craveIn Need of a Miracle

The moment I see her, I crave peace and quiet. In fact, the moment she pulled into the driveway I felt as if I’d stuck my heart in a nettle bush. I feel God working on my heart, constraining me to hold my temper in check. At the same time, bitterness pricks and prods.

For three decades she has annoyed me, irritated me, rubbed me the wrong way, tried to manipulate me, and worn me out with her antics. I have not turned into a pearl.

For seasons of my life I have prayed for her daily. During others, I have prayed for my attitude. I have prayed for love. One would think that after that much time, God would work a miracle and change her…or me.

The changes have come slowly. God constrains me and pries open my tightly-shut eyes. I crave a peaceful relationship with her. A normal conversation that doesn’t result in me feeling grumpy would feel like a miracle.

My head knows how to act in love, but I have to pull my kicking and screaming heart into line. I realize that she tries, but her compliments sound false and I analyze each word for manipulative intent.

Having reached a certain age, I understand that bitterness fits like a too-tight girdle. It might make me feel all pretty and righteous and smoothly justified around the edges, but what lies beneath is just plain ugly.

What I Crave at Christmas

She holds the baby, my daughter’s sweet son, and smiles softly at him. Yes, we do agree on this one thing. The baby embodies sweet perfection and hope. I see a glimmer of light in our relationship.

craveThis stronghold of bitterness needs release and healing if I hope to ever live out the love that God has offered me. I can’t pick and choose whom I love. I must love each person God puts in my path, simply because to love that person is to love God.

So this Advent season I crave your prayers, dear friends. Pray that I learn patterns of loving thoughts and actions for the family members who irritate me. Pray for healing for my stubborn, ornery heart.

Pray that I keep the spark of hope for a better relationship alive. I want to let the one thing we have in common become the basis for feelings of love and respect. After all, there’s something about darkness, fervent prayers, babies, and light that produces miracles this time of year.

Do you crave better relationships with family over the holidays? It's a process. Click To Tweet

Q4U: Do you have a family member that just gets your goat every. time. you. see. them? Let me know how I can pray for you!

15 Comments

  1. The grace in your heart overflows through your words, Anita, even if you sometimes don’t feel it!

    I don’t have any difficult relatives…actually, I don’t HAVE any relatives on my side of the family, and am kind of a dead issue (pun intended) on the other side. It’s cool.

    #1 at FMF this week.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/12/your-dying-spouse-240-and-god-is-still.html
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 240 – And God Is Still Good {FMF}My Profile

  2. Oh, Anita! The face of one (or two) loved ones came to mind as I read your post today. Agreeing in prayer that God will soften our hearts to those HE loves … that He will cover our imperfect love with His perfect love.

  3. Ah yes, loving those who are hard to love. And when they’re actually family, it just brings so much more to the grace table. I pray peace for your family gatherings, as well as the quiet times you’re able to eek out during this busy season.
    Peace.
    Patricia (FMF#37)

  4. Oh, Anita, this sounds so hard. I pray that God will continue to give you grace and that the little glimmer of hope in your relationship will grow and become a bright light. God really can change hearts and attitudes and I pray that this relationship will become a very meaningful one in your life.

    Many blessings to you and grace upon grace. May God meet your every need, dear Anita.
    Gayl recently posted…Sunset Beauty is Something to Sing AboutMy Profile

  5. “I have not become a pearl.” I must admit, this line made me smile. 🙂 Thank you for your vulnerability here Anita! Looking forward to heaven, where there will be no more brokenness or bitterness! Praying that you still have a blessed, peaceful Christmas season, friend!

  6. great post anita! i can identify with it for sure. most of the family members that were so difficult are gone now. i was able to come to peace with them before they were gone, but it was an uneasy peace. for one of the difficult people, she had a form of dementia for the last 2 or 3 years of her life that made her very mellow and calm. it was surprisingly sad.
    in each church we served there were a few people that were also quite difficult. i had to live through/pray through the process for years re them as well. learning to not react but to respond in loving ways helped as well. it took a long time to come to peace. i think GOD changed them and me…and He did slowly.
    Blessings as you spend time with difficult family. Glad you have that sweet baby to enjoy together:)
    Martha G Brady recently posted…HAVE THE THINGS YOU CRAVE LED YOU DOWN WRONG PATHS?…My Profile

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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