My dad and his brother aren’t talking.
My sister hasn’t talked to my other sister for years.
I wish my mom and dad would just get along. They don’t have to be married anymore. I just want them to be nice.
These are just a few of the prayer requests or comments heard over the past few years. If stacked, they would reach high to the ceiling.
Unfortunately, they reach further than that.
Tangled with each of these hopes are people. Not just those in the impasse, but those who are hit by the shrapnel from such long-lasting feuds.
Are you a believer who is holding unresolved anger?
This week Deanna Allen shared her story. As a child she and her brother were caught in the middle of their parents’ fighting, but even as adults, long after a divorce, this man and women’s hatred for each other affected their grown children.
And thus their grandchildren.
How far reaching was this anger? How many hearts did it impact?
How tightly did they hold on to the hatred, anger, resentment, when God was asking for open hands?
Let me have it.
I have more for you.
Don’t you see the plans the enemy has for you?
Making peace with your past doesn’t mean that you allow evil to flourish, or that you place yourself or your child or family in harm’s way.
But for 99% of us, this isn’t our situation. We’ve held on to old hurts or grudges, fostered and nurtured them, reminded ourselves of what they did, failing to see our part, or drawing a line of no return no matter what they say, if they change, or what God is speaking into our hearts.
Making peace with another, especially if you feel or know that they were in the wrong at the time, isn’t easy. It’s humbling.
But it’s also freeing.
In Deanna’s case, it rippled from a bedside to a daughter’s heart. She saw a miracle take place that she didn’t think ever would.
Matthew 5:23-25 says, “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you,leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
Oh, Suzie, don’t make me do it.
I won’t. It’s not my call. It’s between you and the Savior who loves you like crazy. Who wants so much more for you than old arguments and bitter thoughts that keep you from all that He has for those who hear His voice and respond with, “Yes, Lord.”
Maybe it’s a neighbor. Maybe it’s your sibling. Maybe it’s your ex.
But what if they don’t respond. What if it blows up in my face?
We don’t make peace with our past for results. Otherwise we would have done that long ago. We do it because our Heavenly Father calls us to live unburdened, and sometimes the cross is costly.
And that’s the gift.
We hold up open hands to our Savior. Not letting anything get in the way of following Him wherever He desires to lead.
Once again, at this very sensitive transition time in my life, your words have hit home for me. I am going to leave my abusive husband. I am meeting with my lawyer on Monday and will confront my husband with my decision, after that meeting. Reading this, I am reminded that the way I approach telling my husband is in my hands. I can meet with him with forgiveness in my heart, and be humbled by God’s power. I can accept my part in this. I can make peace with what has happened and move on. Maybe my husband will help himself if I help myself first. Thank you.
Need this now. struggling with my closest friend. Getting read for a beach trip together. I have a lot of hurt stored up and she is just realizing my anger! I stuff everything and she lets it all fly loose the moment it comes into her head! Tired of the hurtful things she has said and done and tired of the disrespect!! I am a stuffer, yet when I do open up I cry and am way too emotional! Praying for the Holy Spirit to guide what I say, that my words will be heard, and that my words are not accusatory. Don’t want to be an angry, bitter person!
I hear what you are saying Teri. Maybe instead of a beach trip together you would better serve yourself to go alone. I am also a stuffer and react the same way as you but I do think that if she is so hurtful that maybe a vacation alone with the Bible and perhaps the Unburdened Heart or another of the books under Proverbs 31 would be a gift to yourself.
I will pray for you and for all of us stuffers.
This is so spot on for me, and my husband. I was thinking last night if I should intervene between my husband and his sister and tell her something she said 3 years ago that really upset my husband. He won’t tell her so she probably doesn’t know at all. His family is kind of clueless and they say things that just punch you in the gut-all the remaining siblings-the parents have long since passed away. It’s weird to explain but not sure – sister is in her 60’s and my husband is in his 40’s -big age difference with all the kids and none of them are speaking to each other since the parents died. It was his sister’s birthday yesterday. I didn’t intervene-scared to, don’t know what to do so praying for God’s guidance. How do we all look from God’s perspective? How sad to see his children angry with one another. My Mom died and we never made up but I was there. She was mentally ill and couldn’t see life normally. I’ve inherited some of the illness and it is now hard for me to see life normally. I just tell my friends who aren’t speaking to their parents for whatever reason to remember that death is final. When a parent dies, it is done with here on earth. And I tell them how I died a thousand deaths when she died because of all the unresolved issues. Prayers for all out there with relationship problems.
Thank you so much for sharing such words of wisdom! Peace with our past does cost us at times. Saying Yes to God means letting go of things, words, people and old baggage in order to move forward! This girl says YES, YES and YES at whatever humbling it might bring!!!
this is what happened to me a couple of weeks ago. At a gathering for my sister and husband married 60 yrs my sister in law chose to be rude, my brother said nothing. I finally walked over and gave him a hug, and said I thought of him often as we pass through his community in the semi. I mentioned how he worked for a company that helped build the big roads and that I thought of that as we traveled them. The response was like a slap in the face and it hurt. It is taking a while to remember I did this not for him, not for anyone but God. I tried to reach out in love as God commands. Thanks for that reminder in this blog. I pray I can let go of other anger hurt that still causes me pain and also family members.
I agree – we need to forgive to truly live. Making peace with our past enables us to lay hold of God’s future.
O.K. ladies. I am a guy that has had experiences such as you. You may think that males are different, but it is the same – only reactions are expressed differently; hurts, seeing a father in his abuse of my mother, friends that are to sharp with their words to the point of daggers that will not heal. Without going into all the details, the Lord Jesus is the answer. If you go to a regular church, you will hear the “Grace of God” will help you by and by like pie in the sky. But I tell you that the Lord has given us all the attributes of Himself and He actually lives in us like God Himself. I receive my strength from Pastor Paul White who teaches our victory in Grace and as we give out, the more we receive. If any situation removes the presence of the Lord in our life, remove it or remove ourselves from it so we have 24 -7 relationship with our Father. Be blessed.