Friday, December 14, 2012

Stepping Backward

Three steps forward, two steps back... or is it the other way around?

Some relationships just aren't salvageable, at least that is the way it feels. I know God can do a miracle, but I am afraid we may need to walk away entirely in order for Him to do that work. In some ways it breaks my heart, and in other ways I am not at all surprised. I am, however, tired.

I wrote this last night. I am still struggling with what God would have me to do in this situation.

We have seven children and they were born when we were still very young, the first when we were still teenagers and the last when we were just thirty-one. We were not perfect parents and we do not have perfect children. There have been times where we have been downright wrong in our approach to things, and there have been times when one or more of our children has been absolutely impossible. That is how life works. You live and (hopefully) learn.

When my father passed away a little over three years ago, we had what I considered a tight-knit family. Everyone was going to church together and everyone was getting along, we had wonderful summer and holiday gatherings, but as time went on things began to unravel. There were differences of opinion and opposing viewpoints. There was an aging mom/grandma who needed to be looked after. Someone needed to make decisions and someone needed to make those decisions known, and sometimes those decisions were met with resistance.

Perhaps there was a better way to have accom- plished the tasks before us, but at the time there was stress and inexperience on every side. My son, who spent a year living with his grandmother, did not understand our stresses and we were not able to completely know or understand all of his. I had never been through the death of one parent or the onset of dementia in another. There was a home full of belongings to take care of and financial issues to resolve. It was like walking blindly in the dark through a building we had never been in before and the entire structure blew up before any of us had a chance to find the exit.

Although I thought the year following those decisions and subsequent blowup had brought about some healing, there was a "festering infection" brewing in another party. It showed it's ugly head last December at the worst time possible, right after a fatal blaze killed my husband's uncle and two adopted sons. Right after my childhood friends faced an unspeakable tragedy, our own family unraveled. Try as I might, I can't make the fabric stay together.

I don't think any relationship can survive if one or both parties feel as though they need to walk on eggshells every time they are together or have any form of conversation. I highly doubt a relationship can heal if one or more parties continue to speak negative of others, be that parent, child, or sibling, and how does the group move forward without accepting apologies and agreeing to forgive and forget? We can't go backward and do things over again. How do parents who tried so hard to teach their children right from wrong respond when the children choose something different? How does the choosing of something different affect the way the child respond to or reacts to the parent? When does the job of being a parent end (or does it ever) and what happens when one's own children can't stand each other? Where is the pause button anyway?

Right now there don't seem to be any answers, but I suppose if  there is an answer, God holds it in His hand. I pray He gives me direction soon and that I can trust Him enough to follow wherever He leads.


  1. I'm so sorry, Martha...but can relate somewhat. Some times it's best to walk away. Just keep praying and let God work on them....they ultimately have to answer to him anyway. It's hard, but you can't live under that kind of stress forever! It will effect your health and the rest of your family. Hard, I know! xo

  2. I'm finding that the older I get, I realize just how much things are completely out of my control, and just how much I need God...not that I didn't know that before, but it's becoming more and more evident to me. Thankfully we have a God who is still always in control and He has ALL the answers that we don't have. I love you, Marty. Praying for all of our kids.

  3. well SPIT! I thought it was on the up swing.. Sigh, Yours and you are back near the top of my prayer list.

    1. Lukie had his birthday party this afternoon. It went surprisingly well. I am blessed.
      Thank you for your prayers.

  4. Praying for you and Mr. Teal. I've read your blog for a while and am ashamed to say I was kind of jealous for the family togetherness you have. My family was once like that.
    I have hope is God's promise "train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it" Ps. 22:6 God didn't say how old... just to train the child right.

    1. Thank you for your prayers, Heather. I pray that "togetherness" returns. And I pray you find it within your own family members too. It all seemed so much easier when my kids were little and we tucked them into bed at night... well, some of it anyway.

      With Jesus there is always hope.

  5. Just keep loving and not forcing your way and forgiving every second. Isn't that what we desire God to do with us? How often do you think we do our own thing and hurt Him?