I am discovering that this whole grace thing is not a constant in my life anymore. Or perhaps it’s just shifting. It’s actually a bit hard to define because truly, I seem to vacillate more now than not, and I am surprised at how much things can still hurt, even when intellectually it’s quite clear that the reason for another person’s assaults rarely, if ever, actually has anything at all to do with me.
Maybe the defining factor for employing my grace meter, or not, is the level of intentionality. Perceived, at least.
My challenge is, and perhaps some of you have some wisdom in this area, is how to keep loving someone while keeping them far enough away from your heart so as to not once again get burned. How to celebrate special occasions, support, love, without feeling the sting of rejection.
Every. Single. Time.
It’s an odd place to be, really, because I have more patience for so many more things these days. Life has taught me that we are all going through something, and many not only have not been given more effective communication and relationship tools, but most of them aren’t even aware said tools are MIA in the first place! And yet, those into whom I’ve poured my heart, prayers, time, emotions and vulnerability to, can still cut me like a knife.
And I know they’ve at least seen the toolbox.
Relationships are a hard thing, and while I don’t always know the best way to navigate some, I just need to continue being grateful to the ones who ARE there for and with me. Once, long ago, I was told by someone who had rejected me for years, that they greatly appreciated that “no matter what,” I never “moved.” I always “loved her unconditionally” and she knew I was there for her were she to ever allowed me into her life again.
Lovely until you realize that by being reliable, you’ve also managed to become a bit of a door mat.
Whatever tools you may or may not have, I would submit that you need more. I need more. Grace. Patience. Forgiveness. Willingness for resolution over winning. Realistic expectations. Grace and grace again. We are designed for relationship, so I can only imagine its intrinsic value into its capacity for helping us grow into who we are called to be. As iron sharpens iron, so do relationships smooth out our edges, force us to grow, and challenge us to love. The ebb and flow simply must be a part of the plan, even when it’s hard.
Set healthy boundaries, but never give up. Relationships, good and bad, may just be the only constant we have.