Break the pattern.

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.