In my anger and bitterness, I can’t help but feel Christ telling me to lay it down. There’s so much pride that I’m holding on to in wanting the other person to say sorry first or “why can’t they just…” but that’s exactly the problem (or mine at least), isn’t it? Amidst the bickering and frustrations, I realize how much I wasn’t wanting to let go of this thing—this unnecessary baggage that I could’ve just easily let go of. It tells me that I’ve said “sorry” too many times and now it was the other person’s turn. I was being stubborn and I knew it.
It took so much effort to just sit and examine what really goes on between us sometimes and it’s something that rarely happens for both of us. We sat in silence for a really long time and it took us forever to finally hit the surface—at the anger, insensitivity and the list goes on. Then what happens?
A lot of people get frustrated at the barriers and masks that others put up and I realize that in my frustrations, I have a tendency on giving up on people. I know I do. I’d be lying if I wasn’t like that sometimes. I push other people away.. and I feel like the reality of it is that no one ever really wants to stick around to see what’s underneath all the mess. And that image of wrapping my hands around their imperfections and faults, if I was being truly honest with myself—I don’t think I ever wanted to do anything with it in the first place. It’s when walls come down, and the emotions come out, you begin to realize that it’s a scary thing to dabble in and really take the time to examine. Because… it leaves me exhausted and it’s such a damn, tangled mess.
All the muddled emotions that were sprawled out on the floor today after our conversation laid there unkempt and disheveled. It didn’t care anymore about what the other person had to say. Too often, I get caught up in just shoving things aside and having it all together that I forget that I’m not wrong for being upset—but that doesn’t give me a validation for treating the other person like garbage. Whatever the other person is feeling is still valid and it’s pointing to something of value to the person who is feeling it—whether I understand it or not.
And this pride game is such a tiresome thing to keep holding on to. But, sadly, the heavy hold of pride and anger on my heart simply leaves no room for me to pursue Christ-like relationships and it only enslaves me to my own selfish desires. And at the end of the day, neither of us were victors. We were just both sinners trying to justify and reconcile our brokenness. And while things like this are never easy to leave behind, it is necessary. I can’t bear the things that go on in anyone’s hearts, but if I am in Godly pursuit of Christ centered relationships, then I’m committed to supporting and helping the other person grow in ways that they actually need.
And being committed enough to getting messy, sharing lives, fighting for each other’s brokenness, pointing one another to Christ, shining light in their darkness, enduring with one another—and I don’t even know anymore… I thought I knew how to love people but it seems like such a foreign concept to me right now—because I hate it, I’m selfish and it’s just so hard.
It was at the end of the conversation that we both decided to pray. It allowed us to see, that in ourselves—we are simple unable and our willpower/selfish hearts are not enough. But in Him, we always find the strength to have more grace, more compassion and more room for humility to love and serve one another—even if it’s just one more time. He reminded me that behind the mighty picture of His love was a willingness to sacrifice to the point where he laid down his life for others.
But perhaps, just maybe, I am not only loved for my flaws—but He loved me enough, that out of His love, He demanded that I grow. Hence are we not called to do the same for others?
… so here are the thoughts of a sulking 22 year old girl with a heavy heart while folding her laundry.
We’re all so desperate to be understood,
we forget to be understanding.
Rain on roof outside window, gray light, deep covers and warm blankets. Rain and nip of autumn in air; nostalgia, itch to work better and bigger. That crisp edge of autumn.
This September, I took a step back to let everything just sink in. On the long car ride home from Socal to Norcal (and back), my brother and I talked for hours. He was driving this old, 2-seater, black Mazda that was re-painted black from it’s original color—bright red. The faded brown leather seats inside had several tears making the spongy insides visible and the smell… well there was that. He says it’s a race car… so every once in a while, he would sarcastically say with a straight face, “top-down?!” While riding 80 mph down the highway for 5 hours? I think not. This weirdo… I feel like whenever I see him these days, I’m rediscovering a completely new person. Sure we’ve grown up together and had our fair share of fights but there’s something about distance and time that has really changed us. We talked about struggles with our faith, our family, and our future. While talking with him, it was almost scary and surreal to think about the things that had happened to me over the past few months.
I told him the story of how I went from jobless to fully employed and I think I’m learning again what it means to trust God for what I cannot see.
We both unknowingly realized that we started joining a crossfit box at the same time. After realizing that we talked about it for about half the car-ride home, he made fun of us saying, “do you know what the first rule of crossfit is? ALWAYS TALK ABOUT CROSSFIT.” Talking about crossfit with my brother, being able to listen to a housemate’s story of a herniated disc, seeing patients whose daily lives are impaired by carpal tunnel or amputations and chronically ill patients whose bodies are stricken and ravaged by cancer through my work/internship—I’m learning how to be thankful and content for the health and strength He has provided for me. There were so many moments where my heart just broke while I was getting to know these patients that I was so humbly reminded of a beauty in Peter 3:3-4. The fight for self-acceptance and finding my identity in Christ was and still is a long hard race to run, but slowly and surely, I’m realizing the more I am rooted in Him, the greater the joy I find.
We talked about our faith and struggles with the church and I saw how serving can sometimes really derail the servant from His works—making it a focus of OUR doing. There I’m learning to see that any worthwhile love will require the help of Jesus. That is—to love and serve someone WELL. They need to be able to see that Jesus is the one ultimately found in your love so that they may grow. Ultimately, if I am unable to be selfless in my love, then I am only self-serving and am not loving at all. I am incapable of so many things and I cannot… but “when you (I am) are weak, then I am (He is) found”.
These were just tidbits and pieces of how I’ve seen Him been working in my life. No doubt, there were other numerous places where I’ve felt His pokes and prods. But through it all—especially this past summer, I know that His hands have been graciously chipping away, pruning, stretching and molding me. And this September, He has allowed me to see the fruitful harvest of what was sown in the fields and planted in the vineyards. And though summer may have ended, I’m ultimately seeing His providence through every rain, sun and season. And the words that always keep on coming back to me every time is grace.
Oriesa, you are loved. May times of trials ambush you, break you, tear you apart. But in your wandering, won’t you see? …that you are clothed, covered, wrapped, showered, protected and embraced so tightly in an abundant cloth of grace. And the light I shine over you is love. I will sustain you and I am enough.
To show me, ”once for all,”
That I may SEE and taste.
And fall into His hold,
A child, undone by grace.