Perfect Time To Mend Broken Relationships!
by Jeanniene Lee
The holiday season is here. A time when friends and family alike will be gathered together to share in the joys of the season, but not every gathering will bring joy and gladness. In fact, some gatherings will be full of sadness.
For some, the holiday season is not a time of happiness and joy. Rather, it is a time of bad memories and pain. Pain which is the result of the reopening of old wounds which never healed and the experiencing of much, much sorrow and brokenheartedness.
During a season when joy is intended, many are hurting and are experiencing feelings of abandonment and rejection. The wounds and pain of broken hearts from broken relationships will be opened up once again. The deep cuts, scars, and wounds have never healed from the hurts of the past. They have only been temporarily covered up by the veil of years of separation with the help of miles of distance between!
The trauma of the divorce which left you a single parent with children also left you crippled with emotional hurt, bitterness and unforgiveness. Now that the holiday season is here, the children will travel back-and-forth between you and the ex-husband, which unavoidably forces you to talk to him to arrange the "hand-off of the children" at the long-dreaded face-to-face meeting.
Or perhaps it's the holiday family reunion that you're dreading. As you sit across the dinner table from your parents, or perhaps a sister or brother, the memories of the physical and mental abuse from childhood are still fresh in your memory. Still fresh as if it were yesterday, when in fact it has been over 25 years since you were last abused. Those harsh, cold, piercing words --"I'll never forgive you for what you've done to me" - are yet fresh on your lips since you've spoken them and felt them almost daily for over 25 years.
The anger, hurt and loneliness of experiencing yet another holiday season alone and unmarried is more than you can handle. The pressure of gatherings - the Christmas party, the office holiday party, the family dinner -- which amplifies your aloneness and singleness is more than you can take during yet another holiday season. The broken engagement left you crushed and heart broken and you're yet to recover from the embarrassment and rejection.
For many, the holiday season is not a time of joy and gladness, on the contrary, it is a time of depression, sadness and thoughts of aloneness and suicide primarily due to hurts from broken relationships.
Dear reader, you may be holding onto, in your heart, the hurt from perhaps one of the incidents I described above, or maybe it's something else. Nevertheless, you are bitter, angry and hurt.
FORGIVENESS, IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE!
It is time for a change. This holiday season is the perfect time for relationships to be restored.
At the end of 1995, I remember what the Lord spoke into my heart concerning 1996 ~ that it was the year of supernatural increase and restoration.
Beloved, Webster's definition of restoration implies a bringing back of something to a former position or condition. Now, when God restores He doesn't just simply give us back the thing we lost, in the same condition it was in when we suffered the loss of it. No, when God restores, He literally returns it to a condition which far exceeds the original condition.
In fact, the old condition in which it was in before the loss is literally replaced entirely with a "new condition." The old condition is completely replaced with "newness." What occurs is that the old, previous condition is replaced altogether with a fresh and new condition (II Corinthians 5:17, The Amplified Version). Thank God for His way of restoring which far exceeds what we could ask, think or even imagine when it comes to restoration.
At the beginning of this year, I began to decree everyday that 1996 was our year for supernatural increase and restoration. I wrote about it in the letters to my ministry partners monthly. I daily prayed for them, for myself and for my family that 1996 was our year of supernatural increase and supernatural restoration.
As 1996 quickly comes to an end, I am reminded once again by the Lord of His promise that 1996 is our year of supernatural increase and restoration. During the month of December as we celebrate the Christmas holiday, this is a perfect time to expect restoration. Remain in a position to receive from God. Expect it, the year is not over yet. Besides, God's promises are not limited to a twelve month period, but God's promises are limitless!
When I was in England earlier this year attending the International Believers' Convention hosted by Kenneth Copeland Ministries, I was reminded by the Lord once again that 1996 was our year of supernatural increase and restoration.
