Growing in Relationship . . .

Have you ever noticed that life changes also  change the folks who experience them

Have you experienced a life change that has opened you up to more compassionate, understanding insights? That’s a God thing. God always  intervenes to bring good fruit from life’s meaner circumstances–if we let Him!

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. He decided from the outset to shape the lives of those who love him along the same lines as the life of his Son. The Son stands first in the line of humanity he restored. We see the original and intended shape of our lives there in him. (Romans 8:26-30)

None of us know at the onset of our lives what God’s idea of relationship looks like. Our initial relationships are shaped by our parents’ attitudes, our family’s ethnic and social values, our culture, and our personalities. That is how our relationships get contaminated by racial and ethnic prejudices, moral and ethical shortcomings, and sin.

Relationships weren’t encouraged in my young years. My mother had issues with suspicion, jealousy, and resentment, so she enforced a clear distance between our immediate family and any of our relatives, friends, neighbors, and school mates. My father reinforced the same attitudes with boyfriends or extracurricular activities. All of us kids suffered from the lack of social interactions with our peers, but the younger ones grew more creative and defiant about having a life outside the family.

As the oldest, I was restricted with clear boundaries–homework, housecleaning, taking care of the kids, laundry, and cooking. When I did get out, it was for school, church, choir, and glee club. Everything else was verboten.

But again, whatever circumstance human weakness imposes, God Himself re-focuses,  to bless and prosper our lives. We just need to cooperate with His plans, and accept the gift of His help!  In my case, the enforced isolation drove my creative impulse to express itself  in art, music, poetry, writing, and crafts. When I could not socialize, I learned to write, paint, and sing.

Now, at the back end of another traumatic life change, I am noticing a  few changes in the ways I relate to my world. I’m gentler, softer, more laid back.  In rehab, I figured it was the Vicodin. But after I came home, and left the pain meds behind, the changes persisted. This is a welcome healing that jettisons  a lifetime of generational and family baggage.

Father, you who makes all things new, who rescues even our worst failures when we trust you, who heals all our wounds, who redeemed us and waits for each of us to choose healing, I accept this healing. Thank You!


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