Do You Get Hung Up On What Others 'May' Be Thinking of You?

There are certain laws in place that don’t change such as gravity. There are others that are fairly predictable such as reaping & sowing, and regardless of how you drop a slice of bread, it always lands butter-side-down!

Another seemingly predictable law that is set in motion is judgment. We as humans are always judging. We judge ourselves harshly based on how we 'feel' on the inside and compare that image of ourself to the 'outside' of another who we view when they have their best-foot-forward. 

We measure others up one side and down the other. 

How nice it would be to become more like my dog who is completely non-judgmental and loves me unconditionally as a result. Remind you of anyone??

It is amazing how often we have done something or have opted not to do something based on what we “think” others would say or think about our choice. This prevents us from being free to live authentically. 

How can we best choose where we believe God may be leading if we first have to check in with the judgment panel?

Now, I’m not saying we don’t need accountability and support in our lives. These are extremely important. 

People who know us well enough to be a source of support and accountability for us do so based on a certain level of permission we have given them to speak into our lives. They have listened to our hearts and shared in our joys and sorrows. 

They are in place because they have earned what I like to call “relational” capital and we seek the investment they make in our lives. We are better because of the check and balance system these folks share with us.

The point I am making is that there are some who really do not have our best interest at heart. They are self-appointed judges to determine and verbalize to us what we need to be doing or not doing or perhaps, doing differently. 

A good indicator of relationships with these people is that we basically feel like we have to be defensive to protect our treasures, i.e. our thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams around them because they “feel” they have the right to have a “say” in the choices we make.

Whether or not we have given permission for certain people to speak into our lives, we are training them that this is acceptable behavior unless we are pro-active. 

It may be necessary to communicate that we are able to make our choices and ask for help when needed, or we may find ourselves paralyzed to move forward based on what we “think” they may “think” we should or should not do.

This limits our ability to live freely and often to achieve greater things in life. 

I believe those we have invited to speak truth into our lives sometimes may need to tell us what we need to hear. This can greatly benefit us because the view they see may be more accurate than the one we 'see' or 'think' we see. 

If those who are commited to our welfare will be refreshingly honest with us we can grow. 

However, if we have significant people in our lives routinely tell us what we want to hear, they really do more harm than good. 

If someone cares and respects us,  they will set their pre-judgments aside and truly listen with an intent to help us discern what would be best for us in the way of creating a life we desire. 

When we are making choices that align with our overall direction in life, they can cheerlead and urge us on. 

When we are considering a choice that is not in alignment, they have the courage and permission to remind us of our hopes and desires and question us on where we are in the journey.

The key difference is that someone who believes in us and respects our choices and our right to make them, will ASK questions as opposed to TELL us what they think. 

The “telling” part and the asking of “Why” often makes it seem we are backed in a corner. The result is that we may become defensive and make bad choices to “prove” that we can do whatever we want. Nobody wins in this cycle.

I believe God has ignited a candle of passion within each of us to pro-actively seek the purpose(s) He has for us. 

We will experience the greatest peace and contentment when we are actively pursuing the path that lets us live out the purposes that we are passionate about. 

It is also a journey of continual learning and growth. We are all designed for greatness in the things that matter most in our lives. 

We can best achieve this by aligning our will with God’s, having wise counsel and finding our gifting and passion by working and living within these areas. 

The best analogy I can have for going against our passion and trying to do life or work a job for some other reason, such as money, prestige etc. is that of certain hair types. (I was in the hair industry for many years!) 

Often people with curly hair spend countless hours and dollars trying to straighten and smooth down their hair. While folks with fine, straight hair are trying to color, perm and add volume to their hair, also at a great cost of time, money and frustration. 

I often recommended that they work “with” what they have and not "against" it.

In order to get over believing that what other people think about us is so important, it is wise to remember that their opinions of us are really none of our business. 

What difference do their opinions make? That all depends on whether we choose to allow it to make a difference or not. The freedom to choose is ours. The power to choose can be ours or we can pass that off if we listen too long to the voices of what others “think”.

I am reminded of a quote that I love from our pastor at our former church in the Atlanta area. He would say to be properly aligned with truth, we need to realize that we often struggle with: "I am who I THINK you THINK I am".

Since that's a tongue-twister at best, here are my thoughts..... If I am overly concerned (and over-thinking) what I believe you think of me, I begin to believe (and likely emulate) whatever it is I think you are thinking of me. 

However, IF I were to choose to let the "YOU" in that quote be God alone, my whole understanding can change.

I know certain truths about God... He loves me unconditionally. He says I'm fearfully and wonderfully made. He tells me He knew me before He formed me in my mother's womb. He gave His Son to take my place so I could choose Him and spend eternity in His presence. 

So, if I CHOOSE to take God at His Word, this can change everything about the way I 'see' me and I can joyfully align with "I am WHO I THINK God THINKS I am!" Wow, how refreshing is that?!?!?

What is the big fear of what others may judge us to be or not be? More than likely it is a fear of failure or a fear of rejection. 

