Welcome friends, both new and old!
Today I’m hosting Chapter 4 of our Online Book Study for Jan Greenwood’s fabulous new book: Women at War.
There are parts of life we just don’t like to face, or talk about.
Struggling in our relationships with friends or family is definitely one of those touchy areas where it would be easier to pretend that everything is rosy and not admit that hurt can exist between loved ones.
Sometimes it seems as though the worst battlefields
are within our own families.
If fact, I’ll be open and honest and admit that I completely balked at this topic from the very beginning of chapter 4. “A battle with family? I don’t have that issue, my parents and siblings are fantastic. I even love my Mother – in-law!! What can I possibly learn from this chapter?”
All apologies, Jan, but I wouldn’t have kept reading this chapter if I hadn’t volunteered to host the study this week, because the topic was both too painful and seemingly didn’t apply to me.
And you know what? I would have been missing out. Because by the end of the chapter, God had held my hand and opened my eyes to the struggles that really ARE present in my family. There has been a battle within, a struggle going on. And it still exists today. On both sides of my family.
The contrast of Jan’s story going from ignoring the painful hurts in her life as a young woman, to confronting them and talking them through with her mother really touched a cord in me.
I want to wake up and recognize these generational patterns as well!
Jan goes on to say:
“Once we recognized these patterns in our family line, we realized we could change them. We had the power within ourselves to alter the course of our future.
The memories you have of how your family relates and the patterns of how they interact with one another is like a massive, deep river. Your history can be a current of blessings or of curses.
Either way, it has tremendous momentum.
The only way to change the flow from curse to blessing is to build a dam that intersects the momentum and redirect its course. The first person in a family line to do so will experience a tremendous amount of pressure.”
This is where the study clicked for me. I don’t have these issues directly. My parents, as I said, are fantastic. I don’t have these same struggles, because Mom and Dad are both are first generation dam builders. They have redirected my legacy in a way that I can never truly fathom, appreciate, or thank them for. I can see everything I work for, stand for, and believe in, now comes directly as a result of those dams they’ve built. My life could have gone a completely different direction if they hadn’t stood up to make a change, to fight for a different legacy. Thank you, mom. Thank you, dad. I love you with all of my heart, and I’ll do my best to carry on your legacies. Thank you for withstanding the tremendous amount of pressure it takes to make a positive change!
YOU can be the first person to change the tide of war within your own family. Step into the river. Stand in the gap. Yield to forgiveness. Fight for the truth. ~Jan Greenwood
And if you’re like me, a second generation builder, you can have their back. Support them. Step into the river behind them. Pray, pray, pray for them. Join the fight, and continue the path to a legacy of blessing that they’ve started to carve out for you and your children!
Questions for Reflection:
What generational patterns have you observed in your own family?
Ask God to help you identify some relationships in your family that might need some healing. How are you involved in those relationships? Are there some ways you might be able to begin to turn the tide in your own family?
“You can be the first person to change the tide of war within your own family….” Will you decide today to be that person in your family? What relationships can you take steps to repair that could have a long term and multi-generational impact?
Join us next week for Chapter 5, when we’ll be over at Mandy Scarr’s blog: MandyScarr.com. See you there!