Many years ago my sister and I were very, very close. Our seven combined children were small, and we planned to be together five or six times a year for holidays and summers. We lived several miles away from each other, so we were adamant about making the time for us all to be together. My sister and I created Easter baskets for our children, held Halloween and birthday parties, and thought up any and every conceivable way for us to see each other.
Our husbands got along well, and our children loved the time with their cousins. More importantly, my sister and I got to be together and love each other as only sisters know how. Then about fifteen years later, divorce profoundly struck my sister and her family. Of course, she and her children were devastated, confused and grieving. It was heartbreaking to watch the children be torn between feelings for their mother and father. They had lost the family stability they were used to.
I had no idea how to handle all of this. I have always had such a longing in my heart to be a part of my nieces’ and nephews’ lives. I would try to take every opportunity to hold them and just sit and listen to them. As the years went by, my sister and I found ourselves being torn further apart by our own family conflicts. After many attempts to keep our relationship together, certain decisions were made that caused us to separate even further.
I grieved over this chasm between us and over our lost kinship. I then went to see a Godly counselor. I explained quite a lot of what had happened between my sister and me, and I described the anguish we had all been through. The counselor told me something I did not want to hear: the decisions that we make in the past lead to devastating consequences that change our relationships and our lives today. This trend started with Adam and Eve and it continues today.
The consequences of the decisions my sister and I have made changed our relationship. Our relationship will never be as it was fifteen years ago. Since the time of this heeded truth, I honestly was feeling sorry for myself for many years. Then I prayed and asked God to help me deal with the loss of that special relationship. God wanted to help me! Imagine that! God is so close to the broken hearted.
He has put together different people in my life, including other family members that I had thought I would never have a healthy relationship with again. God is totally glorious! God is Faithful!
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I’m doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a new way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
– Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
“Father, show me how to let go of the past. Help me to forgive those who have hurt me and to forgive myself for hurting others. Right now I want to stop dwelling on…”