Life is all about meaningful connections, with friends and family, with the circumstances of life and with God. Sometimes connecting to family is the most difficult connection. As a mother and a grandmother, how I connect with my family seems to change as often as the wind changes directions. What was once a meaningful connection suddenly disappears. Reestablishing the broken connection takes time and requires understanding how you and your family members connect.
Tea Parties, Disney Princesses, Spider-Man and Power Rangers
At age 4-8 like most little girls, my granddaughter, Angel loved all the Disney Princesses. She spent hours dressing up in the various costumes and delighted in dressing her younger brother, Isaac in princess attire. Isaac soon refused to take part in the Princess games as a princess. He became the resident superhero, Spider-Man or Power Ranger that came to save the day. I spent hours watching Power Rangers with Isaac and equal time having Tea Parties with Angel using her Princess dishes. When they visited, they brought an extra bag with Power Rangers and dishes. Angel’s delight was having “tea” with candy pieces and soda while conversing with a British accent. Isaac enjoyed snuggling with me as we watched the latest Power Ranger episode. We had a meaningful connection that I thought would last for years.
One day, the Power Rangers and Tea Parties disappeared.
Although I am sure this didn’t happen in one day, it felt that way to me. Suddenly, I lost a meaningful connection with both Isaac and Angel. Their interests changed as they grew into the young adults they are today. I struggled to keep up with them and often felt I lost forever our once strong connection.
Over the years I learned that the Answer was Right in Front of Me.
I realized that although Angel is no longer interested in Princess Tea Parties or making a 360 video of my motel room with my phone, her interest in film continues. As a sophomore in college, she is studying film making. She recently filmed me for a YouTube interview. She also loves storytelling. When I decided to write my memoir, I realized I needed help with telling a story rather than writing a clinical case study of my life. Angel has always wanted to know my story, so I asked her if she would come over to my apartment so I could tell her my story. She agreed and has been here twice. Telling her my story gets me out of social work mode. I have reconnected with her through storytelling.
Reconnecting with Isaac is more challenging. However, I can always count on him for a hug. After John passed away, Isaac sent me texts nearly every day to check on me. When I moved to Santa Fe, Texas, Isaac and I enjoyed meals out. Isaac loves everything computer related. Recently, we talked about how to improve my social media presence. I realized that my connection with him remains strong even though my contact with him is less frequent.
As a child, the way I connected with God changed as my understanding of Him grew.
For years I connected with Jesus through dreams and visions. I didn’t understand the concept of Jesus being in my heart. I also did not understand unconditional love. I thought I had to “be good” and earn God’s love. I believed that the slightest mistake would send God away. There were times that I felt disconnected from God, but I never lost hope that He would return. Eventually, I learned about the loving, caring God that did not require bargains. I finally understood grace.
As I thought about learning the art of meaningful connection with Angel and Isaac, I remembered that God’s connection to us never changes.
How we view the connection may change as our circumstances change, but His connection to us remains constant. All we have to do is pause for a few minutes in our busy life, watch, listen for that still small voice that reminds me that He is always there.
“He will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut 31:6. He is always interested in what you are doing. He wants to hear about your day. He rejoices when you rejoice. He grieves when you grieve. He wants a meaningful connection with you. You are important to Him. The way He connects to you and you connect to Him most likely never changes, but the circumstances of life can make you feel like you’ve lost the meaningful connection.
The truth is:
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know me.2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue, you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:1-7
I have found that the most meaningful connections with God have occurred when I simply talk with Him.
I must confess that I do not know Him as well as I want to know Him. I want to have daily conversations with Him. I want to understand who He is. To do that, I have to spend time with Him and in His Word. I have learned about His world, just as I had to learn about Angel and Isaac’s world.
Conversations with God can happen anywhere at any time of the day or night.
He is always available and wants to listen to you. He wants you to take an interest in what He desires for you. God wants you to get to know Him. As the scripture above states, He already knows you. Even when you do not feel the connection, He is there.