But in reality, what’s the big deal if something doesn’t work the way we had hoped or the outcome doesn't look the way we envisioned? And what if, everyone doesn't love us like Jesus?

We can choose to simply try again, the next time we will have more experience. We never truly “fail” unless we quit trying to find a way to get to an outcome that we can be satisfied with.

And we can choose to accept that we are not going to connect on a deep level with some people. And that is okay. 

I believe if we have 3-5 really close friends that we connect with on a routine basis, we are among the richest people in the world.... rich in what truly matters!

The best way to face the fear of what others think and get through to living the life we choose is simply to visualize the worst case scenario and ask ourselves what would we do if this or that happens? 

We can play it out in our mind (or on paper) and often begin to see things that may not have been as clear when our idea was merely a dream.

My grandmother always said, “when people (the ones who judge) are talking about ‘you’ (or me) they are leaving someone else alone”. 

Meaning that the one thing that is certain is that as sure as people will always be talking, they will always be judging. This is something we have no power to change.

But we do have the power to choose. 

Do you want to live in the freedom you have to create a life you love, are passionate about and do not need to escape from? 

Or are you satisfied to let other people decide what you can or cannot accomplish?

The choice, either way, is up to you!

Until next time....

-Sheri xo

Sheri Geyer is a Boundaries Coach for Women

Are YOU Ready to Transform Negative Patterns into Healthy Boundaries and create Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships? If so, we need to talk!

I'd like to invite you to Join me on a 5-day Journey to do a deeper dive into discovering how you can find and maintain more joy-filled relationships... Sign up for Free here: https://joyfilledrelationships.com/landing/five-days

Sign Up for My Free Weekly Mastermind Group beginning June 18, 2024 on Tuesdays at 12 noon EDT, https://joyfilledrelationships.com/page/mastermind

I'd love for you to join my online community for Christian Women on Mighty Networks! It's free, it's a safe place where you can connect, share, be encouraged and learn to grow a deeper faith walk with the Lord! Here's the link; I hope to see you on the inside: https://joy-filled-relationships.mn.co/share/S_dOjQT7-iqLg9B1?utm_source=manual 



Are You Ready to Transform Negative Patterns into Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships?

I. What Makes Boundaries Important for Healthy Relationships?

"A joy-filled relationship is like a warm cup of coffee on a chilly morning—it wraps around you, warms your heart, and infuses your entire being with a sense of lasting joy."

Healthy boundaries are essential in all of our relationships, since they create a framework for respect, trust, emotional well-being. They guide us in how to set limits on what is acceptable and what is not!. Boundaries define where one person ends and another person begins, ensuring that both individuals have the safety to share their needs, desires, and personal values. They empower us to prioritize our personal well-being rather than compromise our values. 

Ultimately, by setting and respecting healthy boundaries, relationships can thrive and grow through mutual respect, understanding, and fulfillment.

Remember, your personal well-being is too important to be compromised by negative patterns. Boundaries allow you to take control of your life, break free from the chains that hold you back, and live a life filled with emotional wholeness and lasting joy!

II. Understanding Negative Patterns and How to Break Free of Them.

Some underlying causes of negative patterns may be due to unmet childhood needs, fear of loss or rejection, feelings of neglect or of not being accepted. Breaking free from negative relational patterns begins with reflecting back on our lives and identifying recurring behaviors that have led to undesirable outcomes. 

Once negative patterns emerge in relationships they cause unique challenges and inhibit open and honest communication and intimacy. This may lead to resentment if one or both parties begins to feel unheard or disconnected.

Controlling behaviors can erode trust and lead to a loss of self-esteem, especially in important relationships. Consistent neglect or avoidance of emotional connection can result in hurt, resentment, and a breakdown of the relationship. Breaking free from negative relationship patterns requires a commitment to personal growth and support. 

Relationship coaching offers invaluable guidance in navigating these challenges and acquiring necessary tools to make lasting change. A faith community with other Christian women in a group coaching environment provides a powerful way to connect and receive support, encouragement and accountability, and may maximize our efforts.

Acknowledging the detrimental impact of negative patterns can motivate us to make changes. Learning to question the narratives we've been telling ourselves and the choices we’ve made helps us to come to understand that God has a better plan for us than continually repeating relational patterns that create chaos. When we have the support we need to gain clarity on our negative patterns and develop the courage to dismantle them, we will find that the changes we long for are not only needed but they are entirely possible!

III. The Power of Boundaries in Cultivating Healthy and Fulfilling Relationships.

Boundaries act as emotional fences that define where we end and where others begin. Creating and maintaining healthy relationships is a key aspect of leading a fulfilling life. At the heart of joy-filled relationships is a solid understanding of how boundaries serve as essential guides for taking responsibility for our own emotions and actions, while simultaneously encouraging others to do the same. By effectively communicating our limits, desires, and needs, we can build relationships that are rooted in trust, honesty, and reciprocity, where conflicts are minimized, and communication becomes more authentic and meaningful. 

