Alone, unknown, out of place, and out of sorts reflect the feelings I have felt over the past couple of years since we moved. Job transitions, school transitions, and struggling to find a place to call home were all difficult. Leaving a place where we had a rich history in relationships to a place where no one really knows us has been the toughest part.
Ground zero with all relationships is a distressing place to begin. Starting from scratch with relationships at church, in our neighborhoods, with school, and establishing new friendships, in general, are all difficult. But it is the workplace, I have found to be the most challenging. Nine months into the move, I began a new job as a Leadership Coach. Regardless of what was on my resume or any past accomplishments, there needed to be time for others to figure out my style, what I brought to the team, and whether I was trustworthy. The work relationship reset button was pushed one more time when I recently took on a ministry position at our church. Once again, I found myself at ground zero.
Relationships are essential to our well-being. We were made to be in community where a sense of rich fulfillment can be met, but relationships can also be a place of great tension and stress. It is uncomfortable to start over and it can leave us with feelings of frustration. Feelings that stem from being misunderstood or even our not understanding others. Navigating new personality dynamics can be exhausting and humbling. “If they only knew me this wouldn’t be an issue…” But they don’t know us and as disheartening as it can be, admitting we are at a point at starting over is a step in the right direction towards the place of being known we so desire.
Have you ever found yourself with a severed relationship or a geographic move or any change affecting those you know and love? Ground zero is a place of starting over where new and unknown best describe the situation.
“…but the LORD supported me. He led me to a place of safety; he rescued me because he delights in me” (Psalm 18:18b -19, NLT).
We are not alone at ground zero. It is important for us to stop and take a second look around our circumstances and see Who has been there all the time. Our ever-present Creator has not forgotten us. He is always present providing and caring for us, “but the LORD supports us.” Far from being on our own, we have the support of the LORD, the Self-Existent One on our side.
God’s support of us in our perilous situation will lead us to “a place of safety.” The CEV reads, “when I was fenced in, you freed me.” The image here is one of our circumstances crowding in around us. We feel suffocated, overwhelmed, but God takes us to where our surroundings shift from being fenced into a wide-open place. “He brought me out in a broad place,” (AMP). A place where our perspective changes because we are able to see further and wider. A place where we can breathe. A place where we can live confident in who we are. A place where we can move forward regardless of how we may be perceived, or whether we are known or understood.
It is from this broader safer stance we can begin to realize what we longed for has been there all along. From this place of safety where our steps are solid and less unstable, we can see something amazing. “He rescues us because he delights in us.” When we are in a place of feeling alone, wishing someone would get me, accept me, understand me, God takes us to a place where we are safe to dwell on the fact that we are known, understood, accepted and there is Someone Who delights in us.
Delight is a wonderful word. My daughter is away at college and we are blessed to see her as much as we do. The possibilities of her coming home for Labor Day were slim and the decision was made not to come. Then with a turn of events, the week before plans changed and she was going to come not just for the weekend, but for a week! Delighted and excited beyond measure, this momma’s heart anticipated each day in the countdown to her arrival.
The delight I experienced over the anticipation of seeing and spending time with my daughter pales in comparison to the delight our heavenly Father has for us. Delight here is a spillover of God’s love for us. God supports us and rescues us because He delights in us. This type of love is not based on our worthiness, stacked resumes, or others’ opinions of us. This love is not based on our successes, failures, or ability to perform. This love is of the purest kind, regardless of our actions. Untainted, freely offered, no strings attached type of love which occasionally manifests itself in pure delight.
The moment we shift our focus from our relational reset of devastation to the truth of God’s support for us is the transformational moment where our perspective begins to broaden. If we are standing solidly on ground zero or we are still shaking in our boots, it is in turning our thoughts towards a God Who delights in us which will transport us to the place we need to be. The weighty thoughts of how we came across to others and whether we were misunderstood begin to fade as we meditate on and muse over this idea of delight. Minds which are fixed on trying to comprehend a love manifested in pure delight in us are minds that are free, settled, and at rest.
No one knows us better than the One Who created us. Our Creator delights in us. Being understood, known to our core, and accepted unconditionally is breathing in a beauty beyond comparison.
What if you took one minute today and thought repetitively about how much God delights in you? What if we all thought more about how much God delights in us over what others may think of us?
Digging Deeper: Zephaniah 3:16-18, ESV; Psalms 18:16-19, 28-36; John 3:16-18
Meditation: God delights in me
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This blog’s image is compliments of my sister Beverly. She delights in gardens and butterflies and all things nature.
(CEV – Contemporary English Version, AMP – Amplified Version, NLT – New Living Translation)