Anyone who’s known my blog for awhile may have noticed I don’t mention parents, in-laws or extended family. I always affirm others in those relationships, but haven’t shared my own story.
Lately, I have felt prompted about simple obedience. No matter that the world around me is having a full on revolution of selfish self-seeking rude violent lawlessness. What leads to happiness is what always has.
“Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way to be happy…”
Elisabeth Eliot, once teaching on finding rest, said,”The happiest students on any college campus are the athletes and musicians, because they have voluntarily come under discipline.”
We’ve had a lot of change going on. Change can bring discomfort. If you want to know about trusting God, I can’t tell you, because the minute we got a little money in the house, I started having trouble listening to Him. I know what I ought to do. I would prefer to do something else. So, I am living the philosophy that I have always hated most
“It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission.”
Um, no. It isn’t.
At any rate, along with EVERYTHING ELSE IN THE UNIVERSE, the topic of extended family relationships began to nag at me. What is my role? Do I want to lose them forever?
Two years ago, my dad’s
stepdaughter publicly eviscerated me on facebook. I promptly called him to say I didn’t say anything that warranted that response and in the course of the conversation said, “I understand that you may have found your second family and might not need a relationship with me, but…”
And while I paused to search for the right words to ask that I not be bawled out by people who don’t know me for things I have never expressed or implied, he said, “Yep.”
He didn’t clarify and ended the conversation by saying he’d talk to me in a few days.
I never heard his voice again.
And no one else’s in the family either.
Based on the thinking of the last couple of weeks, which coincide exactly with the original event, I moved forward, tentatively; with an email to the cousin closest to me in age. My cousin responded to my email by saying:
“I don’t know about it, or want to take sides. I just think it is sad for all involved.”
If they don’t know, how can they think it’s sad. Isn’t it taking sides to not hear both and not speak to the person whose side you haven’t heard?
To my blame, writing this has made me realize, if I’ve been having a hard time listening to God, I shouldn’t initiate processes without His approval. Will all things work together for good? Sure. Did it have to be this way? No. This is uncomfortable. I can explain my side, but if they didn’t care about it last week, it’s difficult to imagine they’d change now. I don’t feel ashamed of the way I have handled it up to now. The Bible does say, “Seek peace and pursue it.” It doesn’t follow up with, “because it’s your job to make it happen.”
I don’t have to be the one to pursue God, My Father. He pursues me, crazy, rebellious, black sheep that I am. And all I have to do to seek peace is obey Him.