What do I feel I’m being forced to give?
These are the questions I have had to ask myself as I learned to heal and live with proper boundaries. No one has the right to abuse me, nor do they have the right to manipulate and steal the time and treasures God has given to me.
There are times God will call you to go beyond your comfort zone and do things you’d rather not. But even then, He gives you a choice.
Whatever you give, let it be your choice. Let it be what you have decided in your heart to give.
No is such a little word.
But learning to use it takes courage.
But when you do, then your yes will truly be your yes.
Father God, help me to give what I have decided in my heart to give, and to not let others manipulate or abuse me. Help me to use the word no so that my yes’s are truly my yes. In Jesus name, Amen.
© Carolyn Rice 2017
Lord I’m Broken is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold online.