God does not want us to be alone. When He created the woman for the man, He declared, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him."
God even presses the fact that the union of a man and woman in marriage was intended as a reflection of the mysterious union between Christ and His church (Ephesians 5:32). Our need for relationship is a reflection of His character, design and desires.
When we try to change on our own, we are actually battling against the way God wired us. I have found that the most significant changes I have experienced have not been the result of actions in isolation. I had help. I had someone encouraging me, guiding me, correcting me and helping me.
Convinced yet? Actually, you may have been convinced long before the previous four paragraphs. You're good with the concept of together, it's the how where you struggle. I get that.
Actually, it's not as hard as we make it. Too often we are stuck in our own head junk. I've been around long enough to see a pattern in life--the people who get what I want have one thing I lack--the audacity to ask! They ask. I wait. I hope. I desire. They ask.
Ask for help. Just this morning I received a blog post on finding a mentor. You can read it here. His fourth suggestion is great: Follow up with a request to meet again, one-on-one.
Wishes will get you nowhere. Ask. Ask to meet and talk. And when you do, get to it. Don't diddle around and wait for them to read your mind. Jump in. Have questions prepared and ready to go. It may be the only time you will meet, so get all that you can out of the conversation. Oh, and please...don't be late! You're not doing the other person a favor by asking for their time. Show up ten minutes early. Be waiting for them. Lateness sends many messages, and not one of them is positive.
Coaching has grown in popularity in recent years. Generally, people hire a coach to grow in a specific area or skill. Many professionals hire coaches to get to a next level. Coaching of this sort usually involves a fee. The Chicago area has many coaching opportunities. Know this...there are lots of people who are glad to call themselves coaches who don't have a clue but are still willing to take your money. Do your homework. Talk to people who have been coached by the person. Personal recommendations are vital. I like this organization. They do counseling as well, which may be another way of getting a stuck area moving.
One more thing. Join a group. Journey Groups are a great place to grow. However, showing up is not enough. You have to invest. Put yourself out there. Initiate a conversation. Ask questions. Speak up at least once every meeting. Don't be the last to come and first to leave.
For many of us, the formation state of a relationship is intimidating. Here's the good news...it's not always easy for the other person either! They are at a group because they want to break out of the cycle of aloneness as well.
Never run alone. If you find a partner or a group, you'll run father, faster, longer and will see life-long changes.