This picture of this beautiful garden gate represents several things for me.
It represents peace and comfort into a place of rest and beauty. A place that has been created in nature will draw us closer to God, where we can settle into His perfect love that He so freely gives.
It also represents for me a doorway, one that can be open wide for those who love me best and it can be closed tight to hold out those who aim to bring me harm. It’s a place where boundaries are formed for protection, where God will allow healing and strength to be reborn and where I can learn to trust again.
Years ago, I didn’t understand boundaries. Boundaries that I crossed against others and boundaries that were crossed against me. Until the pain of not having those boundaries became so great that God helped me find the path to creating those boundaries.
Many people struggle with the feeling that boundaries are bad, they are selfish, and they are not what God would want. Is this you?
And as I think of boundaries, I remember the greatest author of all time, God. In 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 it says, “Be on guard, stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”
God taught me that this verse is my guide for setting boundaries.
Be on guard! We are not flawless people. We only continue to do what we have been exampled, but that is not always the best way. Be aware and alert of dangers around you.
Stand Firm in your faith! When things happen or others attempt to shake your footing, set your feet firm in the mercies of your Lord. He will keep you upright or at least pick you up if you stumble. Trust in the words that He brings to you.
Be courageous! It’s hard, I know! It takes courage to move into unknown territory but trust that the Lord is guiding your path. He has gone ahead of you to secure the way; he is right there beside you to hold you up and he is behind you to protect you from what you can’t see. Being courageous doesn’t guarantee that the path will be without potholes and boulders, but it does guarantee that the one you are putting your trust in is there.
Be strong! When thinking about self, we don’t always consider ourselves strong, particularly in hard and hazardous waters, but our strength is not the strength we depend on. So do not depend on self, depend on HIM to get you through.
Do everything in Love! This is key. It is the love of the Lord that will get us through. And that love of the Lord will example for us how we are to love others. Leaning into that love will also help us love ourselves. Love is our motivator. Love will not always be pretty. It will not always give others what they want. It will not always satisfy the prowler around us. But it will show them who God is. So, in everything, even setting boundaries, in love.
Do you struggle? So do I, but I know where to go.
I would be honored to walk that path to find the answers and break through whatever holds you back.
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