About the Author

Mary is a writer and speaker who lives for good books, spicy queso, and television marathons – but lives because of God’s grace. She writes about giving up on perfect and finding truth in unexpected places at MaryCarver.com. Mary and her husband live in Kansas City with their two daughters.

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  1. Terrific! I am so sorry about the plumbing! We are in the middle of making a decision that could be a game changer in our families lives. I have ignored it and today I will face it! Thank you!

  2. Mary,
    Thank you for speaking truth so plainly and in language we all can understand! I am a peace-maker, a very non-confrontational person, so yes this type of thing is extremely hard for me to do. God does call us to hold our tongue, but He also calls us to speak the truth in love. I have several issues on my plate that I need to quit skirting around and tackle head on. I pray that God would give me the ability to do so, but to do it in a loving and Christ-like way. Thank you for an honest post that I needed to hear!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • It’s so hard for me, too, Bev! I’m thankful for your reminder that we are to speak the truth in love – THAT is one that I need to remember on a very regular basis!!

    • You know what’s funny is that I didn’t even realize that part of the situation until I was in the midst of writing this piece. Love how God reveals truth to us!

  3. GREAT and practical application!

    Sorry for your plumbing issues, but thankful that they will not be fixed!

  4. What truths! And to think we laugh at our cats when they think they are hiding, yet their tails are in full view. Is that not the same as us burying our head in the sand, pretending a particular situation does not exist, so we do have to deal with it? Yes, procrastination is a friend I listen to way too often. Not today, I will face my issue, with God’s help.

  5. As an experienced ostrich all I can say is “amen” … you are so right too that the cost of keeping our heads in the sand is greater over the years than dealing with the problem when it presents itself. Thanks for your reminder.
    Carole

  6. I’m in the middle of this–ignoring the problem. It’s been years in the making. It’s not getting better. But I’m so worried that if I bring it out in the open, it will all fall apart and nothing will be left. I try telling myself that love covers a multitude of sins. But I’m not sure that love means pretending it doesn’t exist. Lots of wisdom in your post, and lots to think on. Thanks for tackling hard things.

    • Praying for you right now!! Love does cover a multitude of sin….. BUT, sin also grows under the cover of darkness and it’s only in the exposure to light that freedom is found. You are right that things might completely fall apart, but sometimes that is the only way to begin building it back right!

      I love Lamentations 3:22-24 NLT….especially verse 24!

  7. Yes, there is a conversation that I need to have. My victim-mentality introduced codependency into my life and I so fear rejection that I have been putting off establishing boundaries and letting this person know that I have to be responsible for my own life. That I have to let God do the healing, the surgery on my soul. I am in a recovery program that has been a tremendous help to me, but now I have to take what I am learning and apply it to my life. It has been a painful process, but I know God can turn ashes into something beautiful. Asking for prayers as I do the hard things necessary for healing. Also asking for prayers for my teenage daughter, that she will have patience and see Jesus working in me. Thank you!

    • Christina, it sounds like you are taking great steps toward resolving your situation in a healthy way. Yes, God can and does turn the ugliness of our lives into redemptive beauty. Praying your family can continue doing the hard things and seeking God’s truth in all of it!

  8. Yep, I’ve done this. I ignored/avoided/denied much in my first marriage and it didn’t help but enabled further offense. I’ll never know if confronting earlier could have made a difference, but the price paid was dear and costly. I make a conscious effort now to get things out into the open, often to the annoyance of others…but lessons have been learned and I don’t want to repeat the same errors.

    • The one person I don’t avoid confrontation with is my husband. He’s not always a fan of that, either, but I’ve explained that it’s because I trust and value him more than any other person. I love the way you share with us how learning from your previous relationship enriches and changes your new one!

  9. Thank you for this gentle reminder. As non confrontational as I am and with the current situation I’m facing, I can say I have attempted to face it. Several times. But to no avail. I would cyclically make attempts, wait to see change, then end up at the same result. Nothing. Please pray for God’s guidance for me through this. This issue is still unacceptable to me, although I’ve given ample to time to see some effort. Please pray for me. That I will hear God’s voice and be courageous enough to do take action.

