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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Establishing a Support Network


It is easy for me to slide into old routines and habits, that is why it is important for me to establish an accountability partner(s) if I am trying something new or setting a goal for myself.  By creating a support system I have a friend(s) to bounce ideas off of, someone to hold me accountable, to pray for/with me, and someone who is going to encourage me and give me strength when I need it.

Setting boundaries does not come naturally for me, therefore, I need to have healthy people in my life who can support me in my goal to erect good fences.

Our most basic need in life is for relationship...we see this in the garden of Eden:
Genesis 2:18-22
"18 The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
 19 Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.
   But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man."

Fear of being alone keeps many people in hurtful relationships because they are afraid that if they set boundaries then they will wind up unloved and alone.  When they receive support from others then they realize that there are healthier relationships out there and they can find the strength and support they need to start setting limits.


Sometimes we need others to help us see things more clearly.  It is easy for me to fall into old thought patterns, for example: I feel guilty when I say "no".  Rather than make a decision on the spot I am now learning to take time to talk over things with my husband, who is often times my accountability partner.  He is aware of my time constraints, my limitations, and my self-imposed guilt.  I can tell him "Hey hon, I heard that so and so just had major surgery and needs help and I was thinking about cleaning their house for them once a week but I am not sure when I can do that."  Rather than saying "That is a terrible idea, you are so busy right now, just say no."  He would say something like:
 "I understand your heart and that you really want to help your friend but right now your plate is full and it would not be healthy for you to add another thing to your to-do list.  You could volunteer to be the contact person and organize meals for them rather than committing to three hours a week of housecleaning." 

I am blessed to have several close, safe friends with whom I can share my heart with.  By having several trusted relationships I am not leaning on just one person to help me along the way.  I have multiple sources where I can go if I am in need of encouragement or advice and in turn, they know I also hold their heart.  Having others involved in setting boundaries offers healthy perspective/input when we need to resist the old habitual patterns that keep us from changing to the person God desires us to be.

Do you have a support network?

With love,
Dawna

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