January 30, 2011


The reality of unreconciled relationships is common to human beings.
Conflict.  Disagreements.  Divergence of opinions.
Everyone experiences them.
I did not learn good conflict resolution skills from my parents.
This carried over into my marriage.
I didn't realize I was planting the same seeds in the lives of those around me.
That's not true.
I did realize it, but clung stubbornly to my bad habits.

Turns out, I was unwilling to let go of
the burdens of fear and pride
in order to receive
the blessings of peace and harmony.

Most certainly, in my quiet time with God,
He spoke the freedom of forgiveness and healing
to my rebellious, wounded heart.
I thought I accepted it.
But I did not repent,
-i.e., I did not turn 180 degrees from my old ways-
and walk in that freedom and blessing.
The next time conflict came up, I let myself fall back into sinful muscle memory,
to the detriment of my marriage
and peace in my home.

Last weekend, my Dear Husband and I tried
to learn those skills.
We've had a couple of opportunities to practice since then.
If you know what I mean.  *wink*
Mixed results.
But by God's sweet grace,
we do agree that our marriage is worth
the work
and we walk hand in hand
into our future together,
united in Christ as one flesh.
We have learned AND applied that much.

Our goal is to get so good at resolving our conflicts well
that our children see peace and reconciliation between us,
no matter the issue,
this side of heaven.
We desire to give them that legacy
and HOPE for their own marriages.
I believe God will bless that desire!

My heart is heavy as I write this.
Two other people whom I love are at odds with each other.
Their wounds are old and deep.
One wants apologies.
The other doesn't think that's necessary
and just wants to move on.
I don't know if giving or receiving forgiveness has been discussed.
They are unwilling to let go of what they have against their "brother"
and be reconciled.

In the verse above, the context refers to being at God's altar, gift in hand,
and remembering that someone has something against you.
Jesus says to leave the gift at the altar,
be reconciled with our brother,
then come back and offer the gift.
God doesn't want our gifts 
if we haven't done the work of reconciling with others.
Reconciliation itself is a pleasing, fragrant gift to our loving Father God.
If we reconcile with one another,
we are reconciled with God!

I cannot resolve the conflict between them.
Only God can.
But I can take action by standing in the gap between them
with prayer.
That chasm yawns,
dark, raging, unfordable.  
But my hope lies with our Savior, Jesus Christ,
who died to reconcile the world to God.
The world includes me and my DH
and the other 2 individuals I've mentioned.

I know Your heart is grieved 
when Your children choose division over reconciliation.
Draw these two people close to You.
Remind them tenderly
of the grace and salvation they've received from You.
Soften their hearts
so they want to forgive each other
as You've forgiven them.
Give them truthful, loving words to say to each other.
And may their relationship bless everyone around them
Please help me keep my prone-to-meddle nose out of this.
Please help me, instead, to be steadfast in prayer for them.
I'm leaving this petition on Your altar, Jesus.
Remind me not to snatch it back and stroke it with worry.
May they and I look one day,
and see Your gentle, restorative fingerprints all over this situation.
Thy will be done.

With God all things are possible.
Matthew 19:26
...we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 
through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Romans 5:11
Above all, love each other deeply, 
because love covers over a multitude of sins.
1 Peter 4:8
Therefore confess your sins to each other
 and pray for each other so that you may be healed.  
The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
James 5:16

You may email me at the address in my profile 
to request prayers of reconciliation for yourself and others.

God bless you with the freedom of forgiveness and healing today!


Lorraine said...

Beautifully written Karen. I remeber when I learned someone had to be the first to say I'm sorry. Blessings as you stand in the gap for those you are praying for.

Teresa@1800 Farmhouse Rd said...

Hey there Karen. Your blog is beautiful and inspirational. Thanks for coming to mine and commenting. The lemon oil? I get it at wal-mart. It is in with the furniture polish, dusting stuff. There is a lemon oil furniture polish, which is ok, but just plain lemon oil is stronger and better and last longer. It is a little costly, but well worth it as you can see. I have problems finding it sometimes so I grab up a couple of bottles when I do come across it.

Liz said...

wow this is awesome thank you so much. Man exactly what is going on in my life family situation right now. Please yes pray for forgivness and peace and unity. and healing.

Julie said...

A wonderfull written post.

"To err is human; to forgive is divine." Alexander Pope

After 30+ years of marriage you learn. You have to or life can be so miserable. I love him, he loves me and marriage isn't easy but oh so worth all the effort.

Thank you for stopping by. Take care and God Bless!!

Runner Mom said...

Hey, Karen! Thank you for stopping by my blog! I love your picture and the scripture.

We've been talking about letting go and letting God in our Bible Study. It's hard for us--who want to be in control--give that up. But, He can do immeasurably more than we could ever do or imagine (Ephesians), so that's where I try to go each day--to Him:)--and let Him be in control.

I'll be lifting you and your hubby up in prayer as you work through differences. And, you are is worth the work!

I'll be back to visit!


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