love. I have often felt a great deal more grace “on the couch”
than “in the pew.”
When I first began to walk this path of self examination
and owning my role in the family dynamic, I was often tempted
to sink into a place of guilt, defeat, and a feeling of
helplessness. The good news is that God puts us together in
families for incredibly redemptive purposes. It is never too late
to work on relationship. As I began to loosen up, look closer
at myself, and work to change where needed, it led to healing
conversations with my children, even my grown children. Each
family member, whether “identified” or not, has more space to
“own our part.” There is no longer a need or desire for a family
scapegoat. We each have equal voice and value. When I let go
of pointing fingers and casting blame, I was then free to begin
the long journey toward changing myself and the ways that I
interacted with my family.
Because I was the primary hands-on parent for many
years, there was a great deal in this particular area that I needed
to examine and own. As I began a slow awakening to the
necessity for a parenting paradigm shift, I had little idea of what
to do. In 2008 my friend Holly invited me to be a part of a
support group of amazing adoptive moms. Still in a great deal
of denial about the broken state of my own self and family, I
pushed her off and rationalized that, “Her family may be really
struggling, but ours is doing well enough. We don’t need that
kind of help. We aren’t as messed up or dysfunctional as they
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