Thursday, November 18, 2010

Disappointment With Life, part five: Broken Relationships

Just look at that. Isn't this the picture of childhood innocence? That's me with my satchel headed off for the first day of Kindergarten. I have a satchel and not a backpack because backpacks weren't invented yet. I liked that little green satchel. It made me feel grown up and professional in a way that only a satchel can. Thanks for the satchel, Mom.

I didn't know it yet, but I had a bright little school future ahead of me. Yes, I was that girl. The one with straight A's who respected her authorities and never got into fights or trouble of any kind. You see, I was born with that people-pleasing gene. I wanted to please my parents, my teachers, my friends...everybody! 

This worked pretty well for me in school, but real life taught me that no matter how hard I try, I can't control other people. I can only control myself, and sometimes that doesn't work out too well, either. 
Have I ever mentioned how much I loathe conflict with others? It makes me feel sick. All my bodily functions go haywire and I freeze up, unable to do anything until the situation is resolved. I've had two relationships in my life that have been broken. A hurt led to conflict, which led to complete breakdown of the relationships. Neither one was quickly mended, so I was forced to get on with my bodily functions and regular life. 
But inside, the wounds festered. I chose to dwell on how I had been wronged and conveniently skipped over the parts where I had done the hurting. I harbored unforgiveness in my heart. It makes me cry to confess that. Sometimes forgiveness can come easily, but other times it seems almost impossible. In fact, I truly believed that one of the relationships would always be broken. I couldn't imagine anything different.

I love that what God imagines for us is so much better than what we imagine for ourselves. Although it took years, both relationships have been healed! This is for me another testimony of the power of His love and forgiveness. I will be sharing more of what I've learned about forgiveness when I write about overcoming. 

But for now, if you have a broken relationship on your hands, take heart! God is a restorer of things. The Bible is full of references to God's ability and desire to restore things to His people that have been lost or destroyed. I know Amos is perhaps a weird book of the Bible to find comfort in, but check out this verse: "In that day I will restore David's fallen tent. I will repair its broken places, restore its ruins, and build it as it used to be..." (Amos 9:11) 

In this chapter, God is talking about bringing the Israelites back out of exile. I think David's fallen tent is symbolic of the nation of Israel and how they were ruined and scattered because of their disobedience. For me, this is just a great reminder of what kind of God we serve. If He is able to restore a nation, He can restore a broken relationship.

Thank you, Lord. My tent was fallen, but You repaired its broken places. You restored the ruins that I helped to create and You have built back up what I thought was lost forever.


  1. This was good. And that first picture...Sara looks just like you as a little girl. So cute!

  2. "backpacks weren't invented yet..." funny!

  3. Hot dang! that picture does look like Sara! AND your description of yourself sounds like Sara: Sara, who compliments me 10 times on the dinner I cook and thanks me 12 times for making it for her. Sara who tells me anything wrong she might have done and asks permission before doing anything that might be questionable.


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