There's this thing about me... something some of you can probably relate to... something that has been a blessing and a curse throughout my life: the refusal to give up on people and situations.
I try to see the best in others and look past the ugly circumstances they may be wrapped up in, in order to try and understand who they truly are behind all the muck of life.
But what happens once you get past the muck and realize that that person really is who they appeared to be and they don't intend on changing?
What happens when the situation you're in simply isn't going in the direction you had hoped? Does defeat set in?
Do you feel stuck and confused?
Or do you cling to the hope that things can and will eventually get better in the ways you've been crying out in prayer for years?
My whole life I have always had this constant hope that difficult situations would change for the better, that people who hurt me would become my friends and relationships that were destroyed would be mended and beautifully pieced together. But the reality is that it doesn't always happen this way...it's not always that fairytale ending that you've been longing for and clinging to the hope of.
Sometimes no matter how hard you try or how hard you pray, people won't change in the ways you'd like, situations may stay the same or even get worse, these being things that are simply out of your control.
But don't let this defeat you. Don't think for one second this is your fault or you're responsible for the downfall of someone's life based on their actions and the things they could control and you couldn't.
We can't make people change, all we can do is influence them as to how they decide to change. Even that is a choice only they can make that choice themselves.
But there is a time and place where we have to step back and look at ourselves and question, is my hope and faith in this person or situation?
Am I placing my hope in myself and that I can fix this?
Or is it being placed in God, where it should have been all along? He is the one who has the overall complete control of everything; the one who knows how circumstances and outcomes will come about whether we like it or not because at the end of the day He's the one that knows best.
A few nights ago someone asked me a really harsh but needed slap in the face kind of a question, "How long can you let the same thing or same person keep hurting you?"
Instantly, reality hit me!
He was right... Why do I allow this person to have this control?
And why do I continually allow what they say and do or what they don't, hurt me and break me down each time? It's because of the disappoint I feel in myself that I couldn't save them from themselves. But you see that was never my job and I don't know what in my right mind ever gave me the idea that it was.
It's not that you're giving up on that person or the situation at hand... It's the fact that you're finally choosing to place it into the right set of hands.
It is time to let go of the worries and the thoughts that you have to fix something that was never yours to even try to fix, nor something that is supposed to be 'fixed'.
This also doesn't mean that God doesn't hear your prayers or the cries deep within, because He does.
He cares and listens to His children but like any good Father, He's not always going to give us what we want because He knows what's best even if it doesn't feel like that at the moment.
You'll always love and care for those people, but there's a difference between caring for them and being consumed with the exhausting persistence of not giving up on them. This is like an undying hope that slowly drains you in which always leads to heartache and disappointment that you're struck with each time you think maybe, just maybe, they'll finally change...
Yes, we are to care for others but we are also to care for ourselves so that we can help others.
If that caring eventually turns into resentment, pure exhaustion, and deteriorating defeat I encourage you to take a step back and breathe. Ask yourself if ultimately all your efforts are really helping the situation or person, or if this is just devouring you from the inside out.
It's time to let go of this thing that keeps hurting you. It's time to protect your vulnerable heart that has been taken advantage of and abused through caring for something or someone that unfortunately didn't care back. Find freedom in knowing that God has this, despite the outcome. Know you did the best thing you could do for that person and situation by handing it over into the hands of Him.