How I Won Back My Family By Losing the Fight

PeaceKeeping: Leaving the Charge & Losing to Win

I didn’t intend to start with a story about warfare. But this is reality.

Our families are under attack. 

Whether the first thought that popped into your head when you read that statement was a connection to what’s happening in the world today, outside the boundaries of your own family, or a connection to a personal struggle you are having within it, I bet you know the attack I’m talking about.

You probably have an opinion about it, too. (Feel free to share.) But this is how I’m fighting.

Failure to Participate in EVERY BATTLE

I have a challenging family life – it is definitely both blended and complicated. I know I’m not alone.

While I’m grateful for how we’ve grown as a family and continue to grow in such a challenging atmosphere, some conflicts that are inherent to family life (and amplified in blended families) can be damaging.

As in the case of custody suits.

My family faced (and continues to face, three years and running) a damaging conflict from a very broken piece of my past.

Initially, we faced:

  • a new visitation schedule that included multiple school nights and separated siblings,
  • geographic restrictions in a time that moving for work was a real need,
  • a name change, dividing the child from her identity of origin without her input, and
  • sharing decision-making rights with someone who didn’t want to talk to me. Ever.

how i lost to win

For a while I fought the good fight, but I’m sorry to say, that though it tries, our justice system is not designed to protect families. We were all losing in a big way – especially my daughter who was the subject of this conflict.

So I stopped fighting.

I stopped fighting because in an effort to keep my family together, I was allowing it to be ripped apart. 

peacekeeping is winning for Families

I chose peace. Peace would allow me to focus on my family not the outside noise of Brokenness the world was assaulting us with.

Here’s how I stopped fighting to win:

  • I took myself out of the middle, and refocused on my family. Whew, it was a relief.
  • I looked back at what was on the table. What is this fight really about? Winning.
  • Do I need to win? No. You aren’t winning. No one is winning but Brokenness.
  • I considered what “winning” was for my daughter: Peace, less stress, my attention.
  • I weighed whether “winning” for my daughter was also “winning” my family. YES.

After, I sat with my thoughts…

I decided to lose – because losing was the price for peace, and that was winning for our family.

I gave the enemy more than what he asked for and walked away with peace.

Was the price high? Yes, dearly high. Would I do it again? Mostly. Is my daughter okay? YES. Is my family okay? YES.

Is The Fight Over?

No. In fact, we just went to court again, this time with me leading the charge for the right to be reimbursed for medical bills, the right to talk to my daughter during visitation periods and so on.

It seemed like a righteous attack. It was.

But again, I had to come face-to-face with knowing when losing was winning. And though I led the charge into this battle against Brokenness, I’m leaving it for now because, unfortunately as I mentioned, the justice system is not where families win. We can make advances in court but we don’t have victories there – not real ones.

Do I feel like I won this time? YES. Why?

Because this is a war against my family, and the war isn’t over.

But I stood up for my daughter, nicked enemy (which, remember is Brokenness, not man) with the sharp end of my blade, gained some knowledge about what it will take to win the war and left in peace.

WHERE IS THE WAR WON?

The answer is the reason I’m working on this project.

The war against family is won within the family. {Tweet}

I know having strong family ties that bind us together is what will save my family. To create those, my family needs peace and my full attention.

It is a matter of survival out here in the war zone. How well armed is your family for its next battle?

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