I’ll See You Tomorrow

Building Relational Resilience When You Want to Quit

Communication professor Dr. Heather Day and Seth Day joined Family Life Radio in a conversation about their new book – I’ll See You Tomorrow, in which together they show you how to tackle difficulties people face in relationships and how to navigate through relational disappointment, conflict, and fear. Check out their conversation with Family Life Radio’s morning show.

Read an excerpt from Chapter 1 – Loving Yourself So You Can Love Others

I (Heather) read something Michael Jordan, arguably the greatest basketball player to ever play, said about how he handles high-pressure games. “The only way to relieve that pressure is to build your fundamentals, practice them over and over, so when the game breaks down, you can handle anything that transpires.”

What are our fundamentals? What are the basics that we know to be true without having to think? What if we practiced those even in times of ease so that, when the game breaks down, we can handle anything that transpires? I think what God showed me during that week in Ohio was that in tandem with the ministry of presence is the ministry of our own absence. It is a healthy thing to know that God will still be God without me. That should be a fundamental. Our absence is a reminder to ourselves and others that we are, in fact, not God. That God wants us to co-labor, but with four tires and a tank of gas. Our exhaustion is not evangelism, and our hurry isn’t holy. In fact, we worship a God who commands our rest and therefore commands our absence. Rest should be a fundamental habit of the Christian spirit. We must take a day off.

I'll See You Tomorrow

“Remember the sabbath day,” the Lord wrote with his own finger, “to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8 KJV). Your rest is holy. Your peace has a purpose. Your absence is a ministry. God never asked you to be the steady hand in every room.

God says, “My own hand laid the foundations of the earth, and my right hand spread out the heavens” (Isa. 48:13). I’m sorry, but do you see your hand in the text?

Job says, “Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (12:9–10).

The Lord says, “Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10).

Put your little, shaky, approval-seeking hand down. Stick it in your pocket and let it rest awhile. Your hand is not what is important here. It is the hand of God that saves. The Lord is near. But you are a human being, and your body will react to the stress you put it under.

All around us, the world is breaking. Piece by piece, person by person, each of us is struggling to figure out how to survive today. My students say to me, “I am one small push or unkind word away from totally self-destructing,” and if I am honest, on many days, so am I. Life feels like one giant off-season. It feels like all I see is loss at every corner. I’m trying to do everything I can to not let my body break beneath the stress it’s under. And it is on days like these that Michael Jordan said we must remember the fundamentals. What have you decided is a fundamental?

In the documentary series “The Last Dance” that chronicles the history of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, Tim Grover, who spent fifteen years as Michael’s personal trainer, tells the story in episode eight of when Jordan lost to the Orlando Magic. The team felt defeated. Tim said that he turned to Jordan as they are walking off the court and said, “Just let me know when I will see you.”

It was the off-season. They had lost. It was time to go home and wallow. This chapter had ended.

But Jordan said, “I’ll see you tomorrow,” and walked off the court.

I guess that is why Michael Jordan is Michael Jordan. When everyone else went home, he said, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

What if that is what we all need right now? What if today isn’t the day for self-improvement? What if today isn’t the day to be the steady hand? What if today isn’t the time to offer your “fix it” or reconcile all that’s been broken? What if today it is okay to lose? Maybe today you lost your job. Maybe today you saw a Christian post something that makes you embarrassed to be one. Maybe today someone abused your goodness. Maybe today you discovered they cheated. Maybe today your child left for what feels like the last time. Maybe today you scared yourself because you thought about how easy it would be to die. What happens today may require us to stop. To lie down. To play dead where we are mid-crawl. But, again, there is an implicit promise in the word tomorrow. And I want you to remember that. Today, maybe you can’t. So I’ll see you tomorrow.

I spoke at a conference with Seth Franco. He told the audience that when he was in high school, he had been struggling with depression, and a teacher pulled him aside and said something like, “If you ever have a night you don’t think you’ll make it through, promise me, you’ll give it till tomorrow.”

Seth had been an emotional kid who struggled with chronic physical pain. He has hip dysplasia. Like Michael Jordan, he was a fantastic basketball player. He played in college, but the pain in his hip socket made it impossible for him to take his game to the next level. One night as an adult he was at the end of his rope and wanted to take his life, but he remembered the voice of his teacher: “If you ever have a night you don’t think you’ll make it through, promise me, you’ll give it till tomorrow.” Her voice came flooding back to him, and moved by the memory, he did just as she said. He didn’t take his life. Instead, he fell asleep. The next morning he learned that Universal Studios was filming a movie about basketball in Harlem. Seth Franco didn’t know it, but the night he wanted to end his life was the second night of a three-day tryout for the movie. He tried out and was cast for the lead role.9

Seth Franco was also the first white player since 1942 to tour with the Harlem Globetrotters. He did eventually have to have surgery on his hip. But while he was in a wheelchair, he spent his time practicing basketball tricks with his hands. He now tours the country and tells kids about faith and challenges. He tells them how what we feel today isn’t always what we will feel tomorrow.

“My story is just like a basketball,” he says. “You can get pushed down in life, but the harder life pushes you down, the higher you soar.”

However, while that can be true, sometimes being pushed down just leaves us on the floor. So if we’ve been pushed down, let’s weep. Today, we can scream. Today, we can call up whoever’s left and run through what all went wrong. Today, it may feel like the devil’s attacking you. Today may feel like failure. But I’ll see you tomorrow.

Our world is a rubber band that has been stretched so far that the edges are frayed. We are all one push or one unkind word away from breaking. We are collectively standing at the edge of a cliff and hoping no more ground beneath us wavers. Our hearts can’t handle one more thing. God help me, we all cry in unison.

My Christian experience so far has been with the God of “daily bread.” I haven’t met the God of “excess” yet. But I know a lot about the God of little by little. The God of patience. The God of “just enough.” In Matthew 6:9–11, when the Lord taught the disciples how to pray, he taught them to say, “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread.” And that is the God I have known. The God of “daily bread.”

Heather Thompson

If today all you have is enough energy or hope or faith for just this one single day, what if that is all you need? The thing about a God who provides daily bread is that there is more coming tomorrow. When it feels as if we have expended all our resources, thank goodness that the God of yesterday, today, and forever says, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

About the book:
In a culture where people easily and hastily cancel relationships rather than cultivate them, discover what the Bible has to say about how we need to keep showing up for one another—even when we feel like walking away.

We are surrounded by choices. If we want to watch a movie, we have multiple platforms we can choose from. If we grow tired of a friend or conversation, we leave them on read. It’s never been easier to tune out and make a switch when something doesn’t go perfectly or when we are offended. It’s easy to cancel something from our lives when it comes to technology, television shows, or choices of food and drinks. But what about canceling friends or family members when we are disappointed or offended by them?

In I’ll See You Tomorrow, communication professor Dr. Heather Thompson Day and Seth Day tackle difficulties that people face in relationships and help them navigate through relational disappointment, conflict, and fear. The dangers of a relational cancel culture are a timely one.

This book will help you:
learn to extend grace to yourself and your loved ones in order to forgive and keep showing up,
discover how childhood trauma continues to affect your relationships,
stop waiting for an ideal and refuse to let it prevent you from what’s possible,
recognize the value of a healthy (and small) circle rather than a large one, and refuse to let fear of what may or may not happen cause you to miss the beauty of what is.

Blending personal stories with data and research in a way that inspires truth and helps people change their everyday mindsets, Heather and Seth encourage you to embrace this valuable truth: relationships don’t have to be perfect to be fulfilling.

Want more? Check out our on demand resources


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