Monday, August 12, 2013

The Way of Grace

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"The nuns taught us there were two ways through life - the way of nature and the way of grace. You have to choose which one you'll follow.
Grace doesn't try to please itself. Accepts being slighted, forgotten, disliked. Accepts insults and injuries. 
Nature only wants to please itself. Get others to please it too. Likes to lord it over them. To have its own way. It finds reasons to be unhappy when all the world is shining around it. And love is smiling through all things." ~ from the film Tree of Life



I'm well aware its been quite quiet over here. I've taken a bit of a hiatus from the blog world, both in writing and reading other blogs. It's been a rush of transition with moving and settling, birthdays, and trips. I've been soaking up precious moments with the little souls in my care and quiet moments with my husband as much as possible. There has been a lot going on in my soul as well, which introvert that I am, I tend to withdraw a bit. I need time and space to sort through things and realign myself with Truth.

The quote above, from the movie "Tree of Life," is one of my current favorites. It's the place I am in, trying to choose the way of grace. I've debated sharing this at all but this is my space and I am fond of transparency. And it's hard to be transparent when I feel like I'm never talking about the thing that I actually want to talk about. So then I end up never sharing, writing, or posting at all. And there it is, the real reason for my infrequent blogging.

 The past few months have been a bit of a waking up/ breaking point with me with a unhealthy parental relationship. I've realized for my own mental well being and for the protection of my family I need to, for the time being (and at the advice from a counselor), remove myself and my family from that relationship. I'm wading through a turmoil of emotions; guilt for having to establish such a hard boundary line, hurt and even bitterness over past and present wounds, sadness over a relationship meant to be a safe place that has been anything but, and disappointment with the realization that it may never be. I'm taking steps to move forward, coming up for air after many years of an unhealthy and manipulative dynamic which has been exacerbated these last two years with my parents divorce. I'm actively seeking healing for years of wounds through the help of a christian counselor. I'm asking the Holy Spirit to help me choose the way of Grace and the way of forgiveness. And realizing that loving and forgiveness doesn't mean I need to be or do what that person is wanting or expecting from me. That I actually don't have to be in active relationship with them at all. That to really effectively love them I have to be outside of the cycle of wounding and manipulation. Sometimes love, God's love, doesn't look like what we think, what we've been taught, or what other people expect. It's a revelation, actually.

So all of this it's a lot. 

Sometimes it feels really overwhelming. 

But there's a lot of truth in that "Tree of Life" quote. How can I choose to be unhappy when all the world is shining around? When Love is smiling through all things?

And as I swim up to the surface and I come up for air, I know that it's true. God is Love personified, its not a counterfeit love or love of our own making that pleases itself, and I see it written throughout all the lines of my story. And today, I'm choosing to see.


{And for anyone out there faced with similar or difficult relational situations, here are some resources I've been given that have helped immensely:}

Books:

Boundaries. When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life by Henry Cloud

Keep Your Love On: Connection, Communication, and Boundaries by Danny Silk

Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers by Dr. Karyl McBride

Ministries:

Christian Healing Ministries

Bethel SoZo

6 comments:

  1. Yay for Christian counselors. That first book you listed is sooo good for unhealthy relationships (or really, for anyone who lives in relationship). It's so good to hear from you again. I miss reading about your life.

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  2. that picture is so lovely! it is sobering to think of how deeply a parent can wound a child. i have a cousin who had to stop communicating with my aunt because of deep wounds from childhood that resulted in a kind of ptsd every time they talked. so, so sad and so many broken edges on this side of heaven. you are incredibly brave to walk down a path of grace and forgiveness and to seek to understand your pain instead of avoiding it. thank you for your beautiful vulnerability. i heard a really good sermon recently about the power of words over others and ourselves and how there is healing for our hearts and tongues in the Gospel (freedom of self-mastery from the book of James if you want to try to find it). Oh, you are so deeply and fully loved by your Father! May He continue to draw you near as you heal. praying for you!!

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  3. i mean *lifestyle of self-mastery*

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  4. That quote from Tree of Life is beautiful. I've never seen that movie...can't decide if now I want to, or if I think it will be way over my head. :)

    I hate that you are still going through this, but thankful that you're finding peace and breaking through. But mostly I hate that you even have to. :(

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  5. ((HUGS)) I've periodically checked in on your blog but the last two weeks have been a blur with us restarting our homeschool and Brandon and I starting classes again.

    Unfortunately, I share the same situation with you. 7 years ago I had to set some hard boundaries. It's been freeing and terrifying at the same time for me. Brandon did the same 3 years ago. We have children that have never met their grandparents, which feels horrific but we made our decisions with their safety and well being in mind. It's a hard line to walk. And yet, God, our ultimate Father has always been with me. I can hear Him much more clearly without the static of an unhealthy, traumatizing merry go round relationship. I've had to lean on Him more and pray for Him to fill the gaps I feel. Praying for you. Let me know if there is anything I can do, or pray for you.

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