The simple act of stopping and looking at the beauty around us can be prayer.
- Patricia Barrett
I had the pleasure of meeting Guideposts reader Jenny Olin recently. Jenny lives in the town where my daughter Mary was participating in a summer dance intensive. Jenny‘s a social worker who helps people cope with troubled relationships.
As she described her job to me, Jenny mentioned that she often works with just one person in an at-risk relationship. “People think it takes both people to change things,” she said. “But often it only takes one to break a negative cycle.”
I thought of a difficulty I face with a friend, a situation that repeats itself and frequently leaves me frustrated and angry. It’s clear the other person is not going to (or is unable to) change. But I wondered: Was there a way to break the cycle of aggravation?
I decided to pray about it. Instead of asking God to change the other person or give me patience, I asked for perspective on how to handle the situation differently. I asked to see new ways to respond to familiar offenses. I asked for wisdom and insight and humility.
It’s amazing what God can do when my heart is open to change. For when I asked to see how I could improve the relationship with my friend, I saw the cycle for what it was. I could see how to break it—and how to move the relationship on to better, healthier ground.
Julia Attaway is a freelance writer, homeschooler and mother of five. She is the editor of Daily Guideposts: Your First Year of Motherhood, a book of devotions for first-time moms. She lives in New York.