The New Year stretches out before us as a clear slate of fresh beginnings, great opportunities, hopes, dreams and wonders to be discovered…
What do you hope for in your life? The New Year is recognized as the time in our calendar year as a season for everything becoming new again. Fortunately for all of us, fresh starts and new beginnings aren’t scheduled only for January 1st!
Relationships rank high on most people’s priority list, and yet this area remains as one of life’s most daunting challenges. Our days become complicated as we attempt to navigate through issues, desire to deftly address touchy issues and try to smooth over painful moments.
Have you added relationships to your list to focus on in the New Year? Many people place relationships at the top of their list. They begin their initiative armed with all good intentions and great resolve to deal with troubling relational messes.
Often, the thought of approaching a pain-filled area in life causes even the most resolute to freeze in place. Immobilized, the whole situation becomes increasingly more confusing as hurt, deep sorrow and bad memories blend into a chaotic mix. Progress in moving toward resolution comes to a screeching halt. Fear sets in. Where to begin? How to handle this? I just can’t do this!
Seeking to address relational breaks requires us to revisit times and places we’d prefer to keep on a shelf somewhere safely out of sight. In reviewing those breaks, the deep root of a problem inevitably stirs powerful emotions.
It’s difficult to cast aside the happy life we’ve comfortably surrounded ourselves with, to make time and create space for mending a break or to admit a wrong. But take heart! In our walk with Him, God often takes us through life’s dark, rough terrain before we arrive on the other side with Him, where we find true peace and the joy we seek.
How can you embrace New Beginnings in your life and effectively apply them to restoring broken relationships?
- Recognize the situation for what it is in reality — not what you think, or how you feel about it. Admit it exists. See it for what it is.
- Pray about the matter, all involved and touched by it. Ask God for a clear vision of the problem, and for His guidance in addressing it. He will change your heart in every aspect surrounding this issue! When we change our heart about a painful situation, our eyes see it more clearly.
- Seek His guidance throughout. He is always with us. He stands beside us and will bring us through. We have to be willing participants wherever He leads us. We have to do our part — to do the hard things. He makes the way clear for us.
- Let your reset heart redirect your mind, acting as a spiritual GPS, directing you where to go. Begin taking steps toward resolution, as the Lord leads you in that direction. His restoration will be far more complete and well beyond what you could ever imagine!
Forgiveness and restoring life’s broken places takes time.
When we want to restore a relationship or fix a problem in life, it helps to remember it is a process. It’s never a one-and-done or easy peasy cure for what ails us relationally. Sometimes it takes a lifetime. But forgiveness is possible.
Let the Holy Spirit lead you in this. Don’t take personal initiative to map out your relational restoration plan or detail this project on your calendar. This is a matter of the heart — carry it with you. Let the matter (and those involved) come to your mind frequently. Allow it to be laid on your heart and cover all with prayer.
Every small step you make toward restoration is a step forward.
Progress is made, moving toward that hope. Realize relationships involve more than “self,” so moving forward (or not) rests also in the hands of other(s). They may not wish to relinquish their control or admit wrong. Our heartfelt endeavors to restore broken places shaped by the Lord’s leading, will us free of our pain.
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