“Taking responsibility for your own emotional welfare being.”
Unknown, I believe an “Edmund Fremonds.”
Isn’t it funny how someone can try to tell you something for days, weeks, maybe even years, and you just can’t seem to process it for the thought that they are trying to tell you? In fact, you are the total opposite. You can’t seem to wrap your brain around it, whether it’s because you are too busy caught in your own stream of consciousness or that you simply don’t take the time to understand what they are saying to help you.
This was me. About a month ago. Or at least, that should be how it worked out on the scheduling of my blogs.
I was sitting in church when Pastor Seth explained how he had heard this quote from Edmund Fremonds (I must be spelling that wrong because I couldn’t find it anywhere). He asked us, “How do you relate in healthy ways to those individuals and those situations around you?” He asked us to “take responsibility for your presence in every relationship that you are in.”
In the book of Numbers, chapter 20, Pastor Seth explained how Moses was the servant of God and the leader of this community of formerly enslaved individuals and how they were out in the wilderness trying to survive. Prior to this, in Exodus Chapter 17 (I believe), the community became fired up at Moses because they were thirsty; I mean they were in the desert after all! God came to Moses and told him to take the staff and strike this rock and water would appear. Moses did as he was instructed, water appeared as promised and the people were appeased.
Then they forgot, as we so often do in the presence of bad. We forget to have faith, we forget our history and we forget the pattern. Moses asked for help again and this time, when God came to him, he told him to SPEAK to the rock and water would come forth so Moses struck the rock twice with his staff and the water came out and the people were appeased.
That’s not what God said… and God knew it! It was the “drawing of a line.”
Moses was drowned out by fear, fear of letting these people down, so he reverted back to what he knew would work and lost his faith in God to help him through this moment. Pastor Seth literally described this moment as Moses allowing fear of failure cause him to take the responsibility for what God had said he was going to do.
“It is not our duty to take other people’s responsibility. It is not your job to live their life.”
And just like that, it clicked. I had been stressing for months about a project that I have been working for almost six months on for work. A project that I felt some animosity for as I felt as if everyone was ignoring me; that everyone wanted the fame and glory but that no one wanted to do the grunt work when it came to the project.
Then one day, out of left field, one of my best friends said she wanted in and gave me the resources so that I could figure out how to complete the project. I was ecstatic, rejoiced and pumped. I knew she was busy, hesitant about the idea, and so many other red flags but I pushed on. I did all the leg work. I did everything. I was the driving force and, man oh man, did I feel some sort of pride over this!
I would literally be boastful over the fact that I was doing it all. I was dragging other people along as if they were dead weight, when I realized that I was doing what Moses did. Moses lost faith that God would do his part and he took God’s responsibility and took glory in it. That’s exactly what I was doing!
I felt absolutely sick as I came to this realization. I had taken the responsibility from my friend. If they really wanted to be a part of what I was working on, if I wanted to be able to have faith in them, than I needed to allow them to take the responsibility of the project from the beginning. That then, and only then, would I know if this was the right project for them. I was doing no one a favor by “dragging dead weight” and forcing a friend to do something they maybe didn’t believe in nor had the time for.
Stepping back was a hard pill for me to swallow. We were so close to the launch deadline for this project and I felt as if I was back at ground zero. Now this was my turn to have faith in God, that he was going to help me. I considered going to Pastor Seth, to ask for help, his guidance, the set checklist of what I needed to do to conquer the world.
But Pastor Seth, in the way that Preacher’s do, answered this question before I could even start running with the idea. He told about how he had had a dark time, how he had turned to HIS pastor and his pastor told him, “I am not responsible for your fate. I will love you, I will walk with you and I will be by your side supporting you in this journey, but it’s not my duty to live your life.”
And just like that, in just the way that church does, I had the clarity on what I had to let go, what I had to have faith in, and that I do have a God that loves me and he loves my friends and he isn’t going to leave us alone. Because of this, I know that I am going to be okay, no matter what happens. As a sinner, I will naturally want to doubt and forget, but I know that I can read this excerpt and return back to fate.
As a part of responsibility, it’s MINE, ALL MINE. I need to take the responsibility for myself, for my thoughts and actions, and understand that even though I CAN take someone else’s responsibilities, it does not mean that it is for the best.