Thursday, October 15, 2009

International Conflict Resolution Day

No. . .
it was not marked as a holiday on my calendar .. .
but it was noted in my devotional for today.
It is amazing what comes to mind with a title .. .
isn't it?
Is there anyone amongst us that has not felt the heartache of unresolved conflicts in our relationships?
At one point or another we're all there.
My earliest recollection of relationship conflict was with my little neighborhood English friend.
It seemed we had more than our fair share of awkward silent moments on the bus ride home.
I wanted to also be friends with my best Sunday school friend Shirley ... .
and if I ventured over to Shirley's hopscotch game too often. .
it would cause my little English friend to feel jealous and often. .
I would end up in tears.
After some time I decided in my grade two wisdom. . .
that I should explain to my little English friend's Mother what the problem was. . .
and then that I discovered that mothers and daughters stick together.
In grade four or five she moved away .. .
and I cried.
We had spent many afternoons pretending to be expectant mothers in her unfinished basement. It was an the old house that survived a flood and smelled musty . .
but we loved that basement . .it was our play house.
She helped me through many hours of make believe childbirth. . .
that often found me crying.
We wrote letters back and forth during high school...
and then one day she wrote and told me that her mother died suddenly of an aneurysm. . .
and I cried.
I thought then about all the good times we had. . .not the conflicts.
It brought back memories of having grown up in a Mennonite home. . .
where we didn't have such tasty treats as Kraft Dinner.
They often had that for dinner. ..
and if I caught wind of that fact. . .
we would make every effort to arrange for me to stay.
On the days that my mom thought it might be better for me to come home. . .
I cried.
If I could . . .I'd love to sit and have a visit with Mary.
Since then. . .
I've continued to have occasional practice in conflict resolution.
If I've learned anything. .
it is that none of us are immune to feeling slighted. . .
sometimes overly sensitive. . .
and sometimes discouraged in relationships.
I've also learned that there is joy in acceptance of the other persons opinion.
I can hold on to my hurt for a short time. .
but then my love for God will cause me such inner turmoil. .
that I soon realize . . .
that there is no joy in holding on to my rights.
When I forgive. . .I am given the gift of peace. It doesn't matter who is right .. .or who is wrong .. what matters is that I obey God.

I don't pretend to have it all right .. .
and I'm pretty sure that not everyone is all right with me.
What I am sure of. . . .
As far as it depends on me. .
I'll spend today . .
living at peace with everyone.
All for now. . .



15 comments:

  1. My beloved has been preaching a series on this very same topic - based on John Ortberg's writing. Everyone is learning from it - we're sometimes uncomfortable - sometimes chuckling at ourselves - but we're growing,learning how to resolve conflict in a biblical manner and becoming more healthy in our relationships. I'll let him know that today is ICRD. It will probably make it to next Sunday's sermon :)

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  2. I too remember conflicts from a young age on. Some got resolved and others not. It's pure misery living with unresolved conflicts..great lesson Lovella!

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  3. The wincing inside as memories of childhood slights rushed back...I still dream about some of those things. The learning curve-mothers and daughters stick together...three usually is a crowd...what we want and think we will get suddenlygetting taken from us, by others or by God. The conflict may be resolved, accepted, modified, yet the wariness and hurt is even more difficult to overcome than the intial "event." The fact that God promises to wipe evey tear away in heaven is a big hint to me that it is unrealistic to expect full emotional resolution here on earth.

    On a lighter note...your "English" friend: The Amish refer to anyone not Amish is English. For a moment I mentally blurred the sects (Mennonite and Amish), and thought your friend was not from the UK, but rather just not Mennonite.

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  4. What a beautiful, peace filled message. Thank you Lovella.

    Three Hearts Farm

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  5. thank you for this, lovella. i've got tears running down my cheeks this morning because i SO needed this today after dh and i had a few "words" this morning. he had to leave for work and i was left behind struggling to put it out of my mind and be a good mom all at the same time. i will stop trying to put it out of my mind and will give it over to God instead.

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  6. I love peace so much more then conflict. Ugh. I remember my mother making us stand there until we said Please forgive me and then I forgive you. Why are those words so hard. I think it's because they are so important...And that is what Jesus' sacrifice is for us, forgiveness, reconciliation, peace.

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  7. I think we may be reading from the same devotional book...as I was reminded of this very thing this morning. Family, friends and church conflicts...there's nothing worse.

    I like to remind myself of Romans 12:18...'If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone'.

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  8. Having pondered on I Corinthians 13 for several days now, I'm finding it everywhere! This is a wonderful illustration of that love that takes no notice of a suffered wrong...well, maybe we do notice at first, but then we remember God's amazing and never ending love for us and we are moved to forgive and to let go of our own rights...and we find peace. Thank you, Lovella.

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  9. Ohh... childhood memories. How precious they are, and how deeply felt both in the living and the reliving.
    How many of our life's lessons are learned when we are young, and then it takes a lifetime to work them out! smile..
    How beautiful your photos are, and your sentiments so well expressed.

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  10. Oh yeh, I have lived through a lot of conflict and a lot of resolutions. You are right holding a grudge is the thing that will make you sick, sick inside and out. I am a coward I try to stay about from situations where I feel there will be conflict. I have that choice now more so since I am retired.
    QMM

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  11. Beautiful post Lovella... thanks

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  12. such provocative thoughts. as humans our emotions are fragile at best and all to often raw. to hold grudges or to have grudges held against us is just poison, that slowly eats away at the one holding them.
    i prefer to settle things quickly and ask for forgiveness if i am aware that forgiveness needs to be asked for........other times i pray that folks are just gracious with me and my erring ways.
    thanks for the good reminder.

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  13. Been there! I've understood those same feelings. Peace with each other...so much better than strife. I'm so grateful for the Holy Spirit who over and over again has lovingly prompted me to live in peace...and when I choose His way life is so much sweeter. Thanks for your thoughts. I had time to think about that exact thing on our trip these past few days. KAthy

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  14. Love the way you put your words together and ventured out on a topic that is hard to talk about, but everyone experiences. Your childhood memories with your dramatic imaginations make one smile! Although conflict resolution sounds like a new term, it is not new. As we heard in church, yesterday again, Christians are not imune to conflict and hurting others, but we have One who has by example shown us how to forgive and also go to Him for forgiveness when we fail.

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Thank you!