[**Re-posting this article from before. Your forgiveness is appreciated if you have now received it twice. 🙂 ❤ **]
Friends, I have two amazing daughters, four handsome nephews, and a beautiful niece. One of them who is still in high school is dealing with a situation that is just plain hard. I offered some help that I realized we all need at times. Here’s what I told him. May it bless you or someone you may want to share it with.
This is for you, my nephew, because you are amazing, loved dearly, and full of huge potential for your life.
“You don’t have to catch all the balls that are thrown to you.” Someone shared this with me years ago when I was dealing with someone whose purpose seemed to be to keep me off balance. I was always struggling with how to respond when put down or criticized. I held this thought in mind and I found that I could stop my thoughts, and choose the best response for the situation, which may be no response at all, or a simple “OK” or “I hear you” and a walking away. You can do this, too.
Your life is important. You have been created to be a man of great purpose and strong leadership. As God prepares you for whatever role you step into, God will provide lessons to teach you about your purpose and about how to lead. We all must first lead ourselves, and love ourselves, before we can lead or love others.
God knows everything about your life and is involved in your life every day, every moment.
When we practice automatic responses, like popping back with a smart response to somebody, that is a learned automatic response. If we learned that one, we can learn a new one that replaces it.
Precious nephew, you can make a decision not to respond with a smart remark anymore and God will empower your decision. Here’s how I learned how that works.
I have been a worrier. I didn’t realize how much I worried until someone challenged me about it. On Jan. 2, 2015, I said out loud, “I am making the decision that I am not going to worry anymore. I am going to trust God with everything.” Now, when I’m tempted to worry or when I realize that I am worrying, I stop my thoughts and say out loud, “No, I made a decision not to worry. I am going to trust God with this right now.”
When you are feeling a strong impulse to snap back at someone or to speak to someone in a way you should not, you can do something else instead. If you have made a decision to not do that anymore, you can stop yourself this way: by snapping your fingers and saying out loud or under your breath “I made a decision to not speak that way anymore. Instead I will speak softly or not at all, and God will help me.” (God made you very powerful and you really can stop yourself.)
You need to also know that we all love and support you as you walk through this time, and in the learning time to form a new response. It won’t happen all at once, but it will happen. We teach our brains what to do by what we say. If we want our brains to help us not snap back, then saying those words in bold above every day will make it happen.
In Romans 12:2, the Bible tells us that our minds need to be renewed or changed. This is how we renew our minds with what is true.
Ask yourself, is it true that I need to snap back or start up a problem? I don’t think that’s true. You are you – one of a kind, uniquely designed by God, His child, and you have important things to do in your life. It’s good to spend some time and think about your life and what you want your life to be like. It’s usually the short term stuff that comes up in our minds first, but it’s the long term thoughts about our life that matter.
I love you and am praying for you.
Near the phone at the desk by the window where it’s warm inside.
(c) Sozo Life & Leadership, LLC, Jan. 26, 2015