Are they all they’re cracked up to be?
Relationships, especially the deep, evergreen, ‘finishing each other’s sentences ones, are not built like how many movies portray them to be. They’re not erected on incoherent all night ragers or the ‘Like’ button on your five different social media platforms.
They are peppered with sorrow, pain, tears and most importantly, transparency and grace. The majority of the relationships I have that I consider being fruitful, are ones that have weathered some type affliction. That affliction wasn’t always something that I was directly going through either. At times it was something a friend had asked me to enter into with them. It is at this key decision point, to be transparent or closed off, when I have seen relationships either flourish or plateau.
With transparency being the catalyst to the start of a deep relationship, grace is what will keep it thriving. It is no secret that human beings are flawed; that we are not perfect. This is even more apparent in deep relationships because we are trusting each other with some of our darkest moments. So when we fail each other, because it’s inevitable due to our human nature, grace will be the only thing left to salvage it. I’m not talking about your run of the mill “sorry I ate you last girl scout cookie” grace either, unless they were Samoas…that takes a lot of grace. But, I’m talking about a grace that’s so loving, it leaves others baffled and asking why.
It’s okay not to jump straight to forgiveness as well. If you’re not truly ready to forgive, then don’t say it. Telling someone they have been forgiven only for having it thrown back in their face sometime down the road, can be more damaging to the relationship than the event that initiated all of it. And for what? Because you felt some self-imposed reason to say you forgave them when you didn’t? This is where things circle directly back to being transparent.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. – Colossians 3: 12 -14
Back to the question at hand, are relationships all they’re cracked up to be?? Absolutely.
The Power of Community
When my wife and I first found out about Adaline and the road ahead, we immediately started reaching out to our friends and family. Not because we were seeking sympathy or wanted to be the center of attention, but because we knew our community is what is going to help us weather the storm. These relationships aren’t new, they were forged months and years prior when battling with alcoholism, PTSD, depression, and daily sin struggles. All of that in preparation for this; I trust they are going to help us stay focused on Christ and keep his simple truths front and center.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 27: 17
Since starting down this road, I can’t help but see where God has been present amidst the pain. We’ve had friends offer their talents to help us remember Adaline, we’ve had friends put us in touch with others who have walked similar paths and shared their experiences, those others have recommended doctors that have become friends and have been the human touch we desperately needed.
Nevertheless, I am continually with you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73: 23-26
I’m not a professional photographer; I didn’t know anyone who found out their child wasn’t going to live longer than the day they were born months in advance; I was not aware of an Infant Maternal Pediatric Advanced Care Team (IMPACT). None of those things would have happened if it not for our community, if not for Christ.
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. – Isiah 41:10