Implementing boundaries helps us conserve our emotional energy by preventing us from falling into unhealthy habits such as people-pleasing, codependency, perfectionism or faking fine. They guide us in recognizing when to say "yes" to activities, opportunities, and relationships that align with our values and aspirations. Equally important, boundaries empower us to say a respectful "no" when something doesn't resonate with us, guarding against resentment and burnout.

While boundaries are crucial for cultivating healthy relationships, it is important to note that they require ongoing communication, flexibility, and empathy. They should be flexible yet firm, consistently adjusted as relationships evolve and grow. By openly discussing boundaries with our loved ones, we can create an environment where everyone feels heard, understood, and valued.

IV.  What are the Benefits of Setting and Maintaining Healthy Boundaries?

Since boundaries are the secret to maintaining balance, preserving relationships, and achieving personal growth, let's explore even more of the advantages:

1. Empowerment and Self-Respect: Establishing healthy boundaries empowers us to prioritize our needs and values, and not feel obliged to say yes to everything, allowing us to make choices that align with our authentic self.

2. Reduced Stress and Burnout: Without clear boundaries, it becomes challenging to manage our time and energy effectively. By setting limits on our commitments and responsibilities, we create space to rejuvenate, reduce stress, avoid burnout, and enhance our overall well-being.

3. Improved Relationships: Since boundaries are the framework for healthy relationships, they are a blueprint for mutual respect, trust, and communicating our limits, needs, and expectations, helping ensure that our relationships are a source of joy and not chaos.

4. Enhanced Productivity and Focus: When our boundaries are intact, we can devote the necessary energy to our tasks without distractions or interruptions. We are able to create a structured environment that allows us to focus on priorities and becoming more effective and efficient in our endeavors.

5. Improved Emotional Maturity: By understanding and communicating our emotions and needs, we are able to protect our mental and emotional well-being and manage challenging situations with more grace and resilience.

6. Personal Growth and Development: Boundaries serve as a catalyst for personal growth and development. Saying no to what does not align with our goals and values creates space for personal and professional growth. By mastering the art of establishing and maintaining healthy boundaries, we are able to eliminate old patterns, beliefs, and limitations and become more intentional on our journey to a more fulfilling, authentic, and empowered life.

V. Creating Joy-Filled Relationships

Toxic relationships, self-sabotaging behaviors and fear-based mindsets will consistently derail our efforts, drain our energy and hinder our growth and ability to create a life we won’t need to try to escape from.

Are you tired of falling into the same negative patterns in your relationships? Do you find yourself feeling stuck, frustrated, and emotionally drained by repetitive cycles of conflict and disappointment? Don't let negative patterns dictate the course of your relationships any longer. It's time to break free….

Are you Ready to Transform Negative Patterns into Healthy Boundaries?

Since successfully navigating the challenges of divorce, abandonment and a host of other relationship challenges in both my childhood and in marriage, I have spent over 20 years working with numerous women, mostly Christian, and helping to equip them with the necessary tools and strategies to learn to create God-honoring relationships and emotional wellness that brings lasting joy! 

At the encouragement and financial provision from my mother, I attended Christian Leadership Coach training in 2007-2008. After completing the training and being mentored by other coaches, I received my Master Christian Life Coaching Certification in 2012. This journey has been one of joy and tears as I've certainly learned that I can't coach or lead where I won't go. God has taken me through the journey of reflecting on my life and identifying negative relational patterns that have held me in bondage and He has taught me a better way to do life and relationships. I am super passionate about coaching other Christian women through their transformational journeys.

Relationship Coaching in a supportive group environment of other Christian women on similar journeys will empower you to gain the confidence you need to challenge your limiting beliefs and unhealthy habits so you can think and live differently. The hope, insight and wisdom available to you will provide an excellent opportunity to be equipped for developing emotional wholeness and cultivating safe relationships that enhance your life. The key factor for creating the joy-filled relationships you desire is your commitment to personal growth.

Your journey towards a more balanced and enriching life, a deeper, more intimate walk with Christ and learning to create Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships℠ is not only possible, it is closer than you might think!

Stay tuned for more information regarding a Monthly Facebook Live Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships Group Coaching Event that will kick off (ETA September 2023). I am super excited to offer this free monthly event to all Christian Women in the Facebook Group, "Joy-Filled Relationships aka Boundaries". 

Additionally, this event will coincide with the Launch of my Coaching Business. You can stay up-to-date by checking my website (currently being built) JoyFilledRelationships.com

Other things in the works, are my online coaching program, including live weekly coaching, online courses,  and my Joy-Filled ❤️ Relationships Podcast. There is lots happening in my world and I would greatly appreciate your prayers for God's continued guidance as well as for the hearts and minds of women who are and have been praying for answers and guidance in these types of relationship challenges. 

Please feel free to reach out to me by clicking on the ‘Contact Me’ tab on my site with any questions you may have. I will be offering a *30-minute consult to any Christian women who are interested in learning more, beginning August 1, 2023.

