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Relationships are at our base the most necessary component of our lives.  They are part of our nurture process.  We grow upright & able with healthy physical attention.  When words of validation are spoken to us we drink them in for sustenance.   With genuine care we are led to see a world full of color & are able to experience what it has to offer with hopeful expectations of a significant life.

But alas most of us do not fully know of this life & what is possible.  We shy or even cringe from forming relationships.  The moments meant for nurture were strained.  Leaving our growth frayed & fragile at best.  We are bent by the yearning for someone to notice & tell us we are good & even to just give us a hug or a gentle hand put upon our shoulder.  We become often times mute or full of anger & unable to not only validate another but conceive we ourselves have reason to live.  Our words used to burn & leave scars.  Parched by our lack of attention by those closest to us.  The world is grey.  Our eyes at times stunned for a moment as we see a rainbow splayed before us.  They quickly shutter what we have just seen and we carry on.  Just as we did the moment before the brief revelation that the world does indeed have hope, we step back into the dark comfort of what has been known as safety.  The quiet, desolate, dying life of isolation.

Who  wounded you?

We live in a fallen world.  Most everyone will agree to at least acknowledge this & yet will avoid calling it a fact.   We continue to perpetuate this broken cycle.  We run from the admission we have been hurt.  We cover it up & convince ourselves no one can tell.  And at the very least it is none of their business.  We lick our wounds & hold fast to who we are as a result of our past relationships & we declare with all the bravado we can muster – this is who I have become – this is who I am.

Who are you?

This question & the answer have been made so complicated as we reach for our definition.  The measure of our existence as it pertains to the world is never satisfying.  We are like the starved person – never really knowing what it means to be full or satisfied.  We struggle against how we see ourselves in a world full of people each coping to just get through the day & maybe the next.  Some will say – well at least I am better than…, or my life is worse than….  The connection we so crave gets drowned out by the voices in us that compare instead.

Can you identify?

I learned something recently that I found may bring clarity to you too.  Often times in my life I have made very valiant attempts to reconcile my challenges in relationships.  I have made very concerted efforts to change myself or the other person.  In both cases I would come up short, frustrated & commit what I will now refer to as “Relationship Suicide”.  I do not use either term lightly.  Both incredibly huge words in my own life.  Having lived with 2 brothers who have completed suicide, I understand the gulf of loss & emotion that that experience entails.  In my search for resolution around that & my own introspection I have come to also see how we commit suicide, if you will, in our relationships.  Why?  Because we expect change & when we do not see it or experience it we are inundated with a gambit of emotions most of which boil down to a deep frustration that eats at our core & then this in turn impedes other relationships & ultimately our growth & ability to feel significant in this life.  We see no hope. So we end it.  Completely.

What is the alternative?

Ahhh…If you have stuck with me this long I hope you will find what is helpful to you too.  For me it is still a life in progress however it is a truth that is universally substantiated.  I have found that the truth is I am broken, I live in a fallen world, I am made for relationships of which I fail at everyday, I am not satisfied by what I have experienced in the world & there is no changing I can ever really do to make it be any different.  It is only by transformation that my life will take on a new wholeness.  My one relationship that I found to transcend all this hurt, pain, & confusion is one most firmly rooted with God, my Abba Father.  Not everyone is ready to receive this as their truth, I get that.  I wasn’t at one time & then one day I was & it was a life impacted type of experience.

I was a single mother, on drugs, thinking “I got this” – even though I knew deep down I was scared everyday.  I had a man come through my drive through window where I was working.  He ordered one large Coke.  When he pulled up to receive his drink he handed me a pocket cross & a piece of paper with a prayer on it.  He told me he saw that I was a bright light & God loved me so very very much.  No one had ever said that to me – at least not that I heard.  I remember soaking those words in… basking in the moment & then putting the cross & prayer in my pocket as I watched his old battered truck pull away.  For 3 days I would pull out the cross & prayer & put it in my pants for the next day.  Each day fingering the cross & thinking “he has no idea who I am & what I have been through”.  Something in me was ready to no longer reject that I was in fact loveable – scars & all, and finally let go.  Now how is it that a stranger would be the one person to say those words that would pierce my soul, I do not know,  only that God used him that day to speak the most healing truth I had ever heard.  At the end of that 3rd day I went home from work, knelt at my coffee table & read that prayer that was now on a tattered worn pierce of paper.

This is what I prayed:

“Oh God in Heaven, I believe with all of my heart that Jesus has been raised from the dead. I receive your Word, and I repent of sin. I renounce the past. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. I receive my forgiveness. I receive the new birth, cleansed and washed in the Word and in the precious blood of Jesus. Fill me with Your Spirit, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

There is no way for me to convince you that this will work for you but it most definitely radically transformed my life.  This was back in 1988 & I have not used any drugs since that date.  My life has not been any where near perfect – especially if I compare myself to others but the one truth that has stood the test of the last 25 yrs is that I know that I know that I know I am a life that has hope even when it’s darkest.  My brothers were both needing this hope.  In fact there is no doubt they were desperate for it.  I look at relationships that are dying within families & committing “relationship suicide” – their desperate hope fading or actually already faded.

If this prayer spoke to you today I am here to celebrate with you!!  If not I know that you will sooner than later if you feel the tug on your heart to let go & receive the hope that your life is most certainly valuable.

thetreeandtherainbowAs I said I am still a work in progress but I am wholly, uniquely, a child of a Father who continues to hold my hand, teach me about His unconditional love, shows me everyday that He will never leave me or forsake me & has filled the broken places in my life with His healing word of my significance.

May you be healed & know His peace & have hope today.