Disclaimer: This blog post is not about relationships that are abusive in any way. Physical, sexual and mental abuse are serious and one should seek professional help. Please call 911 and find professional help, if you are in a situation like this.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other, so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16
We have all been hurt. Sometimes, the hurt is minor. Other times the hurt is so deep it is anchored into our soul. Months, even years can go by and the hurt is still there when you see that person. This is difficult for me because I feel everything. When someone is dealing with a hurt, I begin to feel it. If there is tension between people, I feel it. It could be a complete stranger, yet the feeling is so strong, it was as if I was experiencing it myself.
There have been a few examples that I have seen recently, of just how life and strained relationships mess with us. I saw a neighbor walking her dog, she waved and smile as she always does as we passed each other. I stopped to let my dog sniff and inspect this one area and noticed she was passing her husband as he was leaving in his car to go to work. He looked at her but she completely ignored him and walked towards their house. He had this hurt look on his face and drove away. You could tell that something was stirring. Another resident in the neighborhood, drives super fast down the street to her home. She couldn’t care less if you are walking by. She chain smokes and her high school aged son smokes other substances with his friends at all hours of the night. She sits in her garage yelling on her cell phone and let’s everyone know by her conversations, she isn’t to be messed with. Her ex-husband picks up their son on his days. But instead of coming to the door to pick him up, he honks the horn (sometimes at 6:00 a.m.) to avoid getting out of the car and facing her. (By the way, I am not standing there watching her. I have to walk past her place to get to my house and this occurs daily!) The last example was the most scary. We were on our way to church and my husband, all of a sudden, made this u-turn in the middle of the street. He saw this man and woman fighting right on the sidewalk. My husband has no fear, stops the car and just walks over to try to defuse the situation. As I call 911 and give a description of what is going on, I can see both the woman and man crying. The pain on their face was heart breaking. They leave and my husband comes back into the car and tells me that the woman was trying to commit suicide. The man was her fiancé and he was trying to stop her. He had tried to commit suicide only a few weeks before and now she was threatening to do the same.
That last experience produced in me a full-blown anxiety attack. I hate conflict like that. It hurts to see people in so much pain. Someone either caused us pain or we caused it. No one wants to be honest. Maybe there was an attempt for reconciliation, but someone wasn’t ready or they are gone. Pride interferes with reconciliation. Admitting fault and truly apologizing can begin true healing. Sometimes, I cannot even remember what the fight was about. But the longer the fight goes unresolved, it begins to fester and rot the relationship. Most times, we just want to be heard but instead we just hurt. Shaming and threatening someone into changing their ways does not work. Patience and compromise may have to come into play. Some relationships are just done and that is okay, but most can be saved. It may be painful and take time to work through, but God is there for us. His Holy Spirit can guide us. Jesus can take the hurt and restore it with love and grace. I have to make a choice to seek Him. It maybe easier to quit and be done with the relationship, but many times those same issues come up in the next one. Take inventory of your heart. We are all worth it.
Lesson Learned: Admitting fault can be the beginning of the healing and restoration in the relationship.
“Dear Heavenly Father, one reason for dying on the cross was for our wounds to be healed. Heal the hearts of those hurt by broken relationships. If there is room for restoration, change our hearts and find the source of the problem. If it truly is over, please replace those wounds with your love and grace. Change my ways Lord, if I harbor resentment and bitterness. Help me to forgive those who have wronged me and see them as you would. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN!”