Sick of Being Phony

Facing Our Challenges Head-On!

November 17, 2015

Dear Julie:
Well, it begins again. I have this dread in my stomach as the holidays approach. First, Thanksgiving when I have to act thankful for family that ignores me the rest of the year. Then Christmas when I have to break the bank buying gifts for all of them. We have no relationship, so why do we have to pretend we do? –Sick of being a phony

Dear Sick of being a phony:
I hear from many people who feel exactly like you do, so take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone. Everyone’s situation is different so I have to ask if it’s possible for you to pinpoint who or what makes you feel the way you do.

You say the family ignores you the rest of the year. How do they do that? Do they leave you out of family gatherings, or neglect to return your phone calls? If so, can you calmly express to them how much that hurts you and then give them the chance to respond? Perhaps there’s been a miscommunication in the past and they don’t realize you want to be included.

Is there someone in particular who makes you feel unwanted? If so, could you go to that person ahead of time and try to make peace? You can’t control how they respond but at least you will have tried. “As far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone” (Romans 12:18).

Perhaps others in the family feel the same way you do about the holidays. If so, could you work out a plan together to improve the situation?

Or perhaps you believe they’re all united against you. If so, would you feel safe asking any of them what you might have said or done to cause the estrangement or make it worse? In accepting the fact that there could be two sides to the story, you demonstrate that you’re trying to make things better.

In the end, things may not change. In which case, I offer my sincere condolences. I hope and pray you have others in life to love and cherish. Sadly, sometimes we find there’s no alternative but to move on in life, leaving the past behind. And only you know if you’ve reached that point. May God bless you as you do all you can to live at peace with everyone. Julie

Remember, friends, as challenges come our way,
we can face them head-on
through Christ who strengthens us!

If you wish Bible-based advice for a challenge you face, leave a message in the Contact Me box (NOT below in the Comment box) and I’ll answer confidentially on this page. No one will see your photo or name or any other identifying information.


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