Spiritual Journey: From people pleasing to God pleasing

Eternity,

cradle me

in this moment.

Divine Love,

hold me

in Your arms.

Attune my soul

to Your perspective.

Teach me to Live

from the deep heart

and infinite wellspring

of Your wisdom.

I am on a spiritual journey from people-pleaser to God-pleaser. I’ve come a long way, but I’m pretty sure this will be a life-long expedition for me.

When I was younger and so deeply entrenched into people-pleasing mindset I didn’t even know I was, I received a grace of a wake-up call, which came in the form of a crystal clear intuition, knowing I shouldn’t run a particular race because of an injury I was dealing with. Not accustomed to following such promptings and not wanting to disappoint my coach, I ran it anyway – it was a mistake, which led to years of chronic pain and being isolated from the running community I valued so much.

When I lost my ability to run, I also lost my sense of belonging, confidence and direction in life – it felt like a soul shattering crisis.

As I set out on a journey to heal my body, I wound up healing my soul in ways I didn’t realize I needed. Because I so dramatically experienced the negative consequences of ignoring my interior prompting of the Holy Spirit, I vowed never to make that mistake again. Because doctors couldn’t heal me, I sought spiritual solutions. As I persisted in seeking healing, I learned a lot about God, prayer, faith, miracles and following the still small voice of God, which has transformed my life from the inside out beyond what I could have hoped for.

Though my physical health has never been quite the same, my spiritual health has vastly improved. Instead of longing to run races with my feet, I devote myself to running the race of faith through creativity and service to others including my growing family, and I’ve never been more fulfilled.

In the stillness of prayer, I have learned to feel deeply connected to the Holy Spirit, which has strengthened me and filled my heart with peace. In my lonely times, God filled my heart with an ever-deepening belief in His presence with me always, along with the communion of saints. Over time, God has filled my life with the richness of belonging in the body of Christ and fellowship with others who are devoted to following their callings as well. That’s all I ever really wanted! A life rooted in meaningful connections, purpose and love, with plenty of outlets to use my gifts and serve others.

I have learned that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (James 1:17) While running was a gift from God at a certain point in my life, I was too attached to it as a source of happiness. Now I understand at my health, life circumstances and temporary things can change, while God’s loving presence never will. Even in times of darkness when we aren’t getting what we think is most important from our limited human perspective, our infinitely wise God is always showering us with “perfect gifts from above,” when we turn to Him in faith – ultimately, it’s our relationship with Him that matters most and that can never be taken away.

Romans 8:38: And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Though I have come a long way, my journey from people-pleasing to God-pleasing is far from over! I still struggle to trust my instincts as a writer, but I am devoted to writing from my interior connection with spiritual inspiration. I also struggle with the balance between serving inside my home and outside of my home. Often, God challenges me to step away from the crowd to journey deeper into a life of surrender to His will instead of my own. It’s a constant struggle and temptation to abandon my calling into a life of prayer and creativity for something more practical, which I think would be more socially acceptable.

But in my heart and actions to the best of my ability, I am totally committed to discerning God’s will and following it regardless of whether it pleases people or not. I can deeply relate to the words of Jeremiah 17 5-11:

This is what the LORD says:
“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind,
who makes the flesh his strength
and turns his heart from the LORD.
He will be like a shrub in the desert;
he will not see when prosperity comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.

But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in Him.
He is like a tree planted by the waters
that sends out its roots toward the stream.
It does not fear when the heat comes,
and its leaves are always green.
It does not worry in a year of drought,
nor does it cease to produce fruit.”

From my experience of ignoring my intuitive nudge, I learned to seek God with all of my heart. I know what it’s like to “dwell in the parched places of the desert” from attaching too much weight to the approval of others, and I hope to ever-more deeply realize what it means to be “like a tree planted by the waters” from seeking to live a life of faith, out of that great love, which our Heavenly Father offers each and every one of us.

Are you on the spiritual journey from people pleaser to God pleaser? What are the some of the challenges you’re facing? Comment below and I’ll be delighted to keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Lord help us to grow in faith and trust in You alone, so we can grow into fruitful trees that provide the nourishment of Your graces to others. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen

 

written by Nicky Gant for www.uniteinprayer.org 11/24/2019

 

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