One of the convention speakers, Brother Jerry Savelle, shared the story of how Brother Kenneth E. Hagin was visited by the Lord during Christmas of 1995 and was told that 1996 was the year of "the fix." Meaning that it was the year of restoration. The year of fixing all those things that were broken down due to calamity.
When I heard this, I sat straight up in my seat. I was reminded once again by the Lord, through the words of Brother Savelle, of what He had spoken also to me at the end of 1995 -- that truly 1996 was the year of not only increase but the year of "the fix." The year of restoration. The year of restoring. The year of fixing those things which had been broken down due to calamity. Whether it was broken hearts, broken dreams, broken relationships or broken things. It was the year of restoration, and supernatural restoration at that. What had not and could not be restored by natural methods and means, God was going to restore it through "SUPERnatural" means.
God is not bound by or to the natural realm. Because He is SUPERnatural, God is a Spirit (John 4:24), He causes the natural realm to bow to His realm of the supernatural. He
causes the natural to line up with the supernatural.
Beloved, THE HOLIDAY SEASON IS THE PERFECT TIME TO MEND BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS. Rather than allowing another year to pass and to place even a larger wedge of separation between you and family or friends, it is the perfect time to mend broken relationships. It is the perfect time to extend forgiveness and let go of the hurts of the past. Since they happened in the past, they need to be left in the past so you can go on with your future and not be stuck in the sinking sand of the past.
For yesterday's hurts from broken relationships to hold you captive today, you must be operating in unforgiveness.
Unforgiveness will not only weaken your spirit and rob you of your faith, if left unchecked and unhandled, it will ultimately separate you from God. If we do not forgive others, it becomes impossible for God to forgive us.
Receiving forgiveness from God is directly linked to us extending forgiveness to others. Jesus made this quite clear in Mark 11. "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, FORGIVE HIM AND LET IT DROP (leave it. let it go). IN ORDER THAT your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your [own] failings and shortcomings" (verses 25-26, The Amplified Version).
YES, YOU CAN DO IT!
Jesus did not say that we are to try to forgive if we can. No, beloved, Jesus boldly and simply stated that we are to "Forgive." Period. Jesus did not suggest that we forgive those that have hurt us but He commanded us to forgive them.
Now it would be unjust and unfair for Him to command us to do something that was impossible for us to do. Therefore, it is within our ability to forgive. God has enabled us with what is necessary to forgive. It doesn't matter what has happened, you can forgive. Forgiveness is a choice.
You may not realize it, but to operate in unforgiveness is actually to operate in fear. Unforgiveness is a form of fear. We often don't forgive others because we are AFRAID OF GETTING HURT AGAIN. We are AFRAID WE WILL never recover from the damage that has been done to us.
Unforgiveness is connected to fear, and if you are a born again Christian, fear is not natural to you. Actually, it is un-natural for you to operate in fear as a Christian. God has not given you a spirit of fear (II Timothy 1:7a). Fear is a spirit which comes from satan not from God. The spirit that God gives us is absent of fear but is full of power, love and soundness of mind (II Timothy 1:7b).
Rely on the comforting, helping, strengthening power of the Holy Spirit that is within you (John 14:16, The Amplified Version) to enable you to forgive. Then forgive by faith, not by feelings.
The first ingredient to forgiving is deciding to forgive. Make a quality decision to forgive because God's Word commands us to do it, and then JUST DO IT!
After you have made that decision, speak and act in accordance with the decision you have made to forgive. Refuse to rehearse in your mind any longer or in your conversation with others the hurt that they caused you.
Refuse to say anything negative about anyone who has hurt you. Refuse to allow the holiday gatherings to be another time, like it had been before, to re-live over-and-over again the hurt that you suffered in the past. LET GO OF THE PAST!
Seize the opportunities that the holiday season brings by mending broken relationships during the time you spend at holiday gatherings. Use this time to mend relationships rather than engaging in strife, fussing, fighting and strengthening the wedge of separation.
