"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Freed

Sometimes to be who God wants us to be, to do what He wants us to do, we need to prayerfully walk away from a relationship with a toxic person. Not that we close our hearts to them, nor close our hearts to ever having a relationship with them again if God opens the doors, but we walk lovingly away, holding "space" in our hearts and lives for them to reenter if the time is right.

Possibly many of you can identify with that. I think especially for those of us who have special needs kiddos, we have a great need to be extremely careful who we allow into our lives. Our energy is mainly all needed to enable us to parent wisely our children. Toxic people can zap *all* of our energy, leaving us unable to fulfill our primary calling--to serve God and our family.

While we shouldn't be too quick to write off every challenging relationship as "toxic" and walk, we do need to evaluate carefully our relationships, and see if they are helping us fulfill our primary calling. Only after we are doing well keeping up our relationship with God and our family do we have extra energy to meet others needs/wants/desires. God can call us to ministry with others outside of our family, and that is fine, as long as we meet our family's needs first.

I'm speaking this out of experiences our family has gone through. We have had to learn some things the hard way. I've personally learned to try harder to REALLY listen to Paul if he is expressing little hints about how he feels about the involvement of people in our lives. Our spouses can  give us valuable input about relationships and our involvement with situations. (There's a reason the Bible says, "Two are better than one.")

Do you need freed from a toxic relationship so you can be the person God has called you to be to meet your families needs? Then trust Him to lead you as you prayerfully seek how to disengage yourself. Does He want you to maintain a relationship for the good of the other person, and perhaps some sanctifying in your own life? Then trust Hiim for that too.

And speaking from my own experience, when God removed a toxic situation from my life, He has been gracious to bring in healthier relationships that have helped me to grow in various ways, and enriched our lives as a family.

Choosing to walk from a relationship should never, ever be done lightly. It never should be done in the "heat of the moment" but only after careful reflection and prayer--maybe even counsel. In one case with our family, we actually sought a lot of advice and counsel before choosing to walk away sadly. We still hold open hands and hearts and pray for the person regularly even years later, but we know that until such a time till they are hopefully ready for a healthy relationship, our family can no longer be involved, even though we still care.

While walking from a relationship is a cause for sadness, there can also be a great sense of freedom as we are more able to focus on healthy things in our lives and relationships with others who are more healthy. As I was thinking about it recently, I knew God freed our family to be able to more effectively care for Katya than if we were still involved in that particular situation. Katya needs all that our family can give her right now, and while we never want to be selfish or uncaring, we do have to be wise in what types of relationships we are involved with outside of our family. At this point in time, our main call for ministry is to Katya, and our other children. That may change as Katya's needs lessen hopefully, and our other children grow and mature, but for now, it is as it is.

"Thank you, God, for bringing so many healthy relationships into our lives!"

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