Unashamedly, I admit the prioritizing of my schedule mirrored the days of corporate America more than the Kingdom of God! Much like Dorcas, I prioritized many things, however, they weren't always prioritized according to God's timing. In the escaping of me, I've learned right priorities begin with and grow out of not ignoring the influences of God (Proverbs 3:5-6). Too often we prioritize out of need and/or the desire of our hearts. If we would turn to God first and run our thoughts by Him, he promises they shall be established according to (Proverbs 16:3).
THE MINISTRY OF SELF
So "Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, “Tabitha, arise.” And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. Then he gave her his hand and lifted her up; and when he had called the saints and widows, he presented her alive (Acts 9:40-41). You see bringing Dorcas back from the dead was not done for Dorcas’ sake—Peter knew she was in paradise, with Jesus, and that her life after death was preferable to her life on earth (Luke 23:43). I believe Peter’s motive, in part, for raising Dorcas to life may have been for the sake of the widows and others in Joppa who needed the help Dorcas could provide. Like Dorcas' life, your life matters to more people than you can imagine. As women, we are influential incubators and are a necessary part of replenishing the earth. A functioning cistern (our life-changing hugs, giddy encouraging words, inspirational dialogue, etc.) not only affect our immediate sphere of influence but those within shot-ear of our presence. In other words, the proper escaping of me has the systemic ability to propel others into a more fortified area of expressiveness regarding their uniqueness in the world (Psalms 139:14).
RELATIONSHIPS and COMMITMENTS
I liken the escaping of me unto a quote by celebrity reality television host and author Iyanla Vanzant which says, "Comparison is an act of violence against the self." I believe in order to properly audit the effectiveness of escaping to me, there should be a willingness to evaluate one's relationships and social commitments with others. And if the consensus is the viability is deformed or non-existent the audit will introduce periods of rejection which are simply divine redirections. You see, if we as women are unable to drink from the wells of our own lives, how are we expected to nurture healthy boundaries within our circles of influence.
Sometimes, it takes the genuineness of transparency through an authentic friendship - one who doesn't want anything from you but everything for you! I recently evaluated the withdrawals and deposits being made in my life and found there were several erroneous withdrawals, but only a few authentic deposits. In actuality, we do a disservice to ourselves if we don't believe that when we embrace the lie we're actually empowering its untruth in our lives. A healthy sphere of influence should encompass relationships and commitments that complete you, not compete with you.
Like Dorcas, who wouldn't like being portrayed as a fine example of how we're to meet the needs of those around us - socially, emotionally, mentally, financially and spiritually, however at what cost? International speaker and renowned author Lisa Bevere stated that "the price of acceptance is too high, if it costs who you are." Yes, Dorcas was deeply loved by the people; even unto death. However, did no one in her sphere of influence notice the onset of her health deteriorating? Or perhaps like many of us, the truth blindsided her that "some people aren't loyal to you but are simply loyal to their need for you"!
It's one thing to embrace the escaping of me in God's presence, however, the preciousness of sharing the journey with other women is indescribable. International speaker and renowned author Pastor Sarah Jakes Roberts once said: "you need to have gatherers in your life." People who are unwilling to stand by and watch you deteriorate on their watch. In other words, re-evaluate the person(s) in perpetual need of you more than God then surround yourself with those who fervently seek the heart of God on your behalf!
Perhaps you've been disillusioned and want a new, fresh and different approach to soul pampering. Although Dorcas died and was raised from the dead for God's glory, he desires that we "prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers." In other words, choose to embrace the uniqueness of your complexities and master the artistry of setting boundaries while enjoying the escaping of you!