One of the lessons I’m learning these days is to navigate uncharted territory, particularly in the area of relationships. Normally, when relationships get messy and stressful, I just get out of it!
I see so many women around me who persevere through difficult relationships and I just don’t know how they do it! For me, the choice is always to get out! And, I do just that! My consistent advice to women in painful relationships — whether with a partner or child or another family member or friend or colleague — is , please, get out or act decisively and spare yourselves the pain. With family members, there isn’t a choice but to persevere but, with me, I manage by keeping them at emotional arm’s length!
The women generally don’t heed my advice and carry on through the mess and what baffles me is that they are willing to stick through it! Maybe, it’s because of love. I don’t know. My option is always : Get out!
Until recently. As always, my immediate reaction was to get out of it. But, this time, my feet lingered. Some inner prompting encouraged me to stay and see how to make things work. Maybe, finally, I’ve grown in that emotional space where I used to struggle and stumble and fight and when unable to deal with it any further, turn around and flee! Now, I’m learning to roll with the punches and go with the flow. And, it isn’t so bad!
But, more important than that, is the awareness that, perhaps, God is doing something. It occurred to me that unless I go through it I’ll never know or experience the divine guiding hand.
So, now, when the relationship enters troubled waters, instead of wanting to bail out, I am learning how to work my way through it! I would be so tempted to leave or cut off the person, but I become aware of this consciousness that, hey, I don’t feel so bad, I can take this! I can go through this. And, I do. And the results have been positive so far. Family members and friends have gotten closer.
What is most encouraging is that I see the Guiding Hand. To those of us of faith, this is what we want to see and know for sure. I believe whether we see it or not God helps. But, I also believe that if God — being God — wants us to know that it is He who is helping us, we will know it. How, I don’t know. But, if God wants us to know it, we will know it.
The surest way of knowing it is to be sensitive to what God may be doing and go through the problem before us. As we learn how to cope and deal with the demands of the issue at hand, we will see and experience some things which we just know is the brush of the divine and it helps us through. That is what Christians describe as God with us — Immanuel (Hebrew for God with us), the other Name of Jesus Christ, the reality that is in our midst that surfaces as we live out our lives, enriching our lives.
That reality exists whether or not we believe it. When we believe it, we become sensitive to its presence and nothing is more encouraging, more blessing than when it touches us in some way.
The knowledge of that we won’t know until we go through what is in front of us. Once we face it, we make decisions based on what we are capable of. But, when we are ready, we’ll confidently walk through and experience for ourselves that divine touch. We know God is with us.