I have been guilty of saying too many things or perhaps just the wrong things. In my younger days I was overly critical of others and rode my high horse like I was in a parade. I could tell you exactly the three easy steps you needed to take to get your shit together. I played by all the rules and look how well my life was going. You could do the same.
I am wiser now, with far less answers.
I have walked through some tragedy. I have experienced being on the receiving end of harsh criticism and other people who know exactly how I should respond to said tragedy.
“If I were you….”
“If I behaved the way you behaved I would have the same struggles.”
“Aren’t you being a little dramatic?”
“See, this is what happens when….”
All this not including being browbeat with Scripture out of context and shamed with a false idea of what love and fidelity mean. It has been a learning experience, one that I am profoundly grateful for. I know some of you have been reading my blogs for about 15 years, long before it took this form. I would like to say here and now that I am sincerely sorry if I ever put being right above being loving. I am sorry if I didn’t weave truth and charity together like the tapestry they are supposed to be. I am sorry if I ever judged you without knowing the full picture, if I withdrew when you needed me to draw close, or if I put forth a version of my life that was less than authentic.
In related news, yesterday the divorce was final. Yesterday was like I finally stopped holding my breath. I sat in my car afterward. Just sitting there. Breathing. Just inhaling deeply and exhaling and letting the wave of emotions wash over.
It’s amazing the things you feel when someone stops loving you. There are all the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. But there is also something else. There is this question: If the person who knew and loved me best stops loving me, perhaps I am not lovable.
It’s a diabolical question.
But Jesus, who shows His face in those of our brothers and sisters, had a message for me yesterday. It went like this:
I texted a friend and told her that it was done. And she replied, “Whatever divorce may make you feel, you’re actually super easy to love!”
If ever there was a text message that was the equivalent of aloe vera on a burn, it was this one. It meant more to me than I could possibly put into words. All the things I could not articulate were answered in this one sentence.
It brought me back to my favorite scene from my favorite movie. When I first saw this movie I had to pause it after this scene just to recover from the weeping. It was Jesus, speaking directly to my wounded and unbelieving heart.
Are you hearing this? Do you need to watch it again? You are loved and adored, no matter how life has made you feel. Jesus bought the field for love of you. (Matthew 13:44-46)