Please feel free to share!

Until next time…    -Sheri xo 

*A link will be on this site once we open the door for consults. 
Sheri Geyer is a Boundaries Coach for Women

Are YOU Ready to Transform Negative Patterns into Healthy Boundaries and create Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships? If so, we need to talk!

I'd like to invite you to Join me on a 5-day Journey to do a deeper dive into discovering how you can find and maintain more joy-filled relationships... Sign up for Free here: https://joyfilledrelationships.com/landing/five-days

Sign Up for My Free Weekly Mastermind Group beginning June 18, 2024 on Tuesdays at 12 noon EDT, https://joyfilledrelationships.com/page/mastermind

I'd love for you to join my online community for Christian Women on Mighty Networks! It's free, it's a safe place where you can connect, share, be encouraged and learn to grow a deeper faith walk with the Lord! Here's the link; I hope to see you on the inside: https://joy-filled-relationships.mn.co/share/S_dOjQT7-iqLg9B1?utm_source=manual 



Are YOU Ready to Grow Your Faith to Bigger Than Your Fear?

Growing a Faith Bigger than Your Fear

Many times, we find ourselves in a season of worry. We may be tempted to worry over health, finances, family, relationships, career, safety, or various other challenges that we may or may not have to face in life.

Jesus understood that seasons of worry are inevitable in our lives. Because of His humanity, he was empathetic and reminded us in Scripture not to worry about our lives, in regard to what we will eat, drink or the clothes we will wear. He compared the beautiful lilies and how God has decorated each one for the season they are to grow and thrive. His words of encouragement challenge us to seek God first and then He will provide the things we need.

One reason for worry comes from an inability or unwillingness to focus on the place we currently are in life... the present moment. Being in the moment provides an opportunity for learning to enjoy the blessings God provides each day. The challenge is that it requires us to be intentional. We can best remedy this by not obsessing over yesterday and the things that we are powerless to change, or fretting over tomorrow since it isn’t here yet. These habits stir up negative emotions that create a mindset for fear.

An interesting way to look at this is considering the vehicle you drive. It is equipped with a windshield and typically, a rearview mirror. Mentally assess the difference in the size of these two components. The windshield is likely 30+ times the size of the rearview mirror. And, when we are driving, we spend (hopefully), 99.99% of our time looking through the windshield to see where we are heading. 

Occasionally, when changing lanes or making a turn, we may glance, momentarily, in our rearview mirror to ensure we can make our move safely. 

If you are a Mom, you may spend a little more time looking back at your littles to ensure they are sleeping or simply to offer them comfort.

What would happen if we reversed this scenario? 

How successful would we be driving a vehicle if we spend the lion's share of our time looking in the rearview to see where we have been, what is going on behind us or pondering what is in the past? As you know, it would be quite disasterous! 

In fact, so much so, we might experience an official escort in our near future. LOL!!

It is the same way in all of life. We have zero ability to alter anything that has happened in our past. Yet, being focused on our faith walk and allowing it to lead us to a deeper intimacy with Christ provides us a bright opportunity to impact our future. 

A closely aligned relationship with God, where we are walking by faith and not by what we see, or especially not being driven by what we feel, helps us to live more peacefully and more confident that the God who walks with us today is the One who gently guides us safely into our future with the ability to trust that He will work it all together for our good!

Our faith increases by hearing and responding in obedience to God and to His Word!

We live in a culture that provides us many voices and so much information telling us how we can best do life. We must be diligent to quieten our hearts to hear and listen to the still, small voice that leads us safely, peacefully and calmly through the highs and lows, the ups and downs and the changes that life brings. 

He is the Anchor that holds when everything else feels like shifting sand.

Another cause for fear is that instead of trusting that God has a plan for our lives, we fix our minds on all the things that “could” go wrong. This zaps our energy for dealing with the the normal ebb and flow of life and robs us of of the ability to simply take God at His Word and lean on His promises.

Daily, we are confronted with plenty of concerns that require us to be on top of our game. We desire to make decisions in the present that we will be happy with down the road. We don’t need to add regrets from yesterday, or the things we may fear about the future.

Divide the things you face into two cateogories: those you can control and those you cannot. Resolve never to waste time and energy on the latter and not to make excuses for the challenges you face on the former.

If you will decide today to take the one step (or do the one thing) that God is telling you to do -- and simply trust Him with the outcome -- He will reveal the remaining 9 or 99 or 999 steps that you need to make to fulfill what He calls you to do with your life. 

Equipping us for the journey is what He does well, and, if we get hung up on needing to know all 99 steps before we will even take one, we never get anywhere beyond "stuck". Taking that one step today, and trusting him with the other 99 is exactly what it means to live by FAITH!!

Recognize that there is a very real battle going on within each of us to either live by faith or by fear. If we truly desire our lives to change, we will be required to choose to overcome our fears and grow our faith.

If we want to do life by design, we have the opportunity to follow God wholeheartedly in full assurance that everything He does, He does well! 

