Someone hurt me recently. Went back on their word, had a new priority. Altered an experience for not only me, but a child of mine. Man, that really hurts.
As I wrestle with my anger and hurt, the wounds of being rejected yet again, with the pain this person has caused me, I falter. What do I say? What do I do? How do I expect more but keep the peace? How do I stand up for justice while being loving, kind and good?
The line between extending grace to those who hurt and standing up for just treatment will always be a delicate one for me. The preservation of relationship is always desired, but equally so is relationship foundated on true love and respect. Each situation and relationship is precious and unique, to be handled with thoughtful care and careful thought.
A few things I would do well to remember….
1. It could always be worse.
I have people. They are imperfect and they fail to meet my expectations, but they are still my people. There are children wandering a slum right now, waiting for someone to come along and be someone for them. There are people sitting in a court room right now discussing children who literally have no people, no family. Too many of them. There are children around the world today whose entire families have been obliterated by war or disease. I am not one of those children. I am so blessed I scarcely have the ability to recognize it.
2. I must recognize them as the humans they are.
Humans are not God. They are quite flawed. I may write well occasionally, but in daily life I mess up pretty often. I can be awkward, say the wrong thing, fail to be supportive where I should have been, the list goes on. Just like my messy self, so are my people. Most of us are still trying to heal from something. And most likely, we’ll be healing from it, working hard against its negative influence every day for the rest of our lives. Show grace. Amanda, show grace.
3. Each of us are not only human, we’re also on our own journey.
What illumination (or lightbulb moment) appears to me at 33 another may not realize until 45. Or they may have realized it at 15. Our genetic makeup, our histories, our experiences, personalities and inclinations all work intricately together to make each of us so unique that there’s no way we could all always understand the importance of the same thing at the same time. Our journeys were never destined to be identical, and that is truly a beautiful thing should we have eyes to see it.
4.That person that hurt me has a hurt too.
Somewhere along the line, this person has felt pain as well. In tense moments, it can be hard to remember that. Maybe as recently as yesterday they were hurt. Maybe as a child they were deeply wounded in ways I have no privy to, ways that could have left lifelong scars. Have compassion. How others act out of their own hurt often has nothing to do with me. Remember, it most likely isn’t a reflection of the love and treatment we all deserve. Because we all deserve love overflowing, even that person who just hurt me.
5. People are not my Savior.
They WILL fail me. They will fall short. Just as I will. My husband said to me several weeks ago, as I cried in the kitchen after a hard day, “you are never going to be her savior,” speaking of a child. I thought I could be. No, not a Savior. I have deficiencies in my character, limits in my energy, resources, confidence and compassion. That’s where we, people, end, and God must begin.
6. Give it up.
I may not ever receive the perfect relationship I crave. I must let it go. Today. I can’t let my high expectation change who I want to be, who God knows I can be. I can pray for our relationship, I can act on those prayers, but I ultimately cannot change anyone. That’s between their heart and God’s.
7. Most likely, I’m going to do the same sooner than I’d like.
I’m so flawed. I take people I deeply love, admire, laugh with, want more time with…I take those people and I say things to them that immediately put an uncomfortable and unfortunate space between us and I just as immediately wish I could unsay it.
But I’m learning. Slowly, ever so slowly, making better decisions than I did in the decades prior to this moment. I’ll still slip up, I’ll still need to ask forgiveness, check myself…but those moments, God willing, will become fewer and farther between as I recognize and grow from them.
Those people who hurt me…will they grow? Well, that’s in hands not my own. In my hands….my response. What will it be?