Seize the opportunities that the holiday season brings by talking with those you have been bitter with all those years. Express your decision to forgive them and let go of the past. Try a warm, sincere hug. Look for opportunities to bless those who have hurt you in both word and in deed. Make it a priority of your heart to go out of your way to do something exceptionally nice to and for them.
God will use this to not only bring healing and deliverance to your heart, but will use it to mend and restore that relationship that has been broken down due to calamity.
Remember, this is the year of restoration. The year of "the fix." It is time for that relationship to be healed, restored and fixed totally and completely and there's no better time or season to do it than now, during the holiday season.
The Amplified Version of Ephesians 5:14-16 clearly confirms the importance of seizing the opportunity for restoration and reconciliation during the holiday season by making the most of the time that is at hand.
Ephesians 5:14-16 (The Amplified Version)
14 Therefore He says, Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine...upon you and give you light.
15 Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people),
16 Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil.
Notice verse 14 declares that we are to wake up from sleep. We are to arise from the dead and by so doing Christ shall shine upon us and give us light.
To be asleep is an indication of obliviousness, incoherency and unalertedness. When you are in this state, you are not aware of what is going on around you.
In the same verse 14, the writer declares that we are to arise from the dead Implying that we are to arise from a state of lifelessness. Spiritually speaking, unforgiveness and holding onto the hurts of the past is downright deadly and dangerous. Unforgiveness is full of death and will drain your future of any potential for life. If you want to have life in your future, you must let go of your past by forgiving those who have hurt you so that you can be released from that prison of death and destruction.
Unforgiveness puts you, as the one holding unforgiveness in your heart toward someone else, in prison! A spiritual prison! By operating in unforgiveness, you open the door to "the tormentors" (the devil and his demonic hosts) to harass and torture you in every area and to drain the life out of every situation in your present life as well as in your future.
LET GO OF THE PAST!
Notice what verses 15 and 16 says - "Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil."
Now you know yourself that by holding onto yesterday's hurts and operating in unforgiveness, it is destroying your life. As a matter of fact, it has ruined perhaps the last five, ten or twenty years of your life. Isn't it time to let it go?
No matter who it was and what they did to you, it is not worth holding onto any longer. Jesus concluded one of His most powerful teachings on faith with the command to forgive and let go of whatever it is that someone has done to you "And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, FORGIVE HIM AND LET IT DROP (leave it, let it go), IN ORDER THAT your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop" (Mark 11:25, The Amplified Version).
DO IT NOW, DON'T WAIT!
Time is of the essence. As you ponder the how, when and what of mending broken relationships, remember this. First of all, God is on the inside of you and through the help of the Holy Spirit you can do all things! All things!
Don't try to figure out how it's going to happen. When will you know it's the time to do it? What will you say?
Just decide you want to mend the relationship and leave the rest up to the Lord!
Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit which lives on the inside of your spirit. Jesus declared that the Holy Spirit would be our helper and that He would teach us all things (John 14:26) and will guide us into all truth (John 16:13).
This includes teaching us how, when and what to say to mend broken relationships. I remember the time when I was in turmoil internally over a matter between me and a family member.
One day, the Lord spoke into my spirit and said to me today is the day to call her and mend the relationship. When I yielded to the prompting of the Lord and made the call, not knowing in advance what to say and how to begin the conversation, the Lord directed me gently and the relationship was completely healed and true fellowship was restored.
When I think back over that time, I recall something very important that you need to know and understand. When I made the decision to mend the relationship, the anointing of God, which was the enabling power of the Holy Spirit, came upon me and flowed from within me providing me with the strength necessary to follow through with the decision I had made. Not only did the Holy Spirit provide me with the enabling ability to do it, but He caused the outcome to be one of absolute VICTORY!
Make the decision! Decide to mend that broken relationship and then trust and rely upon the strength which comes from the Holy Spirit to do the rest through you. Victory will always be the end result. Remember, the holiday season is the perfect time to mend broken relationships.