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Thursday, November 20 2014

Dear Friends....

As a psychotherapist, I know it is common to pass down coping behaviors and ways of thinking to the next generation. You can even see the similarities from multiple generations before. It is why we often use a family genogram to diagnosis issues. One of my prayers and hopes for my two daughters is that they would not repeat the problems and issues I’ve had to deal with in my life. It has been one of the motivating factors, which inspires me to change. I started this process with psychological principles that were helpful in the area of coping and managing my feelings and issues, but did not bring me freedom from the issues. Many of my issues were rooted in my past, but were affecting me in the present. 

According to Mirriam-Webster.com, the definition of leg·a·cy is:
“something (such as property or money) that is received from someone who has died or something that happened in the past or that comes from someone in the past.” 
Legacy can be passed on intentionally or unintentionally, but one way or another, our past effects our present. We tend to deal with life and handle relationships unconsciously based on what we inherited. Here are some typical ways our past impacts our present…

• How we settle conflict. 
• How we discipline. 
• How we communicate. 
• How we handle change. 
• How we give. 
• How we receive.
• How we forgive.
• How we love.
• How we view God.

For example, you might have learned how to deal with relationships by manipulating people to like you or your ideas, by telling them what they want to hear, or avoiding difficult truths or conversations. As a result, you are unable to be transparent or authentic with the special people in your life, and ultimately are hiding from yourself and God. That sets in motion a pattern of behavior that will likely be passed down to your children. This is what they are seeing and experiencing from you. Eventually, you may find yourself with a child who is not honest with you and tells you what they think you want to hear, instead of what is truly in their hearts. Then as a result they miss opportunities to really figure out who they are and what really matters to them, and more importantly they have not developed good coping skills to navigate relationships.

Over the years of counseling, I have encountered many people who were determined to not repeat the past mistakes of their parents/ancestors and then much to their dismay they are sitting in my office because they are doing exactly what they thought they would never do. Whether your legacy was positive or negative (for most it’s a combination), you will naturally hand it down to your children unless you intentionally change. 

This is how legacy affects us. 

Along my personal journey, God showed me how He could change my legacy. It’s not easy, but it is definitely possible. He showed me what He could do with my problems and issues when I gave them to Him. He renewed my mind (changed my way of thinking) and healed my broken heart (resolved some deep seated hurts/sensitivities). God’s healing, was like fire to dynamite; it was the power that allowed all I had done before to lead to true transformation which was life changing! The result was a closer relationship with God, which brought freedom and purpose to my life, a healing in my marriage and ushered in a new legacy for my girls. That’s some good stuff!

God’s promise in Ezekiel 18:20 “The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins,” came alive and became real in my life.

Stop for a second and read Isaiah 61:1-8. What an amazing passage that is full of truths!

It talks about the promise of God to bind up the broken hearted and set the captives (the hurt and pain from someone else’s sin) and prisoners (our own sin) free. The passage describes those that allow God’s healing are then called “oaks of righteousness” planted for His glory. They will go on to rebuild and renew areas that have long been devastated. In verse 7 God promises: “Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance.”  

Does that make sense? Think about it. When we allow God to heal our hearts and renew our minds, then we display His glory and His healing impacts our inheritance. When you allow God to transform you, you are choosing life. Scripture indicates that what you choose effects the generations to come. That allows us to turn and help others renew and rebuild their lives. How amazing is that? You have the choice of how you will affect generations-positively or negatively.

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (NKJV). Deuteronomy 30:19

Parents often ask me how to help their children. I tell them, one of the best ways to help them is to take care of your own issues. Whether you have your own biological children or you are a spiritual parent, allow God to help you break those old habits that aren’t working and have never worked! This is a gift to all of God’s children. 1 Corinthians 12:27 states “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it”.…A NEW legacy that they will carry on for generations to come! 

