I wanted to reflect on how the first week of this study has gone for me and how it has affected me. I do know that the one big thing I took home with me from this first lesson was to replace my "what if's" with God's truth instead. When I heard Lysa talking about how we will say "If only" my husband was more romantic....then I could be happy, I about fell over. Mr. Conviction came and sat right in my lap for that one. She gave several examples of all the "if onlys" we have in our lives and how we look for those things to fill us. And, they never do, do they? She said man wasn't created to be able to fill us, only God can do that. Oh, goosebumps for that one. This was really an aha moment for me.
I have been more than a little discontent with the "romance level" in my marriage and have been at my husband to ya know, step it up at little. I have been feeling quite neglected and unloved. Somewhere along the way though I think I re focused his role in my life and God's role in my life and switched the two around. Hmmmm...... I very unfairly decided that my happiness now lays in my husband's ability to love me, cherish me, romance me, compliment me and in general make me feel good about myself. How unfair of me to put that kind of pressure on someone! And, he wasn't created to do that for me so ultimately he would just fail at it even if he tried to do all of those things. It felt wonderful to be able to release him from that in my mind. Lysa said whatever our "what if" is that we should replace it with scripture that speaks God's truth on that topic instead.
In other words when for instance (let's pick on my husband shall we?) when I am feeling pouty about being neglected and want to wallow in that or complain to myself about it I should instead speak scriptures about what marriage should be in God's Word. I should be quoting about the wonders of God's great love for me. Whatever my negative, turn it into a positive scriptural statement and speak that instead. So, how's that going? It's going wonderfully I must say. Imagine that!
Also, we had a very stressful situation (and I do mean STRESSFUL!!!!) come up on Friday and instead of freaking out I quoted Proverbs 3:5-6 instead. "I will trust in you Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways I will acknowledge You and You will make my paths straight." I like it in statement form, personalized, and I speak it to the Lord. Why not? The peace I received through that was really wonderful and we made it through. You see, I replaced my "what if" and "if only" with God's truth instead. I activated my faith and I stood strong in it. In regards to my husband I had an honest conversation with him and let him know that I had been unfair to him. He does acknowledge he needs to step up his "romancing the wife" game and guess what? He has been doing a bang up job of doing just that and I give him big points for doing that. BUT, I want to say, that even though he has stepped up his game it's not what I would fantasize fully my marriage being. I honestly think that if I still had my happiness rooted in his ability to shower me with affection I would still be disappointed with him and it still wouldn't be good enough. You see, there is a big difference between laying my ability to feel loved and happy in the way my husband treats me and letting God fill me up and love me. My husband is icing on the cake, God should be my cake. I enjoy every bit of affection the hubs gives me this week and praise him for it. I receive it as a blessing to further enhance me, not to complete me or fill me.
I found this exercise very freeing! I love how God works through Lysa and He has given her the amazing ability to put things so plainly that they just can't help but impact lives and make complete sense. She totally rawks!
Also, she emphasized how important it is to know who we are in Christ. This was so perfect because I just spent the last two classes of our ladies Bible study at Church teaching on just this topic. The first class was all about who we are in Christ and I had each of the scriptures printed for them to take home (they are also located on my sidebar so go print you some! Don't you want to know who you are in Christ? yep, I thought so.). The second class was titled "The Image of Woman in Christ" and we talked about not getting our value and worth from what we do, our families, our relationships and our physical appearance. This study from Lysa TerKeurst on "Becoming More Than A Good Bible Study Girl" was so PERFECT for us. God is so cool like that.
She talked about some other things but the big hammer for me was not looking to things other than God to fill me. You know, I didn't realize I was doing that with my husband either! Ouchies. That and replacing my "if only" with God's truth instead. Can you imagine how amazing our lives could be if we never said "if only" again? Last Friday it just clicked when the stressful financial situation came up and I heard myself saying "if only......" and I just stopped right there. Instead I quoted Proverbs 3:5-6 immediately and I had peace. WOW. What if we all did that all the time? You know, with everything? I can't begin to imagine how activating our faith in this way would change our lives! I will be doing this as regularly as I can catch my self saying those negative and defeating words "if only" and "what if".
I am looking forward to our Session 2 which we will be doing on July 8. I was super excited when I received an email the day after our Session One study and one of the ladies said it was a great study and she enjoyed it very much. That made my day. I don't need personal kudos from my work in church but you know, feedback is very important. I really love knowing what I need to improve on and it makes me so happy to hear someone tell me that a study impacted their life. It's a total spiritual high and I'm like "Yeah God, you rock"!
I can't encourage you enough to read her book AND buy the DVD study just for yourself even if you have to. The DVD study was $24.99 and the workbook is around $9. AMAZING!!! I will be loaning this bad boy out for years to come I am sure. I promise you that if you are open to recieve, this will change you. One session into six and I have already had a major revelation, let my husband be released from unfair expectations that he could never fill anyways, and found the ability to release my faith in circumstanes where before it just felt good to complain about. Oh yeah, this is a life changer or as I like to call it "Spiritual Gold".