From Hope Valley Devotional (Week 19): The Blessing of Open Communication

March 11, 2020

Happy Wednesday friends! As I shared several  months, I am excited to re-share some of the most popular devotional posts that I wrote in 2017-2018 (if you would like to see the complete list you can find it HERE!) and am excited to share this one this week! I hope that this continues to be a beautiful blessing even several years later!
Throughout the first seasons of When Calls the Heart we as viewers were blessed by lots of different (and wonderful) advice that Abigail gave. From the very first episode of the show Abigail not only inspired the fictional town people of Hope Valley, but also the #heartie community at large with her gentle encouragement and rich wisdom. In this seventh episode of Season 2 we are once again challenged to consider the beautiful truth that Abigail puts before us- the blessing that comes from open communication.

I am sure, like myself, that we have all experienced walking the heartbreaking road of a relationship change. Where once conversation flowed freely, it becomes stilted and quiet due to mis-communication and mis-understandings. For a variety of different reasons conversations start to drift off and instead of diving into the deep waters of what is going on at the heart of the matter, conversation over time stops.

I remember years ago a talk show host asking a guest about his marriage. He was asked if he believed that his marriage would last a lifetime. It seemed like a simple question, but at first the guest didn't answer and then he said that he couldn't promise a lifetime, all he could promise was for that day. When the host asked why he couldn't promise a lifetime commitment, he replied that he didn't know if he would be talking to his wife for a lifetime. At the time the audience laughed, but as I have thought about that scene years later, I realize there was incredible truth that this man was sharing. He was equating one of life's most deep relationships success rate with the fact that the conversation had to keep going or the relationship would end.

There is such powerful truth in this that extends beyond just a marriage relationship and goes into friendships, dating relationships, co-worker relationships, and extends to each person that we interact with in our lives. The minute that we stop talking and keeping open communication is the moment that a relationship starts to end. 

See, there is a blessing of open communication that is surrounded by love the restores lost voices, by the incredible power of speaking life-affirming and redeeming words, by letting go of what is not important, and giving blessing in graceful truth to those in our lives. In this type of setting, conversation and open communication (even when it is painful) can thrive. it can set the stage for a deeper relationship that only comes with open communication.

I am sure that there are a few of you that are reading this and thinking with brokenness, "but I tried... I tried to keep the conversation going and the relationship still died". My heart hurts for those of you in this position. Sometimes it can seem that despite our best effort to have open communication things still don't work out the way that we want, hope, or pray that they will. 

I had this exact same situation happen this year and it was incredibly difficult and hurtful. Despite my best efforts to continue communication a friend stopped responding to messages and without warning stopped all communication. It was incredibly hurtful and it was a painful season working through forgiveness. But in walking in forgiveness, I learned that there is a beautiful blessing that forgiveness brings to brokenness... the blessing of grace and love. Grace to realize that despite my best efforts and trying I can only be responsible for my part in relationships and that this person I counted as a friend had many serious emotional issues to work through behind the scenes that I was not aware of. There was grace to realize that I couldn't be what they needed and so when I put healthy and proper boundaries in place they responded out of their own pain... which had nothing to do with me. 

And that is where love comes to pour out onto other friendships and relationships. Friends, instead of dwelling on our pain and loss let us move towards others with an open heart, extending grace, and living in the blessing of open communication.

Open communication is sometimes difficult, messy, and incredibly hard as we live vulnerably in the world before us. It is having the courage to know that we can trust our hearts not only with the person before us, but mostly with the Lord. It is having the strength to know when to speak and when to listen. It is having the wisdom to understand that sometimes words are just words and that what is not being said is actually the deepest part of the conversation. Open communication requires a humility to realize that it is love in action as you put others before yourself. Open communication is having the confidence and the love for another person enough to speak gentle truth and grace into difficult situations.

Today, dear friends, let us have courage to keep the communication open, for in doing so we learn that there is a blessing that only comes from doing this... the blessing of deep relationships. 

"The mouths of the righteous utter wisdom, and their tongues speak what is just."
-Psalm 37:30-
*originally published on Caravan Sonnet in June 2017*

Looking for past From Hope Valley Devotionals? You can click HERE to find a complete listing of all of the devotionals! 

I have received several emails asking me about the books by Janette Oke that the series is based on. You may remember that I mentioned in my very first From Hope Valley Devotional post that I had read Janette Oke's series back when I was a teenager. The original book series, "The Canadian West Series" was based on Elizabeth's aunt and her adventures (she also married a Mountie). Here are the listing of the books from that series (there are six) in order:

In the last several years Janette Oke released a new series entitled, "Return to the Canadian West" which you can find listed below in order:

I receive several emails a week asking where you can watch older episodes of "When Calls the Heart". If you have a Netflix account you can find seasons 1-3 there or you can purchase them on Amazon. You can purchase and watch all of the seasons and episodes by clicking on the links below:

*Please note that the quotes used in these weekly devotionals are the sole intellectual property of Hallmark Channel, WCTH, & Crown Media, LLC. These on-line posts are in no way supported, endorsed or affiliated with WCTH, Hallmark Channel, or Crown Media. They are simply encouragement inspired by Janette Oke and this precious show.*

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