Relationships are hard. That’s a statement of truth and one in which we can all relate because no matter what type of relationship you’re in, at one time or another, it is sure to encounter conflict. Whether with a lover, a spouse, a friend or a sibling there will be moments when conflicts arise and it will feel like it’s all falling apart. Sometimes it does fall apart. Sometimes the conflict is smoothed over. And sometimes the foundation has to crumble in order for it to be built back even stronger.
In the Just Call Me Angel series, Angel encounters many difficulties in her relationships with her grandfather, Giovanni; as she struggles to acclimate to her new lifestyle in a Mafia world. She tries to bring balance to Giovanni’s perspective, which is no easy task. Despite tempers flaring, guns blasting and the occasional Tasering, in the end Giovanni and Angel always come to a place of resolution. Why? Because they are family and everything they do stems from an urge to protect and love one another. They may not always go about it in the best way, but at the center of their heart lays the best of intentions.
In a book, it is easier to see the intentions of the characters, as the author readily displays their hearts in written format; but in real life, relationships are more difficult to navigate. We deal with an un-seen heart and often have to guess what lies or does not lie within it.
People always assume the worst when it comes to relational conflict. It’s a natural, human method of self-protection and defense. But, key to conflict resolution is to realize that when you’re dealing with people who love you, you shouldn’t jump to the assumption that you are being attacked by them, merely because they disagree with you. Sometimes, it becomes necessary to attack something in someone’s life that is hurting them, but that doesn’t mean they are attacking you.
For example: I have a friend whose child is a drug addict. They’ve been struggling for years to help her overcome this addiction. Out of love for her, they fight against the addiction; but never against her. Their efforts and strong stance against the drugs is out of pure love for her; though often times she is unable to see beyond the addictive haze and grasp that truth.
When you love someone, you defend them against things that can harm them. You protect them against deceptions and manipulations… and sometimes that means you have to take an uncomfortable stance against whatever it is that can or has hurt them. Taking this stance can be heartbreaking and agonizing, as you want to support someone you love, but at the same time, you cannot in good conscience, support them in something that damages them and those around them. Often times life presents situations where you have to love toughly in order to save someone from self-destruction or the destruction of a family.
In the Just Call Me Angel series, Giovanni would send his men to remove anything that stood to harm Angel. Real life isn’t so easy. In real life, we have to stand on the truth that we know, have faith that our efforts will pay off in the long run, hope that our loved one will see the depth of our affection for them, and ultimately believe that God’s words are true when he said, “the greatest of these is love.”
I believe love conquers all, endures all and will never fail... and because of that, I will never stop trying. ~