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Monday, March 19, 2012

Transforming a Relationship with ‘History’

Life revolves around relationships, be they with others, ourselves and ultimately with God. There’s no time where we get away from this truth. But, many of our relationships have formed to the point of no return so far as a dysfunctional history is concerned. This grieves us. It may grieve them, too.

Things have happened (some might say, s . . t happened) and we and they wear that history reluctantly, especially if we or they bear the desire for authenticity and freedom with each other.

With some of those twisted relationships we have the opportunity to transform a disjointed history.

Entering A New Relational Age

Hope presents upon the imagination of one party, or both parties, desiring more—for both—from the relationship. Here one or the other, or both, are willing to extend a copious portion of grace to refloat the relationship.

To begin with, though, we need to be realistic.

Creating a new, entirely level playing field may be impossible given our individual and collective histories. But the relationship may still be transformed, given one fact, if we accept it, by faith, as a fact.

All dynamics, of which the relationship is but one, exist in dynamism—movement is implied. There is flow. No relationship becomes entirely static.

We can move the bases of any relationship however we want, in any direction we want, because we’re one of the actors. We have some influence. Particularly when it comes to familial relationships, where our hearts are sown irrevocably in love, we have the perfect motivation to do whatever it takes to rebuild or reclaim the love both parties do feel the need for.

Whatever It Takes

Whilst it would be impossible to predict what’s required to transform the-relationship-with-history, there are the obvious options.

In some relationships honesty is the best policy. In other relationships it’s only a matter of time. For some others it’s a matter of consistent application of grace—the test is our patience. Most of all, when there’s history, we reset our expectations. We should never expect perfect arrangements, but instead we could magnify the small wins (without exaggeration).

When we’re willing to do whatever it takes to restore the imbalance, using our imaginations to find innovative ways to love, God will side with us and often provide a way.


History is impossible to rewrite, yet it’s possible to transform an imperfect past, by forgiving in the present, in order to forge a better future. It starts with us, today. As we add patience and grace to our interactions we forge that better future, one loving act at a time, never disconsolate at setbacks. We keep moving forward.

© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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