by Molly Audiss

It is impossible to have good relationships with others without accepting yourself—which must come with knowing yourself, which must come with being honest about your weaknesses and faults. This step cannot be jumped or skipped, even by a natural-born, out-going, “people person” personality. Look in the mirror and believe what you see. If it needs changing, work on changing it. Above all, never ignore or refuse to acknowledge your own faults. This is not self-hate or even lack of self-esteem. It is honest humility. You cannot grow as an individual until you have accepted all parts of yourself, the best and worst of you, and know where you need improvement. To jump ahead and try to build relationships without this first necessary assessment, is to sabotage all relationships and limit your influence and impact on any other person.

My former pastor’s wife, Mrs. Beverly Hyles, wrote a book in which she mentioned that she was 40 years old when she truly understood God’s personal love for her as an individual. I could give a similar testimony. It seems to me that most of us are going so quickly through our teen years and twenties, with so many things happening in our lives, that we live “thinking” we understand ourselves, but truly we do not. It is in our thirties when things began to get more complicated, and we are forced to take a good, long look at our life and how we are living it.

So often in our thirties, our children are growing into teenagers, which is much more complicated than raising little children! At the same time we may be facing financial strain, which, among other things, may be putting strain on our marriages. We are so, so busy. But we wonder if we even remember who we are! We’ve been pouring our lives into others, and neglecting ourselves and our relationship with the Lord. All at once, everything begins falling apart! Our stress levels begin taking a toll on our health, and we are forced to slow down and evaluate our priorities. Welcome to 40😀

This, of course, is not true of every woman, but I have heard these similar stories from too many women to think it’s coincidence. It seems that, about this time in life, we are broken by circumstances beyond our control, and we find ourselves searching for answers. This dark time can be the very best time if it means that we end up at Jesus’ feet, begging for help and answers. We just can’t do it all anymore!

This hard time is when Jesus reveals to us that we never could, though we tried it for a long time! We didn’t think we had become distant from the Lord, but we realize that our self-sufficiency took the place of our faith in God.

The good news about the dark times is that, now aware of our helplessness, Christ can guide us to the knowledge of who we truly are, and how personally we are loved by Him! It is painful to slowly become aware of faults and weaknesses after 30-40 years of life. But it is so much better to push through and never slow down to notice them. Now we can be helped! Being broken by hard times is a wonderful tool God uses to turn our face to His loving face. This is a new start.

When we truly see ourselves, our REAL selves, we see our amazing God Who loves us with all theses faults!! We confess, rededicate our hearts to Him, and THEN our ministry to others can begin. We can serve with a humility of understanding how weak we are, and a compassion for others who struggle like we do. It is when we’ve come through the valley that we can serve with a heart that truly loves God and others. He was kind to reveal to us our short-comings!

If I have described your time of life in this article- be encouraged! God wants you to slow down and stop to meet with Him for awhile. He wants to reveal some negative things about you that you never realized, but only so you can see how great His grace is toward you! He plans to use you as a wonderful servant, who can now go forth humbly and lovingly and with influence on the others struggling in this world.

My sister, I know. It happened to me, too. And I thank God for it! ❤️

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.

John 12:24