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Sisters, Daughters, Friends: Relationships That Last

This week is all about relationships. Sisters. Daughters. Friends. Singles…about to be married.

The one constant about relationships is that they are always changing.

People talk about life being a journey and it is…but so are the relationships we have with those around us. We begin at a starting point with another person and we move forward (or not), growing more in trust and respect over time (or not), depending on many different factors.

One thing is true, if we’re to keep relationships over the long haul, we have to expect to “weather” tough times with every person (at one time or another) and not give up (on them or the relationship).

Every friendship we have will be tested during difficult moments and then we decide to keep risking what we value most (generally our hearts) to keep believing in and working toward more strength, deeper understanding, and truer selfless care for others.

I like how author John Ortberg describes this give/take between people…

When I trust you, I take a little piece of myself – my stuff, my money, my time, my heart – and put it in your hands. And then I’m vulnerable. Then you respond, and I find out whether you are trustworthy and dependable. I give you the gift of my trust, and you give me the gift of your faithfulness.”

It is exactly at this key juncture, in this difficult yet essential “finding out” realm that individuals make discoveries about themselves and those they’ve trusted. The dynamic interplay that takes place between people will change everyone involved, even when trust is broken, maybe especially then.

No doubt. Whether a person puts her faith in people, a process, or a plan, doubt will be a close kin to all. There will be ebbs and flows, highs and lows, glimpses of understanding and long slow stretches of darkness, where we mentally take ourselves by the hand and walk ourselves back to what we know to be trustworthy and true. By and by, we’ll get there. To be sure, we’ll recognize how both doubt and trust played their roles in helping us arrive safely.

Final word, “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” And believing the best of someone you care about is always good.

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