The polar opposite to living life by design is neglecting to live proactively, which results in our 'choosing' (because not choosing is making a choice) to simply default to doing life by default. There is no calm or joy or pleasure in this path.

Imagine for a moment the ones you love and cherish... you are fully aware of all of the blessings and favor that you desire for them to experience in their lives. You certainly wouldn't want them to be limited in their ability to trust that you are always about what is best for them. You would never sit around and allow them to limp through life stuck in fear and worry that there is no hope for them in the future or that things they may have been involved in or experienced in the past are acceptable to hold them captive.

God is holding that same space for each of us. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that He wants for us that is anything less than His very best. We are wise to leave the choices to Him in determining what our best life can be. 

It does require waiting on Him... yep, that dreaded four-letter word....W-A-I-T! 

We really are more 'comfortable' knowing all of the pieces of the journey, but it really isn't necessary. We can experience joy even when we don't know the whole path. Waiting in the uncertainty is where we have the greatest opportunity to grow. 

Waiting isn't doing nothing. It isn't sitting around like a bump on a log, twidding our thumbs and thinking of the old song from 'Hee Haw' .... "Doom despair, agony on me...Deep, Dark Depression, Excessive misery....". (dating myself right here LOL!)

Not at all! It is entering into a season of resting in Him and focusing on the One who has brought us where we are in life. It is spending time in the Bible, especially in Psalms and reading about the laments and the help and the blessing that God has for each of us, in His time.

It is allowing Him to bring us through His refining fire to become all we are meant to be. 

Sometimes, it's relinquishing the things that prevent us from being the person we know we are in our heart. It's a breaking of unhealthy patterns and negative beliefs. 

Sometimes it's a breakthrough that comes from the breakdown.

All of the time, it is the security of His promise that He has a plan for our lives. It is also a knowing that He is good. And His ways are good. 

And, ultimately, it's an embracing of all that can be!

At the end of the day, it comes down to the question we need to ask ... 

What will I choose today? Will it be to Feed My Fear or Grow My Faith?

All of heaven stands ready to assist you if you choose to take God at His Word (Look through the Windshield) and leave fear where it belongs (In the Rear View)!

Until next time....

-Sheri xo

Sheri Geyer is a Boundaries Coach for Women

Are YOU Ready to Transform Negative Patterns into Healthy Boundaries and create Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships? If so, we need to talk!

I'd like to invite you to Join me on a 5-day Journey to do a deeper dive into discovering how you can find and maintain more joy-filled relationships... Sign up for Free here: https://joyfilledrelationships.com/landing/five-days

Sign Up for My Free Weekly Mastermind Group beginning June 18, 2024 on Tuesdays at 12 noon EDT, https://joyfilledrelationships.com/page/mastermind

I'd love for you to join my online community for Christian Women on Mighty Networks! It's free, it's a safe place where you can connect, share, be encouraged and learn to grow a deeper faith walk with the Lord! Here's the link; I hope to see you on the inside: https://joy-filled-relationships.mn.co/share/S_dOjQT7-iqLg9B1?utm_source=manual 



Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?

In order to grow, one of the most important lessons that we can invest time in learning is how to sit calmly and wait in our discomfort. This is a temporary task, but not an easy one. We are not in control of the timeframe. But God is. 

The most fertile ground for growth in our life, spiritually and emotionally, is during our times of uncertainty. The moment of perfect certainty for any decision or choice we are faced with, NEVER comes. But, hindsight is 20/20. 

When we are in school as children, we received our lessons and then we were given the test. That's not so much the way it works in our adult worlds. We typically are faced with the test, and then we get the lesson.

God, not principles, doctrines, habits or routines is our greatest Source of Life and Love.  His plan is for true connection and deep relationships. The determining factors of true connectedness are genuine, healthy relatedness, the ability to be vulnerable and having close relationships where we are not ashamed of being who we truly are. To grow we need to be in relationship with God and with safe people we can trust, whose character we know to be reliable.

Many of our struggles can stem from trying to control things outside of our control. When we focus on this effort, we often lose control of ourselves.  God is in control of the big picture … we are to maintain self-control of our own lives and what He has given to us.

Praying the Serenity Prayer helps us regain control of our lives. "God grant me the Serenity to accept what I cannot change, the courage to change what I can, and the wisdom to know the difference". 

The Fall reversed God's order of things, leaving us looking to become independent from God, our Source:
~A desire to be like God.
~A desire to gain life outside of relationship with God.
~An assumption that wisdom and knowledge could be gained apart from God, the True Source.
~A step away from the role of dependence on God.

In addition to becoming independent of God, Adam & Eve lost their relationship with Him and with each other. Death meant separation from Him, who is Life!  They entered a state of becoming enemies of God and lost their intimacy and vulnerability with each other … naked & ashamed.

The impact on us personally is that love became much harder to find and even harder to sustain.

Thankfully, God, in Christ, offers reconciliation for all things. This happens in every one who applies it to their life. The process of growth itself is the returning of everything to it’s rightful and righteous place before God. Solving life’s problems and growing spiritually are one and the same thing! In redemption, we come back to God as the Source of Life. 

