Over the course of our marriage, we have had some relationships that were consistently hard. Sometimes we were in the thick of them and sometimes we wanted to just close our eyes, turn our back and pretend they weren't there. One hurt after another piled up and at some point we just felt done.
Thankfully, God isn't that way with us. Recently. I had my own personal experience that stirred in my heart the need to not give up on others around me. I'm sure it's no coincidence that just a few weeks later an opportunity to restore some of those difficult relationships from our life presented itself. The parallel was obvious.
Last week in the midst of my thoughts I realized that I had been set free. I had spent an entire day back and forth on the phone with someone and never once felt an opposition to them. A miracle! We're dealing with a full plate of difficult things. We're at a place where we all need to be on the same team, supporting one another for the good of one, and of all. I'm bringing to the table grace, love, compassion and forgiveness instead of the heap of hurt and anger I had been carrying around. Only God could have made that change in me. I can already see how God has used that change to make this walk easier for everyone involved. We spent many years praying for a shift in hearts in these relationships. It would have seemed easier to throw in the towel and walk away, but in light of the hope we see glimmering in the distance, we're so glad we didn't.
The Christ in me is pouring out. At one point I didn't even recognize myself, because it wasn't me after all. The freedom of letting go of my load and just allowing him to dwell has been so marvelous. It has made all the difference. We don't know what these relationships will look like tomorrow. We're working on a day to day basis. We're prayerful, hopeful, thankful.
God is the God of restoration. Praise Jesus.
God is good, all the time!