Family dynamics - they can be a joy or one of the most triggering and traumatising relationships in our lives. God's best for us is to enjoy wholesome, loving, restored relationship with our close and extended family. For some of us, relationships are so damaged beyond repair that for our own wellbeing and safety we cannot return to them but must focus on our own healing and restoration.
This article is prompted by a correction from the Lord with one of my family members. We have been working on our relationship for quite some time because we both want to enjoy each other when we're together. Part of this has required honesty from both of us, sharing the things that we have not understood and the things that have hurt us. A little while ago when I was doing nothing of importance, the Holy Spirit cut right across my thoughts and gave me an insight that led to me being able to genuinely apologise with no strings attached or expectations on my part. He said to me, 'you reacted the way you did because you were embarrassed, but you also took away that person's choices and placed yours upon them'. I am hoping that apology has bought some closure for them. How different their life might have been if I hadn't done that. The Lord in His mercy has still bought blessing out of it all.
So the point of my sharing this is this. Restoration of family relationship can be hard work. It takes time, prayer, vulnerability, forgiveness and humility. It also takes a willingness to be shown the truth of a matter. It had never entered my head that I had taken their choice away from them. I was doing what I thought was right at the time. GOD GAVE ME HIS PERSPECTIVE that carried no blame or condemnation, just an opportunity to ask for forgiveness and facilitate healing for the other person.
We have all seen those movies where family members haven't spoken to each other for years. Each declaring they are not going to be the one to reach out first. Unwilling to forgive, unwilling to accept they may have been in the wrong. It is time to reach out, to bring healing to our families. It doesn't start with them. It starts with US!
I remember many years ago the Lord prompting me to write a letter to my parents asking their forgiveness for all the pain and worry I put them through when I was younger. I had many justifiable reasons why I needn't have done that. My parents really appreciated it but I didn't get the big reaction I was expecting. You see, it wasn't so much for their benefit, as it was for mine and for my own healing and growth. It needed to happen to remove a stumbling block in me. Perhaps there is a small note you can send, a quick text asking for a get together, or a phone call. The Lord will show you what to do. It's time to eat humble pie!
Restoration begins with us, partnering with the Lord, seeking His insight and truth into our relationship breakdown, seeking our own healing in the first instance. Letting go, because ultimately people come first and maybe it wasn't such a big deal after all.