During my early to mid-twenties, I found myself in a strained relationship with one of the most important people in my life, my mom. It was hard and awkward and painful. For both of us. The combination of a series of very difficult family conversations, my own journey of finding my voice, the bumpy road of differentiation, my relationship with a man my parents feared was unhealthy, and a lack of common language to help us navigate these challenges together, was the perfect storm for a complete and total breakdown. In this season, although we initially tried, my mom and I could not get on the same page.
Sadly, we let our communication break down. Things got garbled and fuzzy between us. We stopped showing up relationally. We stopped giving each other the chance to try again. We stopped inviting each other to see and be seen. Honestly, it was too hard and too painful. And we began doing what people often do when they are hurt and afraid, we stopped collecting real data and started telling ourselves one-sided versions of the story that had unfolded. And worse, we imagined and fantasized one-sided versions of the inevitable story that lay before us. This only created further distance and ate away at any mutual trust that had we so desperately longed to build.
I got myself to a place in my mind and heart where I simply lost any holy imagination for healing or restoration. I couldn’t dream up a scenario where we could have a real relationship again. And I was growing bitter.
Then, one winter evening…
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