We seek Him first. He is the One who adds life. We come back to full dependence on God alone. He is the Source of healing and growth. Redemption helps us get to the end or our attempt to provide for ourselves, and turn our full focus to God for strength, truth, healing, care, correction, etc. 

To return to the created order means to get back into relationship with God and with each other.  Everything in life depends on loving God and loving others. Redemption reconciles us into right relationship with God by faith and forgiveness, and re-establishes connection. Secondly, redemption reverses our alienation and isolation from each other and get us rightly connected.  It is a surrender to God as Lord in every area of our life.  

As we grow spiritually by deepening our intimacy with God and being in true connection to others who are safe for us, we cease making destructive choices, and begin to do things that lead to a better life. We give up control, initiate self-control and allow others to be who they were meant to be. 

In essence, we stop making up our own rules and live the life God has designed us to live. 

Our expectations can cause us to hold rigid standards in how we judge others, as opposed to offering them the grace that we all receive by surrendering our will to God. When we focus on the faults of others and not on their hearts, we lose out on learning their fears, vulnerabilities and the things they are passionate about. 

When we hold space for others, we provide a safe place where’s there’s enough grace to open up and bring things into the light where they can be healed. When we act in a way that displeases God, He doesn’t condemn, He connects with our heart, and offers us grace.

As we discover and acknowlege that God is for us and not against us, we can grow because we are able to shift from a natural human view of God to a real, Biblical view of God. We shift from seeing a God of Law to a God of Grace. We are then able to see Him as One who loves us and not someone we need to avoid when we fail.

Once our view of God shifts, we can learn to love as He has loved us. We are able to offer grace as well as lovingly confront when needed. We can accept responsibility for our lives and choices and allow others to do the same. We practice self-control and not other-control. This enables us to become safe people who have a strong connection to God as well as healthy boundaries to receive what is good and to eliminate what is bad in our lives.

We demonstrate that we are a safe person for others by respecting their boundaries, as well as allowing them to bear the consequences of their choices. Most of the process involves learning to become aware, responsive and dependent on Jesus on a daily basis… thus being built up in the faith.

One way to bear the necessary pain of growth is to be humble. We then become willing to allow something uncomfortable to happen to us, if it’s the right thing to do. To be comforted, understood and strengthened, we need God and others in our life. Jesus modeled dependence on God and on His inner circle. When Jesus was hurt by others, he didn’t focus on the injurer, giving control of His life to them. He didn’t allow His hurts to alter His direction or values in life. 

If we deny our emotional hurts, we remain injured. In painful times, the temptation comes to get our needs met in ways other than what is God’s best for us. 

Our desire to grow or change is initiated by God. Growth begins in a secure relationship and in alignment with God. The Holy Spirit will always be with us and will search our hearts and show us what we need to change. He will give us the ability to do the things we need to do.

The power of the Holy Spirit often draws us toward His truth, when we are facing an issue. He will often allow this 'concern' to stay with us, simply camped out in our minds, waiting for us to deal with it. This usually means doing the 'next basic right thing'. This is a time to commit to pray until we sense His gentle press in how we should move or respond. Prayer changes things, either instantly or over time.

Our most basic need in life is for relationship. Acceptance builds trust and relationship. We cannot grow unless we are sure that we are known and loved. Relationships where we receive warmth and the permission to be ourselves, allow us to become more vulnerable and bring parts of ourselves to light, that need to be connected. The connection to relationship itself fuels growth in us, because we have the support that we need.

Support enables each of us to go through our times of grief, trials, growth and a whole host of other challenges. To support others during their difficult times, we offer acceptance and grace and patiently wait as God uses us to encourage them in their walk. As we learn to trust each other, we are open to share vulnerabilities and weaknesses. We feel less empty and isolated. Confession opens the soul to being loved by others. Eventually our wings will heal and we will, once again, soar as God intended! 

We all have coping mechanisms to cover pain, help us deal with fear, manage relational inabilities, and help us hold it all together. Trials and suffering push those mechanisms past the breaking point so we can find where we need to grow. Then true spiritual growth begins at deeper levels and we are healed.

Once we are moving on a path toward healing, righteousness and character take the place of coping, and the prize we win is character. We stretch to grow by pushing through fear, vulnerability and pain. We gain strength when we ask God the question, “What can I learn from this?” When we look to God for wisdom and the steps to maturity, and complete the steps we don't have to repeat the lesson.

Pain that prohibits us from healing, comes from ruminating, recounting and repeating old patterns of attempting to avoid the suffering it would take to change them. We can suffer greatly because of personal character faults. We have to avoid the enemy’s temptation to medicate the pain and continue to repeat the mistakes. While pain is inevitable, suffering is optional!

Self-medication methods such as performance, perfectionism, materialism, busyness, control, etc., deceive us into believing we can avoid suffering. However, these vices cannot carry the weight of the problems they try to mask. 

