the romance of boundaries
“God respects our boundaries in many ways. First, he leaves work for us to do that only we can do. And he allows us to experience the painful consequences of our behavior so that we will change…It hurts him deeply when we don’t. But at the same time, he does not rescue us; he wants us to work it our for our own good. He will not violate our wish to be left alone, although he will plead with us to come back to him.
Second, he respects our no. He tries neither to control nor nag us. He allows us to say no and go our way…When people say no, he allows it and keeps on loving them. He is a giver. And one of the things he always gives is a choice…He respects boundaries.” [Boundaries by Cloud and Townsend]
God loves me so much that he gave me a role to fill in life, one that I am perfectly tailored to do. There were many years in my past when I believed I was worth nothing and had no work to do. It was incredibly dehumanizing. But then, as I came to realize that God had given me a purpose, I became afraid. What if I couldn’t do the job? What if I wasn’t doing it fast enough, or perfect enough? When would I screw up so bad that God would have no choice but to abandon me?
I have screwed up. Many times. Many ways. And I have effectively told God I would not be a writer. And he respected my no. And by doing so he gave me the chance to explore what I can do as a human and as an artist. He’s allowed me to explore my boundaries so that I can take ownership of what he’s given me.
They say the best thing you can do is set the one you love free. Let them come back to you. God set me free. And now, by choice, I’ve come back to him and back to my calling as a writer. Lately, as I have begun to slowly embrace the idea of boundaries in my life, I’ve come to realize that God wants to use them to heal me and redefine my relationship with writing. He wants to eradicate my fears and reignite my passions. He wants to restore me.
God is not scared by my no, my confusion, fear or failure. He is not surprised or thrown off. He isn’t in a panicked rush to fix my mistakes. He is steady, constant. He is God. The pressure is off me to produce perfect work. I do not have to prove my worth. I can simply be a human. But what I think is so amazing is that in the moment I let go – be human, explore my boundaries, show God my pain – at that very moment my work is the best it can be and I am the person I want to be. I think I’ve said this before, but God is as romantic as he is practical. So now my question; how have boundaries helped you?