You travel to mom’s and you hope this time it will be different.
You love a sibling, but spending a weekend with them is a guaranteed “blowup.”
You want to connect with someone and it never goes the way you hoped.
Sometimes we live by built-in patterns that are as familiar as our own fingerprints, but the problem is that we don’t see those patterns. In fact, we see everything but the pattern and it leads to finger pointing or to a cycle that never ends or shame.
So, what’s a girl — who desires nothing more than to live free — to do?
Break the pattern.
And how do you do that?
Do something different.
If you are expected to blow up, do the opposite.
If you are used to walking in the door with a chip on your shoulder, hug them instead. A real hug, with two hands.
If your go-to is verbal wordfare that goes to nowhere, listen instead.
But Suzie, they are the problem. Why would I break the pattern when it’s not my fault?
Don’t you see? That’s all part of the pattern too. It’s a thought pattern that says “I’m hurt, but I’ll keep doing the same things and hope that it will be different one day.”
But the problem is that unless a miracle takes place in their heart, something you have no control over, you can’t change anyone but yourself. Even if they choose not to break the pattern, you are taking huge steps forward when you do.
Will it impact your relationship? It absolutely could, but it changes you regardless.
A few years ago I realized that I was stuck in a pattern with someone I care about. Because of past interactions, I went in defensive mode anytime we were to see each other. Then I would walk away wishing that this person would change.
I prayed about this situation, and one day in that prayer time I saw me.
My defensive self.
My “don’t-you-go-there” self.
My tightly wound self that didn’t allow the real me even a sliver of a chance to hang out in this situation.
The next time I went to see this person, I asked God to help me treat them like I would others. I have to be honest. It completely changed the dynamics of that day. I was relaxed. I was myself. And even when it started to go down that slippery slope, I treated the situation and person like I would anyone else — and that introduced a heap more grace.
Was it a magic solution? No.
Because magic isn’t what we trust in.
Often times God demonstrates His faithfulness in adversity by providing for us what we need to survive. He does not change our painful circumstances. He sustains us through them.” ~ Charles Stanley
We trust that God is changing us. That, regardless of any one else’s decisions or choices, that when we sign up for transformation that He’ll show us how.
First, thanks for stopping by my blog today and leaving a sweet word of encouragement.
Wow! Your post is SOOOO me in one certain relationship. I needed to read this. I also needed your words, “Break the pattern…expect nothing back…just give.” Very powerful words. Words so hard to live out. But words that I know if turned into action would change my heart and change my relationship. You have given me much to pray about.
Thank you, Suzie, God’s timing is perfect.
Let me know if you read my book. I would love your thoughts.
Sweet Blessings to you,
This is such great advice! For me, the pattern changes when I start with prayer. Praying over the situation in advance begins a change in my mindset. I become open to God showing me where I contribute to the dysfunction. Sometimes, He’s even asked me to make amends for actions I had discounted or put in the past.
Ooops, I meant Suzi!
Suzie, thanks for this post. Very timely, but oh so hard: “Expect nothing back. Just give.”
I was reminded of Jesus’ words: “I tell you, her sins – and they were many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Luke 7:47
Jesus loved me first, now I can and should love, too. “Expect nothing back. Just give.”
Thanks for this reminder!
Be blessed, dear Suzie!!!
Great thoughts you have here on breaking patterns…it got me thinking: we just need to be who God wants us to be and who we truly are in Him with everyone we encounter. We should be the same no matter the place, people or circumstances in which we find ourselves. Thank you for this! God bless you! #RaRaLinkup
Suzie, yes ma’am, there is so much truth in your words. My reality was by holding onto the hurt, it magnified and inflamed itself in my mind. That fanned the flames of indignation and despise. Yep, “sisterly” love for my brother is not the model I was living.
Thank God that He forgave me first, so I could forgive and let go of the hurts that had accumulated over a life time. Forgiveness led to graciousness and freedom. From myself.
SO TRUE: We trust that God is changing us. That, regardless of any one else’s decisions or choices, that when we sign up for transformation that He’ll show us how. He uses everything and everyone to chisel away that in our hearts that is not of Him. And the process can be slow and hard, but ultimately resulting in great good. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience, Suzanne.
I love this – How often have I prayed for the person to change and I know in my heart I need to as well but that hidden toddler stamps her feet and says “but it’s not fair” God prompts and then the sulky teen comes out that says “I know but I don’t want to” pouting!
My trust is in you the perfector of my soul
Thank you for these wise words that have spoken deep into my heart on a matter. Bless you
Made me cry today Suzie. Your timing is….God inspired. yep.
I have been struggling in my marriage for 33 years, and heavily for the past 2. I’m so tired. And i wrote to a friend today that I need to change my behavior, because I can’t change his.
Then I opened this email.
And we don’t trust in magic…you are right. We trust that God will be with us, and sustain us. I pray that God will guide my behavior, my growth, and sustain me. Hold me, guide me.
Thank you Suzie.
Thank you for challenging me with your words today Suzie! I definitely need to put these ideas into practice. I am so very guilty of waiting for others to change when I’ve had the power all along to simply control my reaction. Blessed by your encouragement; Thank you for sharing! God bless, Tina
Yes! Breaking the pattern leads to freedom. Wonderful!