What better way to say love than to say it in over 50 languages from all over the world? That's exactly what creates this cool heart from The Love Shop on etsy. I'll tell ya what I love...the stark contrast of that bright red against the white background. You can't help but notice the art when it's displayed in such a way. Pretty, pretty!
Okay, now it's time to dive into the deep stuff...
First of all, thank you all for such a supportive and nice response to last week's first 'Transparent Tuesday.' You guys are the best and I love getting to know each and every one of you who reaches out, on a more personal level.
So, friends, today's transparency has to do with relationships. Are you struggling with a relationship in your life right now? I've had one relationship in-particular that I've struggled with all of my life...my brother.
Here's a picture of him with my parents at his wedding this past weekend.
He's two-and-a-half years older than me and we've never had the relationship that I've longed for. In recent years I had given up hope, as all we could seem to do is fight with one another. Honestly, there's nothing I can attribute as to the reason we have such struggles. I think that's why it has been so frustrating for me. If there were a 'reason' then I could handle it better, but not knowing why he seemed to dislike me so much would just gnaw at me. I became very defensive whenever he was around because I was tired of getting my heart hurt. I was tired of wanting a relationship with someone who didn't want one with me.
I began praying about our relationship and asking God to "fix it." It was during this time that things seemed to get worse. We'd be around each other at family functions and he appeared to be trying his hardest not to acknowledge me. He'd politely answer any question I'd ask with a one word answer and then the conversation would die. Extremely strained and awkward! What's up, God, aren't you hearing me? Of course He is, but it's all about His timing, not mine.
My brother has a heart of gold and he is a great father, uncle and friend. I could see that in his other relationships and honestly, I was very jealous. He is the only person I've ever wanted to be friends with whom didn't want to be friends with me.
Well, friends, I don't have a huge resolution to share with you today, but I can tell you that the Lord's work was very evident during our time together this past weekend. God granted me peace to accept the situations I cannot change. I dropped my defenses and for the first time, I feel like I left with a glimmer of hope. We had friendly interactions and I actually left town wishing we had more time to spend together which is a huge contrast to the feelings I typically experience!
I share this with you in hopes of encouraging others to become more transparent. I know I'm not the only one who has a strained relationship that causes strife. If we're all a little more open about our struggles, then we can all help each other a little more!
My prayers today are prayers of praise and for continued healing of our relationship. What about you? Is there something or someone you'd like lifted up? I'd be honored to walk this path with you. Leave a comment with your needs or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A little bit of housekeeping: Several people left comments last week and I couldn't reach you because your blogger profile is set up as "no-reply." Click here to read a post that describes how to change this feature and start getting responses to your comments.
Happy Valentine's Day! Now go eat some chocolate!