Book Excerpt: Don't Force It

Updated: Nov 29, 2020

Yesterday, was a tough day for me. Anxiety attack kind of tough.

Although many people debate me about it, I am a true introvert. I like people, and I'm good with them, but connecting to people for an extended period of time is draining. I'm an overthinker, and being around people kicks me into overdrive.

So, lately my business ventures have connected me to a lot of people. I was moseying along quite well - a smile here, a wave there, a "How are you," and "I'm fine," - I was killing this networking thing.

Then I ran smack dab into a wall of deceit, immaturity, and callousness.

Ugghhh. My spirit was vexed.

I had to remind myself that God knows me, and He's for me. I had to breathe. I had to stay functional to handle what needed to be done. I had to . . . breathe.

"One step at a time," I reminded myself over and over again. Just get the next thing done.

But yesterday when I grabbed my fidgeting son at 5:30 in the morning and rocked him back to sleep, I couldn't enjoy our morning doze. Thoughts overwhelmed me. Misunderstandings rocked me, and betrayal ate at my soul.

I knew God had my back, but I was hurt. I was frustrated.

I tried reading my Bible. 1st John, let's go. At first there was nothing. Just words on a page. But slowly, the beautiful simplicity of the gospel started to bring me peace. I was at least able to get up and start my day.

As I began to handle the things that needed to be handled I felt myself being dragged down again. Anxiety was rising up causing me to feel light-headed and nauseous.

I cried out to God in my mind, and he brought something to my remembrance. I wrote this passage years ago in a book called Pruned to T.H.R.I.V.E. It saved my day yesterday, and I thought maybe it could help you as well.

Note: Relationships aren't exclusive to significant others. These can be friendships, classmates, or coworkers etc.

Don't Force It

It's a sad reality that not every relationship will work. The Bible says, ". . . do all that you can to live in peace with everyone," but the truth is, sometimes "all that you can" is not enough. Jesus told His disciples, "If any household or town refuses to welcome you or listen to your message, shake its dust from your feet as you leave." Sometimes, people do not want to live peaceably with you, and the more you force it, the more bitter the situation becomes.

It should be a given that all relationships are going to cost us something. To thrive together we must invest time, energy, and resources into each other. But some relationships cost us more than we can afford to give, and we must be honest enough with ourselves to make these assessments and move on. If you have to sacrifice you faith, family, safety, self-esteem, purpose, or moral standing to appease a relationship partner, it's probably not a relationship you should be committed to.