Breaking Off The Orphan Mindset

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Since the age of 5 I was often home alone, I learned to kill bees on my own as a kid. I felt alone many times as my mom was often at work and I did not grow up with my dad. But in the many years of learning to be independent I learned to rely on God. I felt that I needed to be financially independent as I didn’t want to be a burden on my single mother.

However, I was living out of an orphan mindset. 

I was trusting God for provision however I was limiting Him by not knowing how to ask for help or believing that I was worthy of it.

There were many times on this trip I had to verbally ask for help. For example, asking to carpool or for a ride from a stranger because I had no sim card or way of getting home. So many times our phones actually become our emotional crutch but on this trip I’ve learned to open my heart. 

Recently I watched a movie called “More Than Blue”, it’s a Taiwanese movie about 2 orphans. One whose parents and family died in a car crash, and another whose mom abandoned him. What happens when 2 orphans come together? Codependency.

Here are symptoms of an orphan mindset:

  1. You feel like you have to rely on yourself (and God) and no one else.
  2. You feel like people cannot be trusted.
  3. You feel like love must be earned, and that people will only love you if you are good to them. This results in you putting on a mask or pretending to be happy all the time.
  4. You suppress and stuff your emotions or how you really feel because you’re scared of rejection and that others will stop liking or loving you because of you telling your truth.
  5. You’re ashamed of asking for help, you don’t believe you are worthy of it.
  6. You believe it’s easier to be alone and as a result you don’t know how to share you heart with people.
  7. You carry severe woundedness and feelings of rejection because of past experiences.
  8. You handle pain on your own, you feel that vulnerability is a sign of weakness.

ONE HUGE SIGN of an orphan mindset is that you CONDITION your behavior around those you are around (your behavior depends on who is around you at any given moment). God wants us to come into an alignment in our being to feel the freedom to be who we are without changing no matter who is around us. Most of us don’t feel safe to be who we really are because most people are not safe to be around (to be honest).

What happens when we find stability in our identity in Christ? And we find people who we can be honest with? Powerful authenticity.

There has been a number of movies recently about orphans, Instant Family for example.

Not to ruin the movie or anything (don’t read it if you’re going to watch it)- but they don’t tell each other how they really feel until the man is about to die. And then they lie and coerce each other to do what they want thinking it’s what will make them happy. For example, the guy says “you should get married to someone nice” when in truth he actually loves her…however because he is about to die he fears that she cannot handle the loneliness. He also does not tell her that he is sick.

In truth, she knows he is sick and is handling the pain on her own (orphan mindset). In the end, she married a guy just to make the man he loves happy, then leaves her husband to be by her lover’s side because she didn’t follow her heart to begin with.

Anyways even though I cried my eyes out, I thought to myself “this is really F#$% up”…how dare she use an innocent guy just to fulfill her lover’s wish.

So then, he dies and then she swallows some pills and kills herself.

While I was crying a bunch, God’s like “that’s not love”. I’m like okay I know, but the world seems to romanticize it. It seems romantic to die by your lover’s side.

In truth, the whole relationship started out with an orphan mindset. They felt abandoned and alone and instead of healing together, they basically became an orphan couple.

The girl could have lived a happy life without him if she had Jesus.

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A child of God Mindset: 

  1. Knows that in your weakness, God is strong. It’s powerful to be vulnerable and say how you really feel. You know that the ones who love you will still love you no matter what you say. 
  2. The Lord is your shepherd, you lack nothing. You are enough in Christ Jesus, you are not lacking. Your worth doesn’t come from what you do for others but who you are in Christ.
  3. You have a healthy understanding of building trust, that it takes time, but that your trust is not in people but in God. You understand that people are imperfect and people make mistakes and you understand that forgiveness is important to go on.
  4. You can ask for what you need or want without feeling guilt about it because you know you are worthy in Christ Jesus.
  5. You know that love is honest, not fake and you’re willing to be honest and show your true self. You understand that you heart is also not to be shared with just anyone. You understand your worth.
  6. You can share your pain with others who can be trusted. You know that it’s okay to share your vulnerabilities because it is the beginning of relationship.
  7. Your stability is in your identity of being a child of God, not in what you do or achieve, but in the unconditional love of Jesus.