Often, the underlying reasons why people demonstrate defensive character patterns such as detaching when things get heated and / or withdrawing when things get uncomfortable are because of fear or hurt. The best way to feel powerful in a relationship is to stand there and be honest.

To reach higher levels of emotional health and maturity, we have to give back better than we receive, regardless of how we are treated. We are able to choose to overcome evil with good. This is how we are saved from other people’s problems and their outcomes. 

We are only as healthy as our ability to relate as God relates; He is honest, loving, forgiving, communicates well and is able to be vulnerable, real and transparent. He confronts hurtful behavior in loving ways when necessary, and allows for consequences so lasting change can occur.

Grief is God’s cure for what is not right and it is the toughest pain we have to deal with. Grief does not 'happen' to us, we must enter into it. It is the one type of pain that heals all the others. Grief is our lament (prayer expressing sorrow, pain or confusion), for what we have lost and it allows us to mourn so we can be restored and comforted when things have gone wrong.

Grief is God’s way of us getting finished with the bad stuff of life. It is the process by which we get over it, and are able to let it go. The soul is freed from painful experiences and released for new and better experiences. 

Allow yourself to cry it out and it will get out and be over! And, consider journaling your thoughts... at least, the ones that open you up to hope, heal and trust that God has a plan and it is never to harm us!

The life we want is found in doing things God’s way. We learn to do life on God’s terms by relinquishing our old, flawed way of doing things and look to Him for guidance and insight into what is His best for us. He wants to teach us some critical skills that will change everything. 

He wants us to understand that honesty is not only a virtue; it is the only way to enjoy intimacy. Confession and owning our faults is the only way to grow and reach our life goals. Listening to feedback and correction is a gift that brings life. Forgiving others is our path to healing, freedom and reconciliation. 

Remember, getting aligned with God and getting healthy are one and the same thing!

When you build a life and stand on what Jesus taught, regardless of what happens you will make it through. 

Until next time....

-Sheri xo

Points to Ponder:

What is God saying to you through what you have just read? Connect with me and share your thoughts. 

***Relationship coaching can help you eliminate negative beliefs and unhealthy habits, and create joy-filled relationships. For more information on a Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships Coaching Group, or to Join the WaitList for pre-enrollment pricing, send a message (see below).

Sheri Geyer is a Boundaries Coach for Women

Are YOU Ready to Transform Negative Patterns into Healthy Boundaries and create Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships? If so, we need to talk!

I'd like to invite you to Join me on a 5-day Journey to do a deeper dive into discovering how you can find and maintain more joy-filled relationships... Sign up for Free here: https://joyfilledrelationships.com/landing/five-days

Sign Up for My Free Weekly Mastermind Group beginning June 18, 2024 on Tuesdays at 12 noon EDT, https://joyfilledrelationships.com/page/mastermind

I'd love for you to join my online community for Christian Women on Mighty Networks! It's free, it's a safe place where you can connect, share, be encouraged and learn to grow a deeper faith walk with the Lord! Here's the link; I hope to see you on the inside: https://joy-filled-relationships.mn.co/share/S_dOjQT7-iqLg9B1?utm_source=manual 



Do You Believe God is Fair?

It may appear that fairness has become one of the gold-standards of American culture. Everyone is equal. For anyone to receive any kind of preference is perceived to be discriminating against them and has the potential to bring a lawsuit. In many ways, this can be perceived as good and entirely appropriate for any free society.

While it may appear so, fairness does not mean that every person gets the same thing. The true meaning of fairness is that 'we get what we deserve'

When we think of what it means to be fair, we can compare it to two separate mindsets: 

*A person holding a negative view of themselves or the world, may believe there is no escape for them to think, feel or believe any other way, except that they are not 'good'. 

*Another person who may typically see the more positive side of things, may have the expectation that since they’ve never been arrested they are truly good in the eyes of God.

Love isn't necessarily fair. Love prefers the beloved one over and above all others. I may believe that my kids are cuter than your kids, and you probably disagree because you believe your kids are cuter than mine. Love does this to and for us. It’s not fair, but it’s good.

God is love. But is God, fair? 

He is perfect. He is right. He is good. He is just. 

But, God is NOT fair! Okay, now I've lost about two-thirds of you, who are likely thinking, 'Wait! Is she honestly saying that God. Is. Not. Fair?? 

Yes, I am saying that... bear with me a moment.... think about it this way: If we could be perfect as Jesus Christ is, we would be able to stand in God's sight. It is our sin that separates us from God, not who we are, who our parents are, where we work or how much money we make, the size of our house, yada yada yada. 

Because we live in a fallen world, where prior to the fall, God looked on all that He had made and He said, "Behold, it is very good!" 

Enter, our humanness through Adam and Eve. They get an up close glimpse of a very appealing shiny piece of fruit and made the choice to do life on their terms and follow a worthless pursuit of trying to be as "God is" based on a lie from a snake! Yuck!! Who listens to a snake?? (Hmmm, I am pretty sure, I would have elected to chase the stupid shiny object as well?... I mean 'pleasing to the eye' does sound pretty fabulous, right??)

