As I have navigated these last few years I have thought a lot about transparency and what it looks like to share the ups and downs of life with the people we know, especially in the “down” times. I thought it might be beneficial to do a mini-series on this because healthy communication is such an important part of life and our stories.
I love and am fascinated with good, healthy communication. When I was newly married and working for a youth organization, I used to teach on the topic. Communication has so much to do with the relationship we have built with someone. Once that relationship gets to a certain point, there is a level of trust and honesty that can be used as a foundation for authentic challenging and growth between the two parties. Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron (think of a knife sharpener and a knife), so one person sharpens another.” The older I get the more I crave these kinds of relationships.
I mentioned teaching communication skills to young people only to say that over time in my marriage, I got to a really bad place where I struggled greatly with communication with my FH (former husband). Near the end, I had almost completely shut down which was obviously extremely unhealthy for our relationship. My fears and lack of trust caused me to pull back in a tremendous way and I’m sure they were a big component in the failure of my marriage. I had worked myself into a place that wasn’t nourishing or sustainable.
I have spent the last five years finding my voice again and learning to authentically communicate and connect with those around me. I fail regularly but I take the time to reflect and course correct before moving forward. I made a comment to my younger son this week that was really passive aggressive and harsh and I had to repent to him and tell him that I shouldn’t have spoken those words. The next day I shared something with my older son that was unnecessary and unkind to the person I was sharing about. I had to come back to him and apologize for going out of my way to share something with him that was critical and didn’t need to be shared. This isn’t something I would have necessarily done with them several years ago but I am so grateful that pain and process have brought me to this place.
This week I want to introduce the categories I want to discuss and invite you to join me the next few weeks as we dive into them. And I just want to say thank you for supporting me in my journey by reading these blog posts, I sincerely hope they are helpful in some way. I am still in awe of all that God has done in my life and so very grateful for his gift of renewal. My prayer is that if you are needing renewal, God speaks to you in a real and relevant way. He is so good, He is so faithful.
These are the different categories of relationships we are going to explore:
Intimate: Spouse, significant other.
Inner Circle: Includes close friends and family that fall into a “tribe” category. These people have your back but also aren’t afraid to call you on the carpet (hopefully in love). If you and your significant other were in prison and had a chance to make one phone call, you would pick from this small group.
Children: Would typically fall in the intimate or inner circle groups but depending on age, there are certain things may not be appropriate to share with them.
Friends: The next tier of friendship; these could be friends/acquaintances who are not in your inner circle.
Work: Clients, business associates.
Life: Parents you know from your children’s school, church acquaintances, anyone who doesn’t fit the “Inner Circle” or “Friends” categories.
I’m excited to dive into these with you! Thank you for all your love and support. Have a great week!
If you know someone who could benefit from this post, please share. God carved out a path of intense healing for me and I would like to share it with as many people who need or want to hear.