Saturday, March 24, 2018

Family: Sometimes They Hurt You

December 26, 2011 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

Recently I’ve discovered a truth that I’ve tried for years to keep from myself: family can sometimes hurt me.

Maybe it isn’t so much that I’ve not known it, but I haven’t wanted to admit it. Admitting it means I may have to take steps to do something about it and that’s what I truly was trying to avoid admitting in the first place.

Family comes in many packages. There are the blood relatives, and then there are family groups that originate outside of genealogy, like church family and friends who are like family. Writing groups and play groups. Work groups and neighborhood groups. In all these examples of family, one thing is certain: one or more of the members of the family groups are going to do something that will hurt me.

My reaction to that hurt is what is important. Here are three ways I can see myself reacting:

1. I can curl up and try to stop breathing. Not very likely as my body will not let that happen. My autonomic nervous system will kick in and make me breathe. Whether I want to or not. Probably a good design on God’s part.

2. I can lash out with the same kind of anger and retaliation which was directed at me. Somewhat likely…if I can remember the next day what caused such hurt. I have a tendency to forget things like that rather quickly anymore because my menopause brain just doesn’t hang on as strongly as it once did to things that happened yesterday. But those little “forgotten” hurts tend to pile up and can come crashing down to cause damage through repressed resentment and anger.

3. I can freeze the hurter out of my life. Very likely. This is my nature. I have a weird little gauge inside me that tips the scales to the had-enough side of my brain, and once it is tipped, there is no going back. It is amazing how long it takes me to reach that point, but once I have, it is equally amazing how easily I can hit the eject button on a person and forget they ever lived.

I don’t recommend any of the above reactions. None of them are healthy and none of them reflect Christ. So what does Christ say about those who hurt us? Simple. We must forgive them:

“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”
Matthew 6:14

I notice that He doesn’t say we have to be with them all the time, especially if it’s someone who habitually hurts us, but we do have to forgive.

I’ve discovered that if I try to view my offenders as they were as children or as hurting souls the way God sees them, it’s easier for me to forgive them.

Now it is up to me to demonstrate what Christ asks of me the next time family hurts me. But I’ll first have to get rid of the wish that an eject button was part of His plan!



Dee Yoder has written an Amish novel The Miting, based on the lives of many of her ex-Amish friends. Her second coming-of-age novel The Powerful Odor of Mendacity is in the editing and revision stage. Her newest WIP is the second novel in the Amish series, The Way Out. Her work is represented by Terry Burns, of Hartline Literary Agency. — An update:  Kregel Publishing has offered Dee a 3 book publishing deal for her Amish novel and two more proposed novels!  We are very proud of you, Dee! 

Dee has written over 80 short stories for the Faithwriters’ Weekly Writing Challenge. Several of her entries have received Editor’s Choice awards and will be published in upcoming Faithwriters’ quarterly anthologies. She volunteers as the writer of the ex-Amish newsletter, Dee’s News. Dee has been published in The Evangel, Good Tidings, and The Quill magazines. Her short story “Gonna Be a Mighty Fine Christmas” won second place in The Quill’s holiday short story contest.

Dee is married to Arlen. They have a college-aged son, Joseph and have unofficially adopted a lovely former Amish young lady, Rachel, as their daughter. Rachel is married to Eli, who is a wonderful son-in-law and addition to the family. Dee and her family are actively involved with the Mission to Amish People ministry, and they love to interact with, and support, the former-Amish who live near them in central Ohio. Dee earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Lee University.

She can be contacted through email at: or

Her online links are:

My Heart’s Dee-light blog:

Profile @ Faithwriters:

Mission to Amish People (MAP)

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2 Responses to “Family: Sometimes They Hurt You”
  1. Dee Yoder says:

    Thank you, Kathy. (:

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