So, God says, "Great, now look what you've done. What am I going to do with You??" (Okay, this is The Sheri Paraphrase... LOL). So, he decides on a plan for our redemption and spends 2000 years perfecting it. Boy, we do have our issues.... just saying.

So God is not fair, because if He were, Jesus would never have come to earth, gone through all that He faced, cried out in a Garden that God might free Him from the step He knew He was going to need to take. He would not have had to face betrayal by someone who had walked with Him as a Friend. He would not have spent hours in torture and interrogation, only to be mocked, spit upon, ridiculed, and persecuted beyond recognition. And then, for six hours one Friday, hang on a cross made from a tree He created. He did it all for me... yep, for my sins. 

While He was on the cross, He was thinking of me. He was thinking of you, too!

He did it...Just for me... and for You too:

For me to be free to have a rotten attitude when things don't go my way; 
For me to be free to call His name out loud when life hurts; 
For me to shake my fist at Him for all I've been through and how unfair it all is;

And, for three days from now on Easter Sunday, for me to walk beside you and proclaim: 
"Hallelujah, He is Risen!!" So you could reply in turn, "He is Risen, Indeed!!" 

Oh, what a Savior.... Thank You, Jesus!!

Okay, back to my story... 

But God is just. His judgments are right and good and true. 

A God whose primary description is “fair” would be devoid of grace or mercy or compassion. Instead, the guilty would immediately receive the punishment for their sin. This equates to what is commonly known as 'karma', where you receive what you’ve earned. Every action is weighed on a scale, and you work your hardest to have the good outweigh the bad.

Those who desire a fair God also have a very low view of sin’s seriousness. Sure, God may not like sin, but surely I won't be condemned by my sin unless it’s really serious, right?

But that’s just not what the Bible teaches about sin. Read the Sermon on the Mount and see how serious Jesus treats sin.

Even if God was fair and He would actually weigh the scales, and even if your scales had more good than bad… what would a fair God do with sin? We would certainly, at least I would be, found wanting!

A good judge makes right judgments. He does not condemn the innocent. Nor does he free the guilty.

God is just (because He does not overlook sin), but He is not fair. 

It simply is not fair that Jesus Christ suffered on Calvary's Cross in my place and for my sin!

It is not fair that He endured the rejection and wrath that should have been mine. 

It is not fair that I received the Grace of God, while He received the most bitterest of cups, for me. In my place. 

God is not fair, He transferred the guilt of all humanity on the innocent shoulders of Jesus. But He is just, because the punishment was given out and paid for. 

If God was fair, we would all receive what we’ve earned… death.

“The Lord God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may freely eat; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for on the day that you eat from it you will certainly die.” ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2‬:‭16‬-‭17‬

“Indeed, there is not a righteous person on earth who always does good and does not ever sin.” Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7‬:‭20‬ 

“They have all turned aside; together they are corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Psalm 14:3

“For the wages of sin is death…” Romans 6:23

“For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it.” James 2:10

I just have to say here.... If God sees all of this about us and He still makes a way of redemption for us... who are we to look on another and, blame, judge or condemn them? They will KNOW we are His (Followers of Jesus aka Christians) by our LOVE! 

Okay, I'm getting back to my story.... Imagine a fair God, who gave to everyone what they deserved. We’d all receive the judgment we deserve! We’d all be condemned to hell.

Thanks be to God for His love and grace and mercy, which turned His justice against Himself, Jesus Christ being fully God and fully man, so that sinners could be reconciled with God. 

Hallelujah, what a gift!!!!! Receive it...even though you or I can't earn it... We can receive it!! 

“And Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” 
Luke 23:34

“… God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their wrongdoings against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.” 2 Corinthians 5:19

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 

The message of the gospel is this: We are saved by faith alone in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. We plead for God’s grace, not for fairness. 

Salvation comes through the work of Christ. It is a gift, not a paycheck. It is unfair, because it’s pure grace.

Let us give praise and thanks to God that He is not fair!

Sheri Geyer is a Boundaries Coach for Women

Are YOU Ready to Transform Negative Patterns into Healthy Boundaries and create Joy-Filled ❤️Relationships? If so, we need to talk!

I'd like to invite you to Join me on a 5-day Journey to do a deeper dive into discovering how you can find and maintain more joy-filled relationships... Sign up for Free here: https://joyfilledrelationships.com/landing/five-days

Sign Up for My Free Weekly Mastermind Group beginning June 18, 2024 on Tuesdays at 12 noon EDT, https://joyfilledrelationships.com/page/mastermind

I'd love for you to join my online community for Christian Women on Mighty Networks! It's free, it's a safe place where you can connect, share, be encouraged and learn to grow a deeper faith walk with the Lord! Here's the link; I hope to see you on the inside: https://joy-filled-relationships.mn.co/share/S_dOjQT7-iqLg9B1?utm_source=manual 



 
Read Older Updates