by Molly LaCroix
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Jesus provides the vision: “Love each other as I have loved you” (John 15:12). Jesus loved generously, even lavishly, surprising people by loving without preconditions or limits. He pursued people to love them, bringing healing and freedom. We need loving relationships when we are struggling with life’s challenges. Unfortunately, the Christian community has not always been a reliable source of support. The strategies used in an effort to be helpful often break relationship because they are rooted in fear, not love. We fear vulnerability, and we feel vulnerable when we go through times of distress or walk with someone who is. Our fear of vulnerability blocks our capacity to connect when we need it most. Restoring Relationship explores the roots of vulnerability and provides a framework for transforming fear into love through connection.Through stories and exercises, I introduce a new spiritual practice based on the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model, demonstrating the congruence of IFS with biblical and theological truths. Common causes of distress, including loss, betrayal, addiction, and the emotional response to physical and mental illness, are explored through the lens of IFS and the new spiritual practice. Through this journey of connection, constraints to loving relationships are removed, restoring loving relationships with God, one another, and ourselves.