Have you ever had someone make an assumption about you? Have you ever made an assumption about a person or a circumstance in your life? An assumption that troubled your mind, brought emotional struggle, or impaired a relationship?
I have been doing some writing in my journal about assumptions. One of the definitions for the word assumption on webster.com is “something taken as being true or factual and used as a starting point for a course of action or reasoning.”
This all started in a segment of a Bible study I was doing about boundaries. I wandered down a path of defining boundaries and ran into the word “limit”. A limit can be real or imaginary.
Which then had me asking myself this question, how many limits in my life are real and how many are imaginary? Where am I experiencing limits, confinement, or affliction because of an assumption? Are these assumptions based upon truth or are my troubles stemming from false presumptions?
Go back and read the previous paragraph one more time. Would you agree with me when I say, whoa those are some weighty self reflection questions.
As a list lover, I decided I would try to make a list of assumptions as I encountered them. Allow me to place an explicit WARNING above these. Most of these thoughts are lies that I have needed to take captive.
- My friends have too much going on in the circumstances of their lives right now for me to bother them with my problems.
- My husband is not attracted to me any more because I can’t seem to get my weight down.
- The current shortcomings of our farm will last indefinitely into the future and we will never make this work.
- The important things in my life are not worth others remembering.
- I am only good to others when I am giving them something they want.
- I am supposed to be Joy filled Julie, so I can’t be sad or downcast around others.
As I listed these out, it was pretty quick to see just how toxic this list of assumptions was. I knew without a doubt this list needed to be scrubbed with truth and love. So I went through this list one item at a time and in purple text below you will see the love meant to mend the affliction of the assumption.
- My friends have too much going on in the circumstances of their lives right now for me to bother them with my problems. My friends love me. They are more than willing to listen to my struggles, and to walk with me through them. They will pray, offer advice, and share what they have generously as needed.
- My husband is not attracted to me any more because I can’t seem to get my weight down. Eric loves me very much. His wanting to draw near to me at the end of the day, to linger close to me in the morning, proves that his desire is not based upon the numbers on our scale.
- The current shortcomings of our farm will last indefinitely into the future and we will never make this work. Farms all have seasons. Some of the seasons are very taxing. Farming is just a hard and complicated way of life. If this is the path God wants us on, then He will provide. If God wants us to let go of it all, He is perfectly trustworthy to see us through that as well.
- The important things in my life are not worth others remembering. People are busy and it is so easy to forget. There have been many times that I have completely forgotten and made mistakes myself. There are also many times in life when people have astonished me by what they remember about me, then bless me to amazement by it.
- I am only good to others when I am giving them something they want. To some, yes, this is true. Even God experiences this, people only drawing near when He is giving them what they want. There are a whole lot of people who have drawn near to me in very bad times, when I had nothing to offer in return. They have proven that I have value all the time. God’s love for me in the fullness of perfection, when I was blackened by the ugliness of sin, proves that I am treasured.
- I am supposed to be Joy filled Julie, so I can’t be sad or downcast around others. This is an impossible standard to live up to. A standard which would actually turn people away from me, rather than draw them near to me. To see my scars and sadness is to allow others to see my authenticity. It is also an opportunity to show that it is not of my own strength that the spring of joy comes from, it is from the love of the Lord.
Assumptions rip and tear at our hearts, afflict our emotions, and deceive our minds. Love can only mend the afflictions that we bring forth to the Lord. When we avoid our assumptions, or stew in them boiling with trouble, we can become limited and confined.
But oh, what God’s pure love can do!
I think Psalm 34:18-19 (MSG) sums it up best
“If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.
Disciples so often get into trouble; still, God is there every time.”
God knows where our limits are, the ones that are real and the imaginary ones. He knows the assumptions that have laid claim to afflict our minds, hearts, bodies, and relationships. Where there is trouble, God is there every time. He is there with arms wide open and with His lavish love ready to mend our brokenness.
Live It Out
What assumptions are afflicting you right now? Take some time to reflect upon those things that are troubling you and have the courage to right them down. Share them with God. Bring Him your list of what is causing pain and affliction.
Prayerfully ask Jesus to bring loving truth to each of the assumptions. Write down the responses that you are given.
Be brave, dear one. This may be really hard to do. I only know how hard it is because of how greatly I struggled to do this, to write this myself. From throwing my hands in the air, to tossing my pen across my office, to plopping my head down on my desk, writing this came with a great degree of difficulty.
But, how warm and sweet the light of truth was when it began to shine onto these dark assumptions that were afflicting me. It was like the vibrant midday sun breaking through the clouds after days of dreary cold damp rain.
May my prayers support you through any of the challenges you face breaking through the assumptions that bring you affliction.
Pray Through It
Thank You so much for helping me through hard times. Thank You for meeting me in the troubles, the brokenness, and the affliction. Thank you for helping me to breathe when I get the wind knocked out of me.
Lord, sometimes I just want to avoid answering hard questions. It feels like ignorance is bliss, or at least it feels comfortable enough to stay in for a while. But, I know it is not the best place for me to be.
I know You want to shine the fullness of Your light into my life and truth into the darkness of my assumptions. I know that You want to pour Your love into my mind, my heart, my body, and my spirit to mend what has been ripped, torn, and tattered.
Thank you for being patient with me when I am reluctant. The process may be pretty painful, but the result is sure sweet. Lord, can we just linger in the light of Your love a little bit longer, before more assumptions, troubles, afflictions, and heartbreaks come?
In the name of Jesus whose afflictions make it possible to receive God’s lavish love, amen.