Boundaries Redefined

Today I’d like to introduce you to a woman with a beautiful heart. I first met Alece on the pages of her blog and also on Deeper Story where she often blogs about life, faith and her experience in the journey of life.
I really appreciate her honesty and willingness to be transparent and authentic in her faith and relationship with God. I know your hearts will be moved by what Alece has to share today.

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God’s given me stewardship over my feelings, thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors.
I need to recognize and guard them as gifts from God.

Because they are.
He’s given me responsibility over those things, and I have complete freedom to choose what I do with them.

They are, in fact, the only things I truly control.

But I often forget that.
And when I forget, I live with unhealthy boundaries.

When I allow others’ words and actions to dictate how I respond, I forfeit my freedom. I hand over the power I have to choose. I surrender the control and stewardship I’ve been given by God.

I allow others to define me instead of embracing God’s definition of me.

On the flip side, when I forget the freedom others have, I try to take responsibility for what they alone are stewards over. I attempt to fix people, overcompensate for them, or smooth things over when they are upset. But in doing so, I am overstepping my boundaries.

I am responsible only for my own life.

Having and enforcing boundaries isn’t about controlling or punishing others.

It’s about treasuring and guarding the feelings, thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors God has given me stewardship over.

Living with healthy boundaries means not attempting to take responsibility for others’ responses and choices, and not forfeiting the responsibility I have over my own.

I’ve lived my whole life with unhealthy boundaries. In some ways, I’ve lived with no boundaries at all.

My emotions and inner commentaries are often swayed by others’ words, actions, and attitudes.

And I am quick to take responsibility for other people’s choices.
But I want to live different.

I want to live free and healthy, and in a way that helps others live free and healthy as well.

I can’t really say that I’ve gotten better at not responding based on how others treat me.

In fact, if I’m being most honest, I still don’t really know how to even change that… how to not be so deeply affected by others.

And right now, my struggles with this are really causing my heart to hurt. There’s a stinging ache deep inside me that just seems to hurt more everyday.

But I’ve become more aware of those moments where I hand control over to someone else. And those moments where I take on what isn’t mine to carry.

I see it for what it is now, which is more than I’ve ever done before.
And that gives my heart hope.
Even while she hurts.

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Alece is in the middle of the biggest Plan B of her life, enduring infidelity, divorce, and the loss of her ministry in Africa. Now she’s rediscovering what faith really is, trusting God to redeem the broken pieces of her life and make something beautiful out of her ashes. Alece blogs candidly about the grit and glory of her journey. Mostly grit.
Visit Alece’s blog | Follow Alece on Twitter

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20 thoughts on “Boundaries Redefined

  1. Love this perspective on being given things/emotions to be responsible for. Gives new illustration to how i value or don’t value them. 

    I am not good at all about just handling what is mine. Like you, i usually think it’s me or i’ve done something before even asking or listening to what’s going on. 

    Thank you for being a safe person for me to fumble through stewardship with. I know our hearts get on each other. i am so grateful for you, my BF!

  2. I like when you said this,”But I’ve become more aware of those moments where I hand control
    over to someone else. And those moments where I take on what isn’t mine
    to carry.”  Recognizing these character flaws in ourselves is the first step toward healing.  A first big step.  Many people live their whole life in denial that anything needs “fixing”.  Great post!

  3. Okay how weird is this – tried signing in with facebook because it doesn’t ever seem to remember me and I have to type everything all over again.  This picture is ancient and I never sign in with my maiden name anymore :)

  4. I am quick to take responsibility for other people’s choices.
    But I want to live different.I want to live free and healthy, and in a way that helps others live free and healthy as well.”

    SUCH A STATEMENT of where I am at today.  This is very hard to manage being in ministry too.  But, I’ve been taking baby steps of FREEDOM…

    I am so inspired by you FF!!!  (love you!)

  5. i think i too struggle with boundaries. i oftentimes try to fix people, to bring them up to MY standard of what they should be. i let others’ choices resonate so deeply with me…its unhealthy. i will be praying with you on this alece, cuz i need help in this area too!

    ^_^

  6. Alece,
    Thank you for your willingness to be transparent. I appreciate you sharing your struggles and not having “all the answers”. It’s good sometimes to see the beautiful mess in others that I see within my own heart. The most freedom I have ever felt has come just in the last six months of fully living out of the woman God created me to be, with healthy boundaries, no more fear and fully living a life driven by a desire to love both myself and others.

    Blessings to you!

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