Lately I have been thinking about the issue of settling. The Lord has put this on my heart and revealed a real truth to me through my daughter. First let me tell you a true story:
I was 17 when I met my first real boyfriend. In my teen mind, he was so dreamy! He was exactly what I thought I wanted and loved. He had dark hair and green eyes, and that was my teen definition of handsome. He was interested in me, and gave me lots of attention. You see, at that time of my life I was home alone a lot. I was constantly sick. I had chronic strep throat, and that aggrevated my type one diabetes. I was put on a program called Homebound. Homebound was when a teacher would come to my house once a week, bring me school work and I was to complete it. My parents would work all day, and I was just home. This handsome 19 year old, was out of school, so he had plenty of time to call me. The first few months were great.
Then that is when things changed. I can't even tell you when they changed, but they changed. He all of the sudden he had opinions about my friends. He also had opinions about my hair, shoes, and clothes I wore. He was a jealous guy. It was a subtle transition from being my first love to being someone who controlled me. I thought this is the way it was suppose to be, I thought this was as good as it gets. He never hit me, he just loved me or at least that is what I told myself.
About three years into the relationship, I knew something wasn't right. I could feel it, but could not quite put my finger on it. I began to pray about it. It took a year, but the Lord gave me the strength and courage to break up with him. It was then that I began to realize what I had lost, and what he had controlled. He continued to call me to try to get back together. It took the following exchange for him to finally leave me alone. I was home from college. He came to my parents house, and we talked outside. I got a glimpse of what could have been really bad situation. He grabbed my arm, and pulled me very close to him, squeezing my arm, and threatened me, by saying, "I know your schedule. I can come into your apratment and get you." Then I am not sure this was the smartest move I ever made, but this was my response,"I dare you! Come for me, I f''ing dare you, come for me, I will be waiting." (Sorry, I was a foul mouth teen!) At that point, he backed down, and I only had one call after that. It was the, I am going to kill myself call. He didn't kill himself, but it was finally over.
After the break up, I was lost. I spent a lot of time asking myself, why and how this could have happen. It was years later that a friend said something to me, that always stuck. She said, "y'know, my mom always told me not to settle, to just wait until I got everything I wanted." I realized I had settled.
There are so many reasons in life to settle. I can think of many situations where I can say now that I settled. I accepted what I thought was good enough. Over the years he Lord continues to reveal problem areas in my life that I didn't see before. The Holy Spirit continues to refine me. The latest is, I tend to settle. I have always fancied myself incrediably confident and I tell myself, that some things just aren't that big of a deal. That is just simply not always the truth!
You see here is where this whole thought meets my daughter. I think to understand God's love, it helps to have kids. It is at that point that you can start to fathom loving someone enough to die for them. God has given me a beautiful daughter whom I treasure. I find that I only want the very best for her. This is exactly how God feels about me, and all His children. God gives us so many great scriptures about love, and His love for us. This is one of my favorites, Isaiah 49:16 "See I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." I love the imagery of always being at the palm of his hand. There is nothing more comforting than the simple action of holding a hand. God took the time to reassure us. He took the time to write about His love for us, and to give us instruction. The next logical question is why? Well, because God wants the best for His children. He wants us to strive to be holy, and sanctified unto Him. GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO SETTLE FOR ANYTHING LESS!
Now I stand asking myself, what am I teaching my daughter? Am I teaching her to settle for good enough? or am I teaching her to reach for the very best? I would say that in American now, we have an epidemic of settlers. We strive for just enough. Why work for the best, when we can get the minimum for free from our Government. I think about my attitude and actions and wonder what have I taught my daughter about achievement? What have I taught her to accept in the name of "keeping the peace," or "showing kindness and giving grace" with a disregard to what is best for her? What exactly IS good enough?
I know this is a lot for one little blog, but my whole point is that we need to remember that the BEST is what God wants for his children. The BEST is what I want for my child. The BEST is also what God wants for me, and I should too. There should be no sense of guilt for asking too much. After all, God is the God of big miracles. Just take a look around, there are miracles happening everyday all around you. God is bigger than my little box, and better than good enough.
Now in everyday life, to settle or not to settle? I think I will strive for the what GOD wants for me, and remember what HIS promises are for me.
I Corinthians 2:9
“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived”—
the things God has prepared for those who love him—
I read that and think, God wants what is best. His best is bigger and far greater than my simple good enough, and He wants all this good for me, my family, and ALL His children! I need to agree with God, and not settle for less.
This is my mindset, now let me hear yours!