In part 1 of this series, we looked at conversations that help parent/adult child relationships develop closer connections. In part 2 we learned from a man who changed his family dynamics by initiating two conversations.
The stories are real. Those families made progress in their communication. They ended up closer.
If you've followed along, maybe you thought of a conversation you need want to initiate.
What if you try to talk and it doesn't end up where you want? What then? Is there still hope?
I know. That's not the answer you were looking for.
"As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone." --Romans 12:18b If you have discord in your relationship with a parent or adult child, the only person you have control over is yourself. That's why "it depends."
At the same time, I believe there is always hope.
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." --Romans 15:13 (NIV)
But even so, I've seen that the road toward connection and resolution can be rocky and full of ups and downs along the way. One or two or twenty conversations might only be the beginning of what it takes to make progress in a challenging relationship. I wish that weren't so, but sometimes growth in relationships comes slowly.
Family relationships, in particular, can be puzzling. We live in the same home and experience the same things, but our perspective on those experiences can be vastly different. One person cherishes family memories while another experiences disappointment. One person lives with joy; another lives with wounds.
While figuring out all the dynamics can be difficult, if we are in that place, let's not give up. I want to share a story today that gives me hope for relationships "in process."
There is a mom I spoke with one evening (let's call her Rosa). Rosa has several children and loves them all dearly. Sometimes, however, our love gets tested.
After a prolonged difficult patch in their relationship, one of Rosa's kids asked her not to make contact for a while.