Do the tough stuff today. Let God deal with your own heart and break the old generational legacy… “The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Blessings~ Angel

Posted by: Angel H Davis AT 12:44 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
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Benefits of Weariness

 

WOW! How weary I am. And so are many of you. I know because I hear your cries: in my office, on the phone, online, in church, at the grocery store, you name it! So much of what I hear from people today is about how tired, weary, and worn-out they feel.

Then again, you may not feel weary;  instead you may feel anxious, depressed, scared, lonely, angry, or any mixture of these emotions. Perhaps these are more your prominent feelings.

 

However you may feel, it’s too easy to look for the source or to find blame: social media; busy schedules; technology; work/family demands; the causes are endless. Of course, these have validity, and we can certainly manage them in more appropriate and successful ways.

 

Yet, as I sit with God today, in my quiet time, and look over my journals, what I see is the benefit of weariness—the benefit of our broken feelings and situations.

 I see, time and time again, over the years (yes, I am rebellious and slow-learning, and God is very, very patient), God working in me and through me, enabling me to receive His antidote to this tough life and all of its problems. 

 

It is so simple; and yet it is so hard.

 

It is HIM: Jesus; always more of Him.

 

“But,” you say, “Angel, I have to know what to do with my children,” or, “Angel, these bills are piling up,” or, “Angel, you don’t have a CLUE of how bad it really is.”

 

And I will say, “You are right, I don’t. And you are correct, these things need to be taken care of.” 

 

BUT FIRST, we have a larger need. Oh, the catch is it doesn’t appear like the larger need. Our core need, before bills, children, purpose in life, change in our feelings, is to be convinced, truly convinced and accepting of God’s love for us and our identity as His children.

 

And your heart and head may rebel like mine did.

 

“BUT, I need to know the answer to my problem.” 

And Jesus says:

“I am the answer.”

“I am so tired.”

And Jesus says:

“I know. Let me restore you.”

“I am afraid.”

And Jesus says:

“I know, and my love will take care of that.”

 

That just doesn’t seem like much; doesn’t seem like enough, when we are about to be evicted or our kids are in harm’s way. That support just doesn’t seem practical enough for our human brains to rest on.

 

Perhaps then we’ve hit on the real source or problem of our weariness: ourselves. You and me believing that if we work hard enough, try enough, worry enough, take enough time to figure it out, talk enough to that person, ignore it long enough—whatever your “enough” is—WE can fix it. The true problem is that it’s all about US!

 

We want to stay in the driver’s seat and be our own savior. Or we look to other humans to be that for us. If we believe our answer lies in us or other humans, we are likely to stay in that “out of control” anxious space, and the weariness or depression or addictions are bound to take over. There can only be one driver in our car of life.

 

The benefit of our struggle is to be wooed into the true solution. Life’s struggles are an invitation to know God more intimately. As we allow Jesus, who is ALIVE, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, to become more real for us, more tangible, as we take Him at His word (Hebrews 13:5), as we choose to focus on Him and His promises, instead of the problems or feelings we are having, then we start to experience the reality of His presence with us.  With this, we begin to experience the peace He promises.


Why? Because our problems have been solved? The bills have all been paid? The feelings change?


NO…  peace comes from HIS presence. And in that place of peace we can see clearer, hear more accurately, and receive wisdom and direction.

 

As we “bend our knee” to Jesus’ love, dare to take Him at His word (John 3:16), choose to look to Him and depend on Him, and keep (John 17) depending on Him, then His life-blood starts to flow through us. It revives us, directs us, and transforms our thinking and feelings. Then life and all of its troubles, which are many (John 16:33), become manageable, doable.

 

Breath comes; rest comes; peace comes.

 

In this place new life springs forth. New ideas emerge and joy is eventually restored.

 

Struggling today? Rejoice in it, because it is calling you back home. Home to His heart of love (Romans 8:38-39), the place of true peace and rest. 

1020 Barber Creek Drive, Suite 203, Watkinsville, GA 30677  ///  706.543.7012  ///  info@angelhdavis.com

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