As a confirmed people-pleaser it’s not a fun realization, but there’s a certain freedom in being fully aware of the situation.
There’s a back and forth—there is a role that we play in our relational life with God. That role is, as Paul puts it, that we are to offer ourselves as a living sacrifice.
Now, how do you do that? I’d say primarily—not exclusively, but primarily—through the classical disciplines of the spiritual life. That’s how we offer the mind, the heart, the spirit, the body before God. Then, at that point, the disciplines have come to the end of their tether. There is no righteousness in them at all—none. They just allow us to place ourselves before God. The grace of God steps into that and begins to do work we can hardly imagine.
The point of this is that I cannot change my own heart. I cannot change anybody else’s heart. That isn’t my business—that’s God’s business.
I can’t explain the assurance I received from that God had not abandoned me, that he was with me, and was watching over me.
From The Book of Common Prayer:
Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
In the Church, especially, Love can carry us through the humiliation, through the pain, through the discomfort of opening addressing what we’d rather not talk about.