Saturday, March 17, 2018

Reconciliation after Forgiveness in a Relationship

We frequently hear about forgiveness, but never much about reconciliation. What does that look like? How do two people rebuild a relationship?

2 Corinthians 5:17-19 New King James Version (NKJV) says: 
 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
God shows us. He first reconciled himself to us. He poured out his love on us when we did not deserve it; we had not earned it, but he still forgave us. Then he desired to build a relationship, but he waited for us to turn to him. Note that God did not impute our trespasses; he released us from our sins against him and approached the relationship anew. Just as he commands us to forgive because he forgave us, he desires for us to be committed to reconciliation.

Almost a year ago, on a previous blog, last August 2017, I wrote from my broken heart about my crumbling relationship with my precious daughter, and the new levels of forgiveness I was experiencing.

To my joyful surprise, surrendering the relationship and walking in forgiveness has resurrected a strong love and delicately rebuilt connection. We are still in the processes of reconciliation. It doesn’t happen overnight; you must be committed to it. You must live out the word of reconciliation, the teachings of the Bible.

I can only speak for myself, what I have experienced and my perspective of what has taken place. By being willing to allow my daughter like a tender butterfly to rest upon my open palm--to be able to come and go as she willed--I have been blessed with a special restored relationship with her.

Out of the pain, I tried to be sensitive to hear what she was saying and to try to learn many times how to observe but not speak. Enduring a quiet, solemn season in letting go and fully trusting her to step out and make her own choices, we both have learned a lot.

At times I was concerned about allowing myself to be open again to loving my daughter and receiving any love she shared because I didn’t know if it was genuine or if it might be pulled away. It is hard to trust to love after you have experience the pain of rejection. My deep love for her made forgiveness easy and eventually she also found herself able to forgive. Yet, I still remained cautious and wanted to interact slowly -- not in the abandoned devotion I had lived in before.

Maybe that is one place I erred, only God is worthy of abandoned devotion.

Individual Boundaries

I have learned to build proper boundaries and to not confide in her as an adult friend, but to allow her to become a young adult, without being submerged in my older adult world. I knew better, and if you asked me I would have counseled you to not take a mother-daughter relationship to that level. Oddly, she seemed so wise, with such deep insight, that I began speaking to her about deeper things without realizing I had broken this boundary.

My daughter is twenty, not fifty. She needs to be involved in the concerns of a twenty year old not a middled age woman. So much is new for her and she deserves the right to discover milestones anew, and unbiased by someone double her age. I am and always will be her mother first, not a friend.

She needed to take her own steps into adulthood; however, small the steps may seem to an observer... making and taking ownership of your life decisions is monumental and can be messy. Doubt, frustration, motivation, and strategies are still being encountered. Experiences-- in their unique respective realm--are necessary to feel and work through.

Personal Diligence

No one’s life is presented in a pretty package for them to open the door, walk through, and begin to live out.

Our life is our own making, as we decide how we shall live. 

We are limited by raw abilities and frequently availabilities within our means and what is provided through connections. It does not take long for anyone to realize that life is hard work. Being an adult is not a wondrous wonderland of frivolity. Making dreams materialize requires commitment and diligence. You have to apply yourself in great effort to succeed.

No one can wake you up in the morning and plan your day for you and make you follow the schedule. It is of your own doing.

My daughter is experiencing the highs and lows of figuring out what works for her and what does not.  Her first choice careers is to be a fictional middle grade/ teen writer. Not going to college can appear freeing in the beginning but following through in daily writing and wrestling through plots structures can be a daunting task. You have to be responsible and serious enough about your writing goals to push through the rough times when the words simply don’t flow or the plot seems disconnected.

Writing, also, can be a lonely existence, filled with doubt of whether you really do have the skill to be successful. My daughter must for the most part work through this on her own if she want to be a career writer of fiction.

Necessary Interaction

In time, my daughter will find places in her life that she may want and need me. And I have to be willing to try to meet her needs without resentment knowing how everything I did the first two decades had been misunderstood and many things had been perceived as toxic. In time I truly do think this perception will soften. I didn’t want to hurt her again but I wanted to be myself, not trying to simply be the person she needed when she had no one else to turn to. I cannot offer an on-again, then an off-again type of relationship. It is not emotional considerate of my own feelings.

At first, to wean her off of me always being there, I asked her father to step up and do with her most of the errands we had done together. It was very good for us to have time apart from each other. I enjoyed and needed time to figure out what type of employment would be best for me in this new season of my life. I also greatly thrived partaking in a Women’s Daily Fellowship--both receiving from and giving to others.

Through the months, we will build a healthy relationship for both of us. As I pause to reflect, this process is what reconciliation looks like. Many people go through hurt, and some try to forgive, but it takes great care to work through reconciliation.

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