Imperfect Resolutions

For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the Lord will take me in. – Psalm 27:10

Recently I shared about the death of someone whose lies had caused estrangement in a significant relationship in my life. Every day of the more than four years that followed brought me fresh heartache. I prayed, and many prayed with me, for resolution.

It came. But not as I envisioned it.

I had sent flowers. I had sent a card. It was time to take the next step. But, after suffering so much rejection over the years, I asked my husband to test the waters. So he called and reported all was forgotten. My call was welcome.

I was in the middle of completing critical paperwork online for a client when my husband called me with the news. The paperwork was intricate, and I couldn’t risk a timeout so I would lose my progress. I fought my pounding heart and misty eyes to make myself finish what I started. Then I would process what this meant.

Before I called, I prayed. Lord, what do I say? Please help me be gracious. Let us have a new beginning. Then I dialed the number I had deleted from my phone but could never forget. And he answered.

More than four years of hurting, four years of confusion about what really happened, four years of daily reminders of what I had lost ended in a two-minute conversation. There would be no apology. There would be no recap of the past four years of our lives. But the call would end with a mutual “I love you.”

“How do you feel about that?” a friend asked me days later.

“I’m still processing,” I said. Because I really didn’t know.

So I went to a couple who have been like adoptive parents to me. Each time I call, each one of them picks up a line so I get stereo counsel. And my beloved “adoptive” mother said something wise: “You can’t give what you don’t have.”

It’s true. This loved one grew up in an orphanage and, I’m convinced, never learned how to bond with family. He had always kept relationships superficial because that’s the best he can do.

I will never understand – on this side of heaven – why I was so badly mistreated. I will never understand why this loved one never rushed to my defense. I will never understand how so many years of pain can pass without comment or apology.

Yet I am grateful for a resolution, imperfect as it is. It is a gift from God. I understand now I cannot expect this loved one to give me what he doesn’t have to give.

But praise God I have a Father in heaven who loves perfectly, unconditionally and eternally. By the power of His Holy Spirit, I can pour Christ into the life of this loved one. I can love, give and forgive. Over and over. With no expectation of getting anything back. Because I already have everything I need in Jesus.

An imperfect resolution is no match for my perfect God. In that I rejoice.