Love is a beautiful thing but has never really stopped us from doing the wrong things. We still hurt those we love whether consciously or unconsciously. Do we know what happens when we hurt those we love?
The pain and the guilt feed into our fears. At those times, we feel we have failed so bad that there is no way to come back from it and that person couldn’t possibly forgive us.
Have you ever felt this way? May be with your spouse, your child or even a friend.
“Guilt upon the conscience, like rust upon iron, both defiles and consumes it, gnawing and creeping into it, as that does which at last eats out the very heart and substance of the metal.”
I know deep down that I let my sister down. I remember the day she was born. I was at boarding school then. I was so excited to finally have a sister. My mum’s friend who also happened to be a teacher in the school told me about it.
When I finally saw her, I felt so much love flowing from my heart. I held her in my arms and I just knew I would always love her and protect her with everything I had.
She was the light of my life at a very dark time. I was still a pre-teen but felt so old and jaded. I felt like the world was so unfair but with her around, everything seemed good again. It was like God gave me hope and taught me to love again.
She was such a cute baby and knew it. As the youngest, she already had all of us tightly wrapped around her finger. I used to joke that I was her second mother. I still do. And she has definitely used this to her advantage.
My tunnel of guilt
If you’re anything like me, you probably wonder why we hurt those we love.
Many years have passed since my sister was born and I had hoped for a strong and meaninginful relationship but can’t deny that it’s filled with cracks.
I’m crying as I write this because I know deep down that I failed her. I used to think I was a good sister, set the right examples and tried to do right.
But I had failed in so many ways.
In my desire to set the right examples, I had forgotten to know the girl she was becoming.
I was trying to mould her into another me, forgetting her uniqueness. I remember one time I was trying to correct her and she reminded me that we were different and she didn’t need to do it like I would. I went quiet because it was the truth.
I had failed to spend quality time with her, only doing the bare minimum and asking usual questions without probing deeper.
I was so caught up in my life and trying to make sense of it that I failed to check in on her and see how I could support her.
I was quick to push the child rearing duties to my parents when something went wrong. After all, I was only her sister.
My much-needed Introspection
Writing this has been difficult, not because it’s about me but because I had to go back to the past, to review my actions over the years. It was a vivid flashback of the things I did and shouldn’t have done. I got a bird’s eye view of my selfishness and ignorance.
I needed to write this, not just for me but for every single person who has ever felt that they failed others, that they should have cared more, been available and loved more. We have probably carried that guilt around for far too long. Do you know the worst part of this?
The guilt cripples us.
Rather than make amends and try to do the right thing, we keep avoiding the issues and hope that if we don’t talk about them, they will magically disappear.
It hardly ever does. We need to confront our guilt and failures, head on in order to do something about it.
We, as Christians and true believers, need to go to God for strength to make amends for our past actions and present misconceptions.
We need to start walking in faith, believing that the God that heals broken relationships will have mercy on us and heal this.
Steps to healing our broken relationships
First step – Confession
Our first step to healing will be through confession. We have to truthfully and prayerfully confess all that we did or didn’t do. You may choose to confess this before the person you have wronged but I would also say you confess to God.
Second step – forgiveness
Then we have to walk in forgiveness. We have to forgive ourselves, ask God for forgiveness and ask the other person to forgive us. We also have to accept that they may choose not to forgive us. Nonetheless, we need to keep loving them and showing that we are getting better.
Third step – letting go
We have to let go of the past and its power over our present. The devil, the accuser has held this against us for too long. He has used our failures to keep us captive, which has made the situation worse rather than better.
Fourth Step – Consciously doing better
If we have prayed for God’s strength to handle things better, then we have to act that way believing that things will be better. We have to faith it! Not in an unhealthy way where we allow the person do what they want as a way of assuaging our guilt but to nurture the relationship in a healthy and godly way.
“Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.”
The final step
We have to do it now, not later. Life is short and passes by, so quickly. We may think there will be another time, a perfect time to confront these issues but there never is.
I’m realising this and know I have to keep walking in faith believing that God has healed this broken relationship.
To my sister, I am so sorry for not always being there for you. I love you so much and I know I will always love you. I want to be a better Big Sis, and I know with God’s help, I can be.
Have you experienced this? Please share.