Since then, this family member and I have had little contact because we don’t live close to each other, and when we did see each other via Zoom or FaceTime, we didn’t interact––at least I purposefully didn’t interact. NOT a mature thing to do.
I give you this backstory in order to tell you the good part.
A second incident happened recently (regarding a different topic), but this time my sister was also on the call. I was ready to add the incident to our ever growing emotional distance, but my sister wasn’t. She thought about it. I’m sure she prayed about it, and I am equally sure she felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit to reach out. Which she did, in the most caring, unthreatening manner (which I learned about later). She had no idea how her actions would be received. In my eyes, this was an act of bravery.
To fully appreciate this next part, you need to know that my sister never mentioned me or the encounter from a year ago in her text.
The next morning, I received the most sincere apology from this family member not merely for the most recent encounter, but for the one over a year ago. Plus she admitted that the Holy Spirit had been working on her heart on many levels. Her apology, in my eyes, was a second act of bravery, as she had no idea how I would respond.
My sister’s courageous act opened the door for my relative’s equally courageous act. Meanwhile, I––the coward, the avoider, the keeper of offenses––benefited.
So here is what I have learned. Listening to the Holy Spirit and then obeying that push equals bravery, because it takes courage to reach out and confront in love and gentleness, and it takes just as much courage to be vulnerable and apologize.
I am eternally thankful for both my sister’s actions and my relative’s response, both heeding the urging of the Holy Spirit and then being obedient to it. Because of them, my relationship with my relative has been restored and in my eyes is stronger and deeper than it ever was.
Is the Holy Spirit talking to you today? Are you listening? Are you obeying? Are you being brave?