Painful Relationships

I grew up in a time where we had very limited TV programing. We had 4 channels, ABC, NBC, CBS and PBS. Each were off the air around midnight and on at 6am. Signing off and on with the national anthem. One station in particular, during the 10pm news would ask “Parents, where are your children?” Now a days, it could be, “Children, where are your parents?”

Anyway, much of the programming was family oriented, where families were loyal, supportive and usually in agreement. Helping each other without grumbling.
I see many friends with their near perfect families, hanging out together, communicating well, always respecting each other.

As I have grown older, my children have also grown now with families of their own, and my parents are aging and need more help. Over the last many years my husband and I would spend a good amount of time making sure things were getting done.

Come to find out I am not an only child, but was acting like it. I felt things were not happening so I did them. When I started making some bigger decisions or encouraging bigger decisions I needed to include the other members of my family. Just because they were silent did not mean they did not have input. Unfortunately I brought a large old wound to the surface that I did not realize existed in my family member.

Wow….They were very angry and as a result I felt excruciating pain that created knots in my heart and stomach.

It took a bit for me to be still and listen to my Father God. He let me know He loves me, that I am special and He has me. He reminded me that things happen to people, even those we love, that effect the way they think and act. Things I had no idea about. Things that may not have been shared, until now. I have to realize that when others lash out at me, it may not have anything to do with me, I may be just a convenient target but that does not mean that I should be a punching bag. Even though I may never know the root of their pain, I am to love them, apologize for my part, set boundaries and may need to keep my distance, out of target range, until things cool off. I need to  work through and release the hurt I have felt in the process. All meanwhile, because life goes on, do the things that I need to do.

A precious friend shared with me that all families have some level of dysfunction. Even those who seem to have it all together. It is all in how to get past the situation.

Our current circumstances are just that. They are temporary, and may not be what they seem. Here are a few great passages to refer to when things go sideways.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:7, how he and his lived by faith not by sight.  This was not just when they felt like they needed it, but as a way of life.

We are also told not to lean unto our own worldly understanding. Read Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Thirdly “we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world.” (Ephesians 6:12 NLT) We are not fighting our friend or family member but against the evil that is using them, their hurts and or fears or even our own hurts and fears.

I cannot change anyone but myself. So to change the pain I feel I must change how I think. What God says of us is more important than what anyone else thinks or says. I have been the queen of “people pleasing” and when someone was angry with me or did not like me, I was crushed. I have found that to please everyone all the time is an unrealistic expectation of myself or others that will only lead to disappointment and pain.

Most importantly I need to be focused on pleasing God. Be ready, this may not be popular with some people.

Now I look at those family programs I watched as a kid compared to the reality shows we see on TV now-a-days. They tended not show the reality of family dynamics in an attempt to let people feel good, maybe as much as the reality shows now over-exaggerate relationship dynamics for a whole other feeling of anger, aggression, lust and judgement, whatever sells.

When we hurt or have anxiety about a situation, we are to first seek God as our provider and our fortress and give our worries and fears to Him. Also remember we have the Authority, through Christ Jesus, to give notice to satan and his minions, he cannot have our family or friend and to leave them alone in Jesus name. AMEN!

A fitting Prayer could be…. With a little twist….

Grant me the peace to accept the things I cannot change
Patience for the things that need time
To take action to change the things I can
And the wisdom to know the difference.