Had a major breakthrough in a relationship the other day. Scratch that, it was a massive breakthrough... massive because the struggle had been ongoing for a long, long time. In all honesty, I had on more than one occasion concluded that the situation was hopeless and that it was pointless for the two sides to even try to get things right. It was not good, not good at all... and it was extremely painful for everyone involved.
But you know what? The worst is behind us. And as much as I believed that things would never change - in fairness, I am sure the other side felt the same way - I now believe that the best lies ahead. What a difference a week makes. What a difference an open, honest, honorable, two-way conversation makes.
Some thoughts about this breakthrough...
- more likely than not, if you are reading this, you currently have or at some point have had some sort of intense, ongoing relational struggle that is at times gut-wrenchingly difficult
- more likely than not, this struggle involves someone close to you, perhaps a relative, spouse, good friend, etc.; if it wasn't someone close, things probably would never have gotten so strained
- there is something about the raw expression of one's feelings that allows us to pass from stormy waters to the peaceful waters we all want in our relationships;
- speaking the truth in love does not equal a wishy-washy dance routine around the issues at hand; hey, there is an intensity to these situations because the relationships are meaningful, and there is an intensity to our emotions because the wounds are sometimes deep
- that said, let it out; speak honorably, but speak nonetheless; you'll never feel so miserable as when you skate right on by what needs to be addressed; and when issues aren't addressed there is zero hope for resolution
- forgiveness... I've heard it said that anyone who knows Jesus' forgiveness in their own life can't not forgive others and while I understand and believe that in my theological I also understand that it's nothing short of miraculous when forgiveness is extended from one to another because it is absolutely contrary to our nature to do so
- also on forgiveness... I am reminded of a quote from Khaled Hosseini's Kite Runner. I have to thank our friend Al for this one. He passed it along to me a couple years ago. The context in the book is when the main character looks at a picture of his father, and realized there is no longer a sting to it. He says, “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded, not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” Something rings right about that statement. All I know is a week ago I would have never anticipated the relational breakthrough that was about to take place. Perhaps all the pain packed it's bags and was graced away by the great Forgiver.
That's about all I've got... for now anyway. Besides, we have to go to a parent open house for Summer's pre-school. I can hardly believe that, but I'm definitely looking forward to it. Our little girl is growing up too fast.