It took me a long time to put my guard down and trust people, to learn to ask for help. The first time I asked my mom for help I was sobbing because I felt so ashamed. All my life, I was independent and could do everything on my own but it was the beginning of learning to be a child of God.

You don’t receive what you don’t believe you deserve. You receive in life what you believe you deserve. 

So when you live out of an orphan mindset, you don’t believe God can freely give you anything so you work for it, you strive for it, you perform for it.

But when you realize you are a child of God, you learn to rest and receive it knowing Jesus paid the price for it. 

Example-

The prodigal son did not work for His Father’s love and acceptance, in fact he actually wasted his inheritance but received Grace from His Father, it was undeserved. This is grace, undeserved, unearned.

The elder son on the other hand worked for His Father out of obligation and felt bitter when the Father provided the best for His undeserving son. This is living under the law, working for God’s love.

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No One Can Be Your Everything

Islandof Zen (1)

It sounds unromantic, but it’s realistic. 

Your girlfriend or boyfriend can’t be your everything. Your wife and husband can’t be your everything. Your friends or family can’t be your everything.

Because everything is perfect and no one is perfect. Imperfect people will soon disappoint you if you placed your hopes and dreams on just one person. 

Yesterday I went to a forgiveness class and there was a questionnaire that asked something along the lines of :

“I am angry at_______because of___________” From 1-5 level forgiveness level.

I put down family members and noticed a theme.

Everything stemmed from my absent father. He was physically and emotionally absent for 10 years and even before then my parents were already separated. So I lacked the emotional support of a father and my mother was also very emotionally absent from me. 

So I started looking for that emotional support somewhere else, friends. 

But when they said the wrong thing, set their own boundaries, I couldn’t take it. I lashed out, I disappeared just as my father disappeared from my life. That was the only way I knew how to protect myself. 

I let other people step on me or was NICE to people to get what I wanted- their approval. 

Then God took me into a journey of solitude and seeing myself right.

I needed to make God my sole emotional support and to be my own biggest cheerleader.

I’m not SAYING we don’t need people, because people help us, support us…in the right ways…..

BUT when we are looking for approval from people—-they will surely anger and disappoint you. Approval doesn’t come from people. God has already approved of you. He says “you are enough, you are worthy of love”.

Everyone has bad days. If we look for approval and put unjust burden on them to take care of us when they are incapable of even taking care of themselves—-we become codependent. 

Codependency.

This happens when we make people God. People are not God. People are imperfect.

See yourself right. You’re not perfect. You will disappoint others. You were not put on this earth to please people nor become a God for them. In fact you HURT them by taking their own emotional responsibilities. 

  1. Awareness
  2. Releasing the Past

So last night I had to come to terms with my past. Yes I reconciled with my dad, yes I forgave him and myself…but did that mean everything changed? No. He was still physically and emotionally absent from my life. Things didn’t change. I didn’t magically become close with him nor did I magically have a happy childhood filled with moments where I shared my heart with my dad. 

A moment of grief.

A moment of acceptance.

I said “I accept that this is the reality and I’m accepting it because you God are my everything and I want to share my heart with you”.

Now I can truly let go. I can’t change the past nor can I really change this relationship by myself and it’s okay. It’s okay because God’s got me.

Now I need to be the biggest cheerleader for myself….and it’s taken me years to realize that. As I backpacked through the caves of Malaysia and traversed the jungles of Ecuador, climbing mountains in Taiwan I would hear God whispering to me. I was scared at times, lying awake with no one to talk to with deathly food poisoning, thousands of miles away from home. Yes, I didn’t have much of an emotional support, but there I was – “am I enough for you?” I heard my own soul ask. 

You are enough, you are enough. It’s okay.

There was this theme in my questionnaire- “people didn’t support me in my dreams”.

And I remember all the people who felt utterly alone in their dreams – Abraham, Joseph, etc…and all the tech companies that no one believed in in the beginning. LOL.

Do YOU believe in your dreams? 

Allow others to be themselves. You don’t need everyone to believe in your dreams for you to pursue them. Think of it as a secret in your heart, a baby you are feeding. It is exciting and you may want to share it with the world but sometimes the world is not ready for such a magical thing.

Sometimes you might meet a few rare gems who will stand beside you. Don’t make them your everything. Everyone has their own journey to walk and sometimes it’s through a dark and cold alley. God will walk with you through those alleys. He will never leave you.