Friday, January 27, 2012


Just when I was beginning to struggle again with a difficult relationship in my life--
I find this hidden on my Facebook from Proverbs 31 Ministries ... specific to "Difficult Relationships".
Go now and read it then come back here to talk... 'kay? Good.
God is so timely. He knew I needed a smack upside the head... with his gentle hand as a reminder!
And I find it quite interesting that there are cards out there for this... I wonder- are these cards to be sent to the person you have the difficult relationship with or to encourage a person you know who is dealing with a difficult relationship.
I'm thinking it's the latter.
The few times I have tried to send a card, email or letter to someone I have a difficult relationship with it has backfired on me. Badly.
We all need encouragement in dealing with the difficult relationships in our lives.
We need reminders that God is the God of all our relationships even the lousy ones. There is nothing outside of His power or His influence.
I've always thought I was suppose to do everything I could to fix any difficulty in any relationship. Looking back I see where that reasoning has failed time and time again. Me thinking I should always try and fix things, not once thinking to pray and seek if this was what God wanted. There was one particular friendship in my teen years that I could never "fix" and it cut me deeply. The more I tried to fix it the more I was required to not be me. Um, to my adult way of thinking-- that's not right.
My first lesson- some relationships are not meant to continue.
I've never really thought I was in any harmful relationships, I didn't hang out with "bad" kids... but now I see that I've had my share of toxic relationships that were unhealthy, unproductive and downright bad for me.
Lately I've come to a different way of thinking about a couple of particular difficult relationships I've been dealing with.
I'm stopping the worrying, the fixing, the agonizing, the analyzing (of each conversation).
And I'm gonna simply Let.It. Be.
I love how she words it in the post:
A difficult relationship does not define me. His love defines me.
A difficult relationship will refine me. His truth refines me.

I won't pretend for a moment to write from a place of victory here, if victory in a difficult relationship is defined as settled, restored, united in truth and love. That may not happen this side of heaven, though my heart desires peace and has pursued it diligently.

I agree, I won't pretend it's gonna be fixed or great or even good this side of heaven. I am learning to be content in the midst of that. I can pursue peace in these hard relationships but I must surrender my desire for it to be settled my way, in my timing and let God do what He does best... Be God.
Some days are harder than others... there are days when the difficulties smack me in the face again, days when I analyze a conversation and realize that I was slammed, days when I converse with the person on pins and needles with worry and concern tightening inside me as I work to weigh my words and struggle to not offend... all the while knowing and weighing that some of my very core family beliefs and life choices offend this person.
There are days when I continually surrender these difficult relationships and then there are days when I don't think about them at all.

My decision is to choose to see these particularly difficult relationships as tools for God to grow and stretch me.  I have concluded that I will never fit into the mold these others have tried to shape and build to define me and my interaction with them. So I must stop striving to do so. Its a set up for failure.
I've stopped praying for God to help me to behave when I interact with these people. Behave? What was I thinking?! Instead I pray for His mercy and grace to so pour over me that it flows out of me. I pray for His eyes and His compassion. I pray to be the me He wants me to be.
See? That's growth right there!


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