We’ve all been in this place. And yet, another grief falls upon us.
There is a relationship that shatters us in the process of its shattering.
Whether the relationship is intact or not is immaterial. There is a grief in both aspects of relationship: in absence especially, but also in presence. Ask the spouse of the one with dementia. What was so precious is gone, forever. Sometimes presence resembles absence in the cruellest of ways.
This is not just about marriage; it’s about best-friendships, collegiate and professional partnerships, and soul-mate relationships of all kinds of designations – some that we never designed and never thought could ever work but did.
This is about any situation of grief that impacts you over a relationship that needs a miracle. Sometimes that miracle is that you can let the relationship go. Such a process is a gradual learning, of risking courageously, of giving back to God what life has taken from us, and of honouring the compelling truth.
Maybe you’re not ready to let go just yet. Sometimes that miracle you seek is one that gives you the strength to hold on.
Hope rests in faith to hold on or wisdom to let go,
but oh what strength it takes to trust in tomorrow.
What Happens Too Frequently
Something joined us together, five months or fifty years ago, in all manner of circumstances and situations we either could have or would not have predicted.
A glue formed between us, and while things were good they were so very wholesome and productive and good. It wasn’t just the love we shared. There was something beautifully elusive that formed between us, through the dynamic that we shared. And what is most frustrating is we can only attest to the potential that was borne between us as one of us or both of us looks back.
Perhaps they moved on without us. Maybe we had to move on from them. What happens too frequently is something unravels; destiny or death. It sneaks up and happens suddenly or we could see it coming. Sometimes there are warnings and it’s infuriating when every method of communication is exhausted and there’s still no response.
The shattered relationship completely deconstructs what identity we’ve built together. It reconfigures our philosophy for life. It shakes us to the core. It could bring us back to who we were. It can cause us to question who on earth we are. It can lay us waste.
“… unless a deliberate effort is made to restore and strengthen a [damaged] relationship, it will generally deteriorate.”
– Ken Sande, The Peacemaker, p. 219.
Reconciliation is a weird concept. It is highly negotiable in nature. We can find we’ve made all sorts of agreements with ourselves, but these were couched in terms only we could conceive. Sometimes their terms are completely what we could never have expected. We need to be ready for repentance.
There are myriad possibilities when it comes to reconciling, whether it’s a person-to-person reality, the revival of circumstances that once were, or reconciling it’s over, and every varietal between.
Sometimes reconciliation is impossible, and acceptance is the destination where hope is finally revived. A necessary severing takes place. A moving on brings healing and restoration. In these cases, acceptance is reconciliation.
The only thing we can do is honour the truth held above – a deliberate effort is needed. If that effort has been made and to no avail, we work on acceptance. If the effort is necessarily ongoing, so be it; we’re called to a season of patience that could last a year or five, or a decade or more. Ours is the wisdom to leave it with God.