Rupture and Repair

March 27, 2016 Attachment, parent-to-child attachment, Whitney 0 Comments

Rupture and repair is how, in the adoption world, we describe relationships when they experience a breaking and need to be mended. In some cases, it’s the child who is trying to understand the boundaries that are set, and whether or not we as the parents will still use the words, “I love you” if those boundaries are breached. Sometimes it looks like the parent reacting to a situation in a way that shows impatience versus grace. 

Although it’s a phrase we were introduced to during our adoption training, I have found it really applies to all of our children, regardless of how they joined our family.

Both types of rupture have happened in our house. Both have been healed through intentional repair on the part of the parent, because our children (especially the younger ones) don’t yet understand how to repair. My hope is that they will all value the significance of repairing relationships as they watch their parents model humility in the “I’m sorry” moments. I pray that they will see us getting on their level, eye-to-eye, seeking repair and know that it’s not us, but Christ in us that gives us the ability to act in a way that is so contrary to our nature which desires to be right and have others know that we are right.

It has been fascinating to watch the fast-track version of understanding dawn across the face of our newest daughter as her comprehension of the world around her grows in leaps and bounds. She knows that the “I’m sorry” is a big deal, and I know with every hot tear that falls from her brown eyes and my green eyes… repair is happening. The neck-crushing hugs she lays on me proves that she values our relationship being healed versus being okay that it is broken. No matter what the cause of the rupture is… there is grace.

How can I extend anything but grace to this child who wants nothing more than to know she is loved? The way she whispers, “Mommy, I like-a you, you like-a me?” tells me that the repair goes deeper than I can imagine as she seeks confirmation of her place in this family of hers.

I am often reminded of this truth… my heavenly Father is the best of repairmen; He is the most skillful at assessing a rupture and making it new again. He proved it… wasn’t the Garden of Eden the greatest of ruptures? Walking in the perfection of knowing God and talking with Him freely and living without a hint shame took a dramatic turn for the worse with just one bite of fruit. Immediately, fear and shame marred the perfection; those who knew God intimately were now running with bowed heads filled with a knowledge that should not be there.

The greatest of ruptures, yes. And yet… the Cross.
The Cross is the place where He got down on our level, God Incarnate, and sought the greatest of repairs out for those He loves.
The Cross is Father God crying out to us across the generations… “There is no rupture too great that I cannot repair it!”
The Cross is Jesus saying “yes” in obedience and showing us… “I will do anything to heal the rupture between us!”
The Cross is the Spirit moving; ready, willing… “And even after the repair, you’re not on your own, I will advocate for you!”

I am always testing the boundary lines of the love He has freely lavished on me! At this stage in my life, breaching of boundaries is often unintentional; it’s not defiance or doubt that motivates me, it’s apathy. I become uninterested, non-enthusiastic or even forgetful about the goodness of the Lord. I live my day-to-day lukewarm, with my eyes focused on the tasks at hand. In parenting, I lose sight of the need to be intentional about the ruptures needing extra attention, the hurts needing extra compassion.

Unlike me, God has no parenting fails. He is a good Father; He looks past the surface level of me and knows that no matter what happens, He will still love me.  

Every rupture has already had its repair at the Cross, and the promise of the fix being sure is found in the moment of Resurrection when the tomb was emptied.

Jesus’ death on the Cross would mean nothing if it weren’t for the promise of the third day, the shock of angels speaking to women, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

The promise that was made was fulfilled! Every promise made by God can be trusted because of this moment, this miracle, this mammoth stone rolled away from the grave.

As a mother, this truth needs to be more real than any other truth in my life because I am going to mess up. Hot tears roll down my face as I once again realize the truth of the repair… I am overwhelmed as the cost sinks deep into my soul. I am in awe as the truth of Resurrection rings true.

He loves me. So much.


This realization is something that shouldn’t just happen once in a lifetime, or once a year at Easter. The heartbeat of the Resurrection is to have rupture and repair be a song we sing daily with our Savior. We run to Him, repentance singing in our hearts, and He lovingly repairs what is broken.

Happy Easter, friends. He is Risen!

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