When you surrender your life to Christ, you receive eternal life, and you begin an incredible journey. Each day of this journey, as you apply and walk out what the Bible says as the Holy Spirit leads you, God begins to bring each broken and shattered piece of your life into order as time passes. With each passing day of walking with the Lord, you begin to see real change in your life, and so do the people around you.
“We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.”
2 Corinthians 3:18 (the Message)
At key points in time, God will begin to restore major relationships in your life. In my life, the pieces of my world were shattered and fragmented when my father committed suicide when I was five years old. As a result of the events taking place after my father’s death, I was left with a lot of pain, anger and resentment against my mother, and there were times in my life when we did not speak. In the place where I should have felt a warm, secure attachment to my mother, I felt an unnatural dissociation from her plagued with unanswered questions, pain and anger.
“I desire to bring closure to my adolescence. So when I finally have my ‘come to Jesus’ meeting with my mother, telling her I want to talk to her about the past, I discover as much about my mom as I do myself.
After I talk for a while and try to understand where she was in the midst of my trauma, her defensiveness soon turns to a tearful despondency, yet this doesn’t stop me from pressing her.
‘Why didn’t you fight for me?’ I ask her.
I ask her about everything: the money Mary Ruth held from us, what really happened with my dad and her, why she left me alone so many times, even about some of the obvious signs of my abuse.
I get it all out and tell my mom everything. This will be a true breakthrough for Mom and me, a time of forgiveness and reconciliation.”
-Something Greater, Paula White-Cain
There are relationships in your life right now that God wants to restore. People that you lost because you were living in the world, people that were taken away from you because of mutual misunderstandings and misfortunes, people who hurt you, people who walked out on you and people that you hurt and walked out on. Our God is the God of reconciliation. First, you become restored and in right standing with the Lord through His Son Jesus Christ. When you become a new creation in Him, He has new relationships (even new “old relationships”) for you! As you begin this amazing journey, and as your soul begins to prosper, He will start to add people to your life like a baker adds different ingredients to a delicious recipe.
Before He can begin to lead you into reconciliation with others, He will do a work in your heart. When He brings these people into – or, back into - your life, He will show them how you’ve changed. God’s presence within you will shine for these people and they will want what you have – you won’t have to “try” or put forth “effort”. God’s Spirit within you will prompt you and give you the words you should say. It’s His presence within you that will draw them near!
Sometimes, in the process of restoring relationships, confrontation will be involved. I had been walking with God for several years before I had the courage to approach my mother with questions that weighed heavily on my heart, and to make her aware of the depth of the confusion and pain I experienced. During some of the worst times of my life, I perceived my world through younger eyes and therefore never understood the context. Now that I had a relationship with the Lord, my adult mind could process the traumatic events I experienced growing up in a context of truth so that I could fully release and forgive my mother and myself.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.”
2 Corinthians 5:17-19 (NIV)
When I walked away from my mother that day, I didn’t just gain back my relationship with my mother. I gained back a part of myself that had been lost. One of the fragments of my life that was taken, stolen and destroyed by Satan when my father committed suicide, God had miraculously returned to me, renewed, restored and full of joy and peace.
What relationships are you believing for God to restore? Is it a mother, father, daughter, son, spouse, brother, sister, best friend? Some relationships God will restore “suddenly”’, and others may be more of a process. Some relationships will be new, some just for a season and some will be for a lifetime. And this is how you'll know that they're of God.
“When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby in her womb leaped. She was filled with the Holy Spirit, and sang out exuberantly,
You’re so blessed among women,
and the babe in your womb, also blessed!
And why am I so blessed that
the mother of my Lord visits me?
The moment the sound of your
greeting entered my ears,
The babe in my womb
skipped like a lamb for sheer joy.
Blessed woman, who believed what God said,
believed every word would come true!”
Luke 1:39-45 (The Message)
When you surrender your life to Christ – whether you’ve decided to follow Him more closely or whether you just came to Him yesterday – not only do you receive eternal life, you begin an amazing journey custom-fit for you by Abba God, your Father, your Creator. With each passing day of walking with the Lord, you begin to see real change in your life, and so do the people around you. At the right time, God begins to bring key relationships into your life to restore to you the years the locust has eaten, to return to you the pieces of yourself lost, and to usher you into your destiny. Let’s pray together about these relationships right now:
“Father, in the name of Jesus, I release to you every place of resentment, anger and pain. God, I know your goodness towards me far outweighs anything that anyone could ever do to me. Holy Spirit, break all bitterness off of me and use me as a vessel to pour Your grace and forgiveness to every person around me. I invite You in to bring the wisdom and understanding I need for the things I’ve gone through. Give me the courage to confront when I need to. Show me how each person in my life needs You, and help me to be your vessel of love and deliverance to them. Please forgive me, Lord, for any way that I’m not pleasing to you. I choose with my will to forgive all those who have hurt me, and please help anyone I have hurt to forgive me, too. Thank You in advance that as I seek your kingdom first, all of these things – including relationships – will be added unto me. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, amen.”