I just posted to my Breaking Bread blog a prayer and reflection that I felt could also be shared on my other blogs. It doesn’t just focus on our family members who lie, cheat, steal, and get high. It focuses on you, on us, and how we deal with that person. It also focuses on our lives and those frequent moments when we betray God with as much or more intensity and intent as the family member who betrays us. It’s such a crazy cycle.
 
 How do we heal from our self-inflicted “crimes” and how do we heal from heinous acts committed against us? How do we go through the steps needed to forgive ourselves and others? How do we factor in the person who hurt us? Do we disown them or slowly begin to allow them back into our lives? When do you let them back in? After they are “healed” from their “infliction” or during the healing process? Below please read the excerpts from this post and then share your thoughts.
 
 Excerpts from Breaking Bread:
 
 

Has a loved one ever stolen from you? Blatantly lied to you? Been abusive towards you? Coldly disrespected you? Manipulated you into believing that they were a certain type of person, or lived a certain type of way? Have you suspected that they were stealing from you and others but your interventions fell short of any real results?
 
 Do you have a loved one who is abusing drugs and/or alcohol yet you keep ignoring the problem? How many times have you known that this person has been behind the wheel of a car? How many times have you witnessed the aftermath of their binging behavior? How many times have you bailed them out of jail or financial binds?
 
 I just spent the past hour reading forum threads about family members, young children and adult children, who stole from their family, were abusing drugs and/or alcohol, were blatantly disrespectful and sometimes abusive, and their family didn’t know what to do. I read of parents and other family members who just couldn’t take the betrayal any more and they kicked the perpetrator out of their home and forbid their return for any reason. Then I read of instances where people continued to forgive and let “slide” the offenses even when extremely valuable and sentimental items were stolen.
 
 Have you ever experienced this phenomena? Are you experiencing it now? It’s painful to have a stranger steal from or betray you. But it feels like your insides are being gutted when it’s done by a loved one….

 
 

…I think that just like God lovingly allows us to stumble and fall into valleys, yet never completely cutting us off, we too must lovingly let our perpetrator-family member go so that they can stumble and fall—-because we can’t go farther down when our faces are on the ground. We can either stay there or get up, and we can’t get up without God.
 
 Lovingly keep those who are inflicted with the thieving, lying, abusing/abusive “bug” at a safe distance, so that you can allow God to have complete access without your interference. Every time we interfere and think that we can do God’s job and fix something faster, we end up being the victim. There’s a big difference between an intervention with tough love, and trying to “fix” someone. Set and stick by boundaries and rules to protect yourself and other family members, and let God handle the details. The perpetrator will only get and accept help when they want it and see the need for it. Until that time they are like a nonstop tsunami that will destroy anything and anyone in their path.

 
 If YOU are the perpetrator then you will either deny wrongdoing (and continue spiraling out of control until you hit a hard enough force that stops you) or you will get professional and spiritual help, and make right your wrongs.
 
 
 Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved. Natasha Foreman Bryant.
 
 
 

By Natasha L. Foreman

Two days ago the southern region of the U.S. was tossed, turned, and in some places flattened by tornadoes that destroyed property, took innocent lives, disturbed the livelihood of thousands, and caused sleepless nights for so many. As people try to breathe and take in how to rebuild from this catastrophe one thing that Americans and the rest of the world can say is that we will rebuild as we always do.


Ironically, with turmoil on our homeland thousands and possibly millions of people tuned in to their television early this morning (while I slept) to watch a couple, several thousand miles away, Prince William and his bride Kate get married in a stunning and breathtaking wedding that gave chills to anyone who watched his father and mother wed in the 1980s. I saw the wedding this afternoon as it was re-broadcasted (as I knew it would).

I share this wedding today not to overshadow the devastation in the southern states of the U.S. but to share what my dear friend John Hope Bryant always says, “rainbows follow storms…you can’t have a rainbow without first having a storm…” and with that I say to those in the south who are shaken, rattled, fearful, and in pain- know that your rainbow will come. Today Prince William has a rainbow over him and his new wife; a kiss from his mother reminding him that she is and always will be with him, his wife, his brother, and his future children.

William and his brother Henry were devastated when their mother’s life was cut short at such a youthful age in an awful car crash. In her memory, her honor, and through her legacy these young men have pushed through life (sometimes stumbling) trying their best to give to all in need, to stand as representatives of their mother and make her proud that she raised them well, and to show that even in a catastrophe we can survive and rebuild.


We wonder what the amazement is with the royal family and I now see it clearly, even though we have become so modernized and focused on innovation and technology, we still are rooted in old world traditions- we still come from a time and place where family means everything and where lineage and legacy is of great importance; where taking care of and having respect for your family name is a priority- and we silently yearn for reclamation of this tradition in our own country.

We yearn for this in a land where grandmothers are as young as 28 (and their children are unwed), where fathers are absent from the home, where mothers aren’t sure who the fathers are, and where “sexy” is wearing the least amount of clothes, dancing the “freakiest”, and having the “flyest ride”- instead of having the best grades in school, getting academic scholarships, and having respectable and legal careers.


We live in a land where children as young as 10 think they are “sexy”, girls call themselves “Barbie”, guys claim their “pimps” and want to “make it rain”, where gangs and drug dealers run rampant killing generations of all nationalities; where the elderly are cast away in nursing homes and rarely visited, and where our children are doped up on drugs for attention deficit and hyperactivity instead of raised, nurtured and counseled properly. We live in a land where we’re more concerned with what we are against instead of standing together in what we are for. Instead of coming together to rebuild, we remain divided playing the blame game.

In many ways the royal family represents what once was, not so long ago, so the world clings to them and their image as a sign of hope.


So I say again, even though the loss of life is the greatest from a single day of tornadoes in the U.S. since April 1974 we can and we will rebuild. We can and we will honor the memories of those who passed away a few days ago. We can and we will rejoice, persevere, survive, and strive in every aspect of our lives. Let us take this time to bring our extended family of neighbors together as we pick up the pieces and start anew.

Photo Credits:
Pictures of Prince William and Kate wedding: Natasha L. Foreman as taken of rebroadcast by PBS-WETA

Car and rubble in Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Amanda Sowards, Montgomery Advertiser, via AP

Birds-eye view of devastation at Rosedale Court housing community in Tuscaloosa, Alabama: Dusty Compton, The Tuscaloosa News, via AP

Teen mom: blog4parents.com

Copyright 2011. Natasha L. Foreman. All Rights Reserved.
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