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Updated: Aug 12, 2023

My family has been broken for a long time. By divorce, by lies and hurt, by addictions…the list goes on. I can remember as a little girl deeply desiring to have unity within my family. Even though my heart had been broken on many different occasions, my vivid imagination would run plays of how things could be. It somehow kept my hope alive, and I believed that one day, forgiveness and love would fully reign.

As I grew older, I made plenty of mistakes that damaged, divided and delayed having healthy relationships. My need to be right seemed far greater than maintaining a connection. And when the tables turned, (and they sure did many times!) I wanted nothing more than the true intentions of my heart to be heard and understood. And when things didn't get reconciled, that little girl heartache would return. I didn’t know this then, but the Holy Spirit would gently remind me that I had done the very same thing to many people I had cared about. I soon learned that fear owned my behavior to control and flee from what God originally designed me to do all along:

Build the bridge to reconcile.

When we begin to allow our brokenness, mistakes, disappointments or offenses hurt us, it causes us to shut down and isolate. It’s easy to get caught up in our minds of how things should or could be. And we tend to lose focus of what is truly important and end up missing the divine opportunity to build the bridge to reconciliation.

“Therefore, God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, put on heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, accepting one another and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you must also forgive.” -‭‭ Colossians‬ ‭3:12-13‬

Sometimes we have to walk the lows of the process before we can be equipped to live out the promise. Reconciliation isn’t a compromise. Sometimes it ends up just being me building the bridge. Especially, when I’ve been the one at fault. Taking accountability and asking for forgiveness hasn’t been easy for me. But, as I have practiced putting love in action, it has become easier. I have learned through experience that I cannot expect the other person to reciprocate or unite with a resolution just because I am willing and able. It ends up creating unneeded space for more disappointment on my end. However, I can still hope and pray! Now, that doesn’t mean I have to ignore the realities, but I can hope because hope is tied to our unchanging God. And I can still choose love and build on.

With God living in us, He is loving through us.

Without God, building the bridge is near impossible.

“But he said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.”” -‭‭Luke‬ ‭18:27‬ ‭

Everything I do and say tells a story of who I serve. And I serve a King who calls me His beloved. He calls my enemies His beloved too! I am responsible for my call, and the Holy Spirit is responsible for the works!

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”-‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:18‬

When we begin with love, we will have the power to love others freely. It is the beginning of building the bridge to reconciliation. You know, God moves fast when we trust Him. Doubts and fears that hinder us are removed. Today, I hope you are encouraged to go out and love boldly irregardless of the outcome. Life is short and sweet, and as I see it, the problems we encounter and focus on here on earth are so minimal. Nothing can compare to the eternity we get to spend with Jesus.

So, let’s choose to be obedient to our good God and put forgiveness and love in action so unity can fully reign.

I bless you with love, peace and joy!

Stefanie Rodriguez

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