Do you remember being in school and the first assignment back from summer vacation or Christmas break was to write a paper. The title of the paper had to be the same but the content of everyone’s paper was different. The title was “What I Did on My Summer Break.” Our family never had money, so the content of my paper wasn’t ever that exciting. But as we were driving back from Indiana, I thought of some things that I learned over Thanksgiving break.
Trisha and I are in a season of processing some deep hurts. My parents’ divorce is still on the front burner. Family dynamics as a result of their divorce have changed, and we are adjusting. Finding out that my dad isn’t my dad and I am adopted is still at the top of the list for me, personally as well. I feel like I am in a new season of refining, and while it is hard, I know it is worth it.
Here are some things that I feel like God revealed to me as we drove back from Thanksgiving. Maybe these are things He wants to share with you as well:
1. Time is more valuable than money.
It is easy for me to think that money holds the greatest value. I was reminded though a number of situations that time is so much more valuable than money. My wife wants my time more than money. My kids want my time more than money. I can’t build intimacy with money. I can’t create depth with money. I can create the illusion of a relationship and the feeling of appreciation but not true intimacy.
2. Forgiveness is a choice I have to make over and over and over again
My wife is the most grace filled person I know. The fact that she has so selflessly forgiven me, you think I could have learned this from her. In a way, I guess I did, but in a way I had to experience it and realize it for myself. I have to choose forgive the same person sometimes over and over. As the layers of hurt are revealed in my heart, I have a choice to make more than once. Will I forgive the hurt today? Maybe you are there today? Maybe the most important decision you can make today is to forgive.
3. I can’t force someone else to pursue health and wholeness.
I know that I can’t change someone’s heart. Only God can do that. As I interact with those I love, I can see the brokenness they carry. I can sense the pain that lives in their heart. I am no better. I am just as broken. I guess the only difference between us is I recognize how jacked up I am and want to pursue the health only Christ can provide. As much as I want to, I can’t force anyone else to pursue wholeness, they have to pursue it on their own. Maybe for you today, you need to find freedom in your inability to force someone to pursue health.
4. I can pretend that everything is okay in a relationship, but I’ll never have the relationship I desire.
I am amazed at our ability to pretend everything is okay. I can pretend that a relationship has no problems. I can pretend that a wound doesn’t exist. I can pretend that feelings haven’t been hurt. I can fake even myself out at times, but I will never have the intimate relationship I desire by pretending. By sweeping things under the rug or pretending the past will take care of itself, I will always settle for a counterfeit form of intimacy with that person. Honesty paves the way to intimacy.
This post wasn’t intended to be a therapy session to help me deal with Thanksgiving.
I felt led to share these with you as this is where God has me today. What about you?