Relationships can be incredibly complex and difficult. There have been times in my life when I deluded myself into thinking my relationship with someone was entirely different than it actually was. I had this idealistic view of how things should be and so I ignored how they really were, and forced myself to overlook the very clear signs that the relationship was not right, nor was it healthy. The mind is very powerful - and as long as peole around me were convinced all was good, my mind overcame the obvious and replaced it with the illusion the relationship projected. I have learned a lot from experiences like that, but it doesn’t mean I get it under control and stop doing it. I wish life were that simple. Sometimes I learn to change after making one mistake, but some habits - like how I view relationships are ingrained and hard to manage.
I was very recently deeply hurt by a person in my life who shouldn't want to hurt me. One of the things I have had to come to terms with is the idyllic relationship we should have, and the relationship we actually do have are two different things. I didn’t want to admit that, because it indicates a significant loss in my life, and the feeling that I failed somehow to live up to the terms of relationships so many other people deeply enjoy. So I have struggled mightily - and, as is my habit, blamed myself and my own shortcomings whenever things didn’t add up as they should.
Things came to a head - and I ended up in a sharp and bitter conflict with the other person. I was expressing my very deep hurt, and I looked at the individual’s face and saw a slight grin - and realized my pain did not matter, there would be no life-change, and the relationship would never be what I hoped it could be or healthy as it should be. I found myself devastated, and felt like an utter failure. I couldn’t stop rehashing the events of the lengthy relationship - and the pain of the realizations that threatened to overwhelm me as I honestly assessed and tried to accept the enormous understanding that I cared more than the other individual was capable of caring.
I woke up one morning, nursing my aching heart, and once again began thinking about the painful conflict and aching realizations. I made my breakfast and sat down to read my Bible. I am reading in the book of Genesis right now - the story of a man named Jacob - who was a man loved by God, but had some very rocky relationships throughout his life. When I finished reading, I made a decision that I was going to bring all of my hurt and disappointment to God in prayer, and I would not get up or stop praying until I was freed from the pain. It takes a long while to get rid of a lifetime of pain. But I prayed, and I stayed. And I was filled with so much love as I began to let all my expectations go.
I acknowledged the hurt, and that it wasn’t my fault, and my heart grew lighter. I stayed for a long time, allowing God’s refreshing spirit and reassurance of His deep, deep, unchanging love for me to flood me and lift me and free me. I found peace, and God even gave me a very real and tangible sign when I finished praying - showing me HE cares about even the concerns in my life that seem small and insignificant. Nothing else in the world I have done has given me such complete peace, and such a great uplifting surge of self-worth. No relationship will ever satisfy as deeply. And what I have with God is exactly what it should be. He doesn’t disappoint. He doesn’t disappear. He doesn’t love others more than me. He doesn’t compare me with anybody else, even when I do. His steadfast love for me just as I am right where I am at fills me with peace and hope and understanding that even though human relationships fail, I don’t have to fail. Or quit. Or despair. I have love on a level that is not humanly possible to achieve, and, despite the fact human relationships often fall short and disappoint, my heart is healing and getting better every day, because I have Him and I have hope. It has been a difficult week, but I have once again been stretched and I have grown. How about you? How are your relationships going?