Boundaries

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Why are people afraid of boundaries?

As children, we need to know boundaries. Sure, kids test limits, but they want to know where to draw the line. It can help us feel safer to know where the limits are.

So as adults, why are we not setting boundaries with people, especially those who are toxic? Maybe you like the poison that comes from these people (Britney apparently does enough to write a song about it).

In Scary Close, Donald Miller mentions that not all people are safe. I don’t know why, but that idea really stuck out to me.

This year I had to have a conversation with a MARRIED MAN about what he was saying to me about what I wore. It’s nice to be complimented, but a line was crossed that needed to be addressed. Conversations like this are AWKWARD and UNCOMFORTABLE. But I knew it needed to happen. I asked some guy friends for advice before talking to Mr. Married Man. They told me to be direct and not pursue conversations with him that would further any emotional ties in our friendship.

Mr. Married Man had no idea what he said to me was inappropriate. I’ve heard him say similar things to other women, but maybe they liked the attention or weren’t bothered by it. While being married might not have mattered to him, in order to honor my future husband (because I hope to someday be married) as well as his Mr. Married Man’s wife, I NEEDED to have this conversation.

Boundaries are good. Maybe you need to have a conversation? I’m giving you permission to BE BOLD. BE UPFRONT. DO IT.

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South Africa: Meet Steven

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It’s now been a month since I returned from my trip to South Africa. It’s kind of unreal.

The highlight of my trip was meeting this man:

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His name is Steven and before I took the picture, he said he hoped his picture wouldn’t break my camera.

I met Steven while watching the sunrise over the Indian Ocean. I missed the actual sunrise because I was talking to him, but it was worth it.

Steven is homeless.

I don’t know how old he is. He told me when I met him he was 41, but he told my other team members he was in his 50’s.

Steven told me his story. God knows his story and cares for him.

The story he told me was that he was born in Italy (seriously?! God sent me an ITALIAN to meet in SOUTH AFRICA?!), but he was sent to Cape Town to live in a children’s home when he was eleven. He has been homeless since leaving.

Steven is just one of the many homeless people in the world. Homelessness is a worldwide challenge. He has his own struggles and addictions. He told me the first time I met him that he was searching for rest. He said he has to sleep with one eye open because it’s not safe sleeping on the streets.

The last day we were there, as we were coming back from watching the sunrise, we saw Steven sitting on a stoop with his hands over his face. He was covering up wounds from a fight. My teammates asked how he was feeling. He said, “Empty.” He prayed with us to receive Jesus. I pray that his life changed forever in that moment.

The awesome/relieving thing is that it’s not my job to save people. Don’t get me wrong. I’ve tried. But I’ve learned that the Holy Spirit works on people and it’s not all up to me! It’s my job to point out Who can help with problems, Who cares ALWAYS, and the Person who will be with them always.

I don’t know if I will ever see Steven again. My thoughts and prayers are with him. He has opened my eyes to truly look at and notice the homeless in DC. They all have their stories, and I’ve been forever impacted by one.