I was led by Spirit to write my book, RECONCILED: A Story of Making Peace with God, Self and Divorce, while vacationing with my blended family on an all expense paid Alaskan Cruise, gifted by my former husband (wasband). During our time on the cruise, while conversing with the passengers on the ship, people asked me the reason for vacationing on the cruise. I shared my story of reconciliation with the wasband and our blended family vacation. People made comments like, “I can’t be in the same room with my ex, let alone a family vacation” and “Wow, you’re brave.” It was then that I had my, ‘Ah Ha’ moment. I realized this is the story God wants me to write about: to share with others how my wasband and my children and I reconciled our relationships after divorce. I’m thankful to announce my book was published June of 2016.
In 2010, while living in beautiful Rapid City South Dakota, I was inspired to write my first blog after watching the movie, Julie and Julia. If you’ve seen the movie and enjoy writing, you’ll understand the reason for my blog. My blog was called, Resolving Family Conflict. I blogged four years on how to resolve conflict, after separation and divorce and in relationships. A lot happened during this time in my life. Not only had I began writing my book, I was the leader of a Divorce Ministry in our church, my husband and I facilitated a Resolving Everyday Conflict group in our home, and I was in the process of mending and reconciling my own relationships with my two adult children and their father all while raising our three-year-old son. Crazy right? It was clear God had a purpose for me in all of this. I eventually stopped blogging to finish writing my book.
After publishing my book, Spirit whispered to me to start blogging again. At first, I had no idea what to blog about and then it came to me. “I just wrote a book about reconciliation and making peace after divorce, and I started a ministry called Healing Hearts for Humanity so I could help people in their healing process to make peace within and with each other. What’s the common theme here?” The answer, RISING ABOVE conflict and making PEACE. No matter who we are: our gender, age, nationality, our role as a husband, wife, parent, child, friend, what we do for a living or for fun, we all face conflict. Conflict shows up in our relationships, in our work environment, in our communities, in our government, society, and all across the globe. Conflict is all around us.
Humanity has been fighting with one another since the beginning of time, and we’ve been trying to figure out how to get along and live in harmony together, especially in relationships. Throughout the passages in the bible, we read how man/woman has unkindly treated one another with angry words, fights, quarrels, betrayal, adultery,rape, evil desires, greed, selfishness, violence, malice, murder, and war. We also read in the bible how God reminds us to love one another as we love ourselves. To forgive each other, to be kind, humble, compassionate and sympathetic. To not repay evil with evil but to bless and not curse, and to unify.
I’ve certainly experienced my fair share of conflict over the years. Just ask my family and friends. Maybe you’ve experienced quarrels and disagreements in your relationship as well or perhaps you’re hurting inside from something that happened to you in the past and forgiveness is unthinkable or you feel guilty or ashamed for something you said or did to someone out of anger. It’s difficult to live in peace and harmony with someone who’s hurt us or betrayed us or who is disrespectful and controlling. It’s hard to live with the guilt and or shame of hurting someone we love/loved. Conflict doesn’t go away, it’s a part of life. It’s our attitude about the conflict and how we respond to it. Here’s a great quote, “Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means” by Ronald Reagan.
There is a lot of helpful information available today about dealing with conflict. I’ve learned many skills and techniques over the years to assist me. What I’ve found, is there are three differences between rising above conflict and resolving conflict. First, rising above requires you to rely on a higher power, the Holy Spirit (Spirit), to help you and guide you. Traditional resolving conflict does not teach this approach. Second, creating a paradigm shift in how you see the conflict. Seeing conflict from a higher (Spiritual) perspective. Again, this is a different approach to what is generally being taught. Third, the process in which you work through the conflict. The process for rising above conflict takes you through a peaceful means to work out a disagreement which includes inviting the Spirit’s assistance to guide you in getting to the heart of the problem, whereas resolving it generally only fixes the symptoms in the conflict and doesn’t always cure the problem. In order to cure or heal the problem, you have to address the cause of the conflict that is battling inside. You have to get to the heart of the problem. It is a process.
By inviting a higher power, the Spirit, to help you rise above conflict, broken relationships can be healed, peace is established within, lasting solutions are found, and reconciliation can transpire. Creating a paradigm shift allows you to shift your perception to a spiritual perspective. When you’re arguing, it’s difficult to see any options but to “fight or flight”. When you invite the Spirit, to help, it allows you to shift your perception of the situation, and or of the other party/parties. With the Spirit present, rising above conflict brings awareness that you have a choice. You have a choice to look at the disagreement in the situation as a victim; allowing the circumstances to have power over you, or you can see it as an opportunity to learn and grow. You also have the free will of choice in how you respond to the differences in the situation. You can respond to it from anger or fear, which dis-empowers you, or you can come from love, which empowers you.
My next seven blogs will focus on the 7 R’s: Seven Biblical Principles to Rising ABOVE Conflict to Make Peace and Transform Relationships. I know we all get tons of emails so I’ll be sending these to you once a month. Please connect with me on FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Twitter for more information about Rising ABOVE Conflict. Here are some of the concepts we’ll explore in the 7 R’s: how to shift perceptions, what forgiveness means, how to be spiritually empowered, embrace self-love, and mend and reconcile relationships. Join me in the pursuit of rising above conflict and together we will walk on the path of peace in faith, hope, and love.
If you have a story or situation you’d like to share, have something troubling your heart, have a question, and or need a prayer, please leave your request below. And, before you leave, please click FOLLOW this blog, and share it with your family, friends, and anyone else you think would benefit from reading it.
Take a moment now to sit in silence and listen within. Ask your inner being this question…”Who do I need to make peace with?” What answer do you hear?
Many Blessings to you and your family.
With Love, Light, and Peace,