    • Praying that you find strength and courage to continue to follow God’s voice in your situation. And praying that He will make way for change and you will come out the other side praising His name for the miracle He’s done in your life!

  10. My family background always has been to ignore the problems and just be pleasant to one another. Emotional outbursts were taboo and letting people know we are hurt and need help was censured. We were to be strong, independent and never whine when life was unfair. Some of these traits that were instilled could be a good help but others were to our detriment. Currently I have a very surface relationship with my youngest sister who is the caregiver for my mom. She will never let me help and says, “Everything’s under control.” To confront her about specifics means she will become angry and shut down. It seems futile to “rock the boat” and demand to know what is happening. My husband wants me to be more aggressive and tell her that since I’m a sibling, I should have the information. It is too hard for me to do so as it means I have to risk the relationship with the sister as well as with my mom. But I know I can’t ignore the problem. Thanks for letting me vent and give me direction.

    • Ohhh, Kathy, that sounds so difficult. I have several surface family relationships as well, and I know how hurtful and frustrating it can be. Praying you can seek and find God’s wisdom to finally make positive changes in your family.

  11. I’d like to add, as someone with a rare chronic illness, an encouragement to those who are avoiding the fact that there is something wrong with their health. You know there is something not right. It isn’t going to go away, and it will probably get worse. Grab a friend, take a deep breath, say a prayer and go see your doctor!! Please. God will supply what you need to get through this, whatever it is.

  12. Thanks for the post, just what I needed. I too have issues with keeping my hostilities to myself when I should let others know how I feel. My daughter is my caretaker and she wants to do everything her way as she lived alone after a short marriage she thinks that she should be in charge now as then. It is so much an issue with us until I have almost given up and let her lead as she will. Please pray that we will come to some kind of understanding that things can at least run peacefully once again. Its so frustrating.

  13. Mary,

    Super great analogy and article. Sorry about the plumbing problem, but like you said fix it right the first time and then forget it.

    At times I can have problems and not even realize it. I go about my days until at one point I explode, usually on my husband. Then we sit down and talk about the issues and we pray also. That way the problem gets solved and we both feel better.

    • Great point, Beth – sometimes we can’t face a problem because we simply don’t know it’s there yet! But once we do…well, then, it’s time to get to work! 🙂

  14. So very true, Mary! As a Life Coach, I think of all of the issues people deal with (or not deal with) in their lives. In fact, most life issues and obstacles in people’s lives is due to ignoring the truth. They put a band aid on by making a small change, convincing themselves that it’s been dealt with and won’t crop up again. Over and over, they face the same issue year after year, spending huge amounts of time and energy they can never get back when if faced head on up front, it would have been a one time, much less expenditure which would have freed up years of stress, anger and frustration. Actually, the cost is often the loss of a job, marriage, etc. Don’t buy the lie that it’s harder to deal with something than to put it off. 🙂 Blessings!

  15. What if the problem can’t be fixed. I have a problem and the only way i can thank off for it to be fixed is for the other person to forgive me for a mistake I made . I mistake I made by accident which part of a prayer request I was making for healing for our relationship. I wish this other would forgive me. Unless God has some other way other than the person forgiving me to fix the problem which has been going on for two years . I think my problem is unfixable. Losing this person who is my sister in law hurt me so much and my husband has suffered to . to only have we lost this sister in law but also lost the rest of my husbands family as this sister in law has poisoned the rest of my husbands family against me and now they hate me to. I wish so much that i had never written my prayer request two years ago becasue my sister in law and the rest of my husbands family would still be in my husbands and my life now.

    Rachael

    • Oh, Rachael, I’m so sorry to hear what you’ve been going through. How difficult for you and your husband! I don’t think your situation is something you’ve been ignoring and need to face; unfortunately it sounds like it’s out of your hands for now. I have two [formerly] close friends who have never forgiven me for something, so I know how frustrating that can be. It sounds like you might just be left to pray about it for now, with hopes that your SIL will forgive you and your family can be restored. I’m praying for you right now, that your relationship with your husband will remain strong and that your family will be healed…