Thursday, December 5, 2013

connection lost please try again





What is it about the holidays that makes us want to connect with people?  Are we feeling nostalgic in the face of all the Christmas specials that make even a fictional imperfect family seem perfect?  Or do we long for the neighborhood where you just pop over for a visit and find a full blown holiday festival in the living room?

What is it about the holidays that makes us want to disconnect with people? To step away, back way. Run away? To get away from the cost of social obligations. The pain of smiling from the sidelines. The alone in the middle of a crowd?  The stress, the mess and the fuss.

When my husband and I talk about the holidays, any holiday, and our traditions we find some stark differences and some comforting familiar ground. To quote Christian comedian Mike Warnke, "It's a strange place this place."

It is strange. This time of year. And our need to connect. And it goes back so far. Further back than even the birth of Christ. Everyone wants to be a part of something bigger than them. Even Herod. The wise men. Some for good, some for ill. Connections with people are the same way.

We need to connect in healthy ways. In ways that fill us with the fruits of the spirit. Ways that are counter to most of our culture. But sometimes we can't make it happen. Sometimes it isn't God's will to happen.

Have you ever lost your internet connection, and even though you have done everything on your end right it is still gone?  It is out of your hands. Clicking your mouse repeatedly won't work. Shouting won't work. Plugging and unplugging hasn't helped. The troubleshooter is out of ideas.

That is when you know the problem isn't with you.

Connecting with people, making connections, is no different!

Sometimes, despite our best and most prayerful efforts nothing works the way WE WANT IT TO.

Rest assured, it ALWAYS works the way God wants it to!

So sometimes the best way to find good connections is to recognize the bad ones. Like being able to tell counterfeit money by being completely familiar with the real currency - we can learn to detect wrong, faulty or false connections.  And we can rewire them, leave them with our Holy Provider or we can disconnect.

We can miss some incredible connections with people when we are spending our time trying to connect where God doesn't intend us to. It's hard. So hard. I WANT to reach out again, break my own boundaries. To see if they have changed. Stay my hand Lord. Steady my soul. 

Connections are made to be tested. To be rewired. Re-written. Written over. Corrected, maintained or abandoned. They are fragile and need to be handled with prayer.

Connections are so important, and in our overly-connected world we sometimes miss what they are meant to be. God wants us to be connected as a community. People loving on each other, praying for each other and going out and doing the same for others.  We need deep connections, ones that nurture roots. Ones that help us grow. And ones that prune us, too.

How do you test your connections?  Do you test them?  I would love to discuss in the comments with you!

Linking up today as one of the #VoiceBloggers at Jo Ann Fore's page. Come by and join in. Share in the comments, add a blog post to the link up or join our book group. Everyone is welcome!

Jo Ann Fore


  1. So true, Shanyn. Handling with prayer for all of our connections is so key. Christmas can make us crazy or remind us that we too need to remain connected to the one who calls us to community to be able to not be overloaded or isolated. He is holds the main switch to all connections!

    1. :-) Well said my dear! Well said. Thanks for coming by. <3

  2. SO good! So True! Thanks for connecting your Voice, Shanyn.

  3. "We can miss some incredible connections with people when we are spending our time trying to connect where God doesn't intend us to."

    Yes, this. Well said, my friend.

  4. Wow, am I glad I read your blog. Hit the spot. This week I am dealing with my connection to "son" who joined our family seventeen years ago. At first it was a beautiful story, he thrived and did well and felt a part of the family, but 5 years ago, his baggage caught up to him and started to become bitter towards members of the family. It seems at times he can forget and enjoy, but more and more he is retreating into this dark space. This Monday when he came over, had dinner with me and my husband, I felt glad to be someone in his life that he could still 'see' as caring. But the bitterness came through and he saw us as pathetic and ignorant, and as he left he said, derisively "I don't know if I can come back here" as if we were out of touch with reality. I am so hurt that I am lurching between lashing out and shutting up. Then this morning I read your words, "They are fragile and need to be handled with prayer." in reference to connection. Thank you for some good advice, it beats lurching! meg

    1. Praying with you Meg, what a challenging situation. So humbled that my words were there for you. God is GREAT! And He will move hearts, in His time. Praying for a stop to the lurching and for a renewed connection.

  5. I love this part about connecting for the holiday. I always try to reach out during the holidays - and am usually shut out. Should i keep trying or just give up?