Children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb, a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children born in one's youth. Blessed are they whose quivers are full. They will never be shamed contending with foes at the gate. ~Psalm 127:3-5

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hurtful People Are Gifts, Too

Yes. They. Are.

I have to keep telling myself this over and over and over again.  I have to remind myself that every single person I cross paths with will leave some sort of mark on my life, and I have to believe in the grace that comes with every mark- be it a  gaping slash that wounds or a gentle caress of love.

It's so much easier to recognize the caresses of love.  And so much easier to see them as gifts, to accept them with hands open, to be thankful for them.  I wish that every mark felt like that, looked like that, breathed like that.  But reality is- life unfortunately is- that there are other marks, darker marks, marks that make one bleed, marks that take awhile to heal.

And that's what I'm wrestling with.  I am trying to heal.  I'm trying to get over being hurt so deeply in such a way that I never saw coming.  Or maybe I did see it.  Maybe there were signs and I chose to ignore them because I'm just crazy like that; because I'm just that needy in the way of desiring acceptance and respect and love from others.  Maybe I fell under the same spell of rejection and pain as my husband, taking up his cross as my own, desiring something I have always told him he probably will never get himself. Maybe.

As I've been writing down gifts on a daily basis, the ones I see etched in the faces of each little person in my house, the ones splattered across the skies of morn and of eve, and the ones hidden in the chaos, I am reminded over and over that even in difficulty there are gifts.  Even in anxiety and sleeplessness and crowded space and polarized emotions, there are blessings and the grace which God desires to fill me with.  And that includes the difficult people.  It includes the heart-wrenching and the anger and the sadness associated with dealing with these people.

In the moments I find myself rehashing things in my head, trying to understand, I have to fight hard to remember this grace, these gifts.  I have to listen for that slight whisper which I know to be there. I have to keep the faith as I dig down reeeeally deep.  When I wonder how one can be so broken as to not be able to maintain a normal relationship with me.  When I fail to realize that it isn't really about me, but them.  When I have completely forgotten the recent unearthing of explanations as to the nature of one's personality.  When I am desperate, wondering why I can't just be loved by them.

I remember- or try to- the infinite love of God and the graces He fills me with in dealing with all of this, of the pinpricks of emotion that jab at me and gape my heart open in the most unexpected moments.  The realizing my purpose is not to be understood or loved by everyone, but to be light to everyone even through the darkness of misunderstanding, even when they refuse to see it.

My brother recently posted one of those FB memes on my timeline which read "Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you."  The day he posted that I was in great peril inside myself.  And he didn't even know it.  It was like a little love note from God.  He used my brother to remind me that life isn't about me, that it doesn't matter how misunderstood I am.  That I don't need to crack people's heads open and stuff them full of information about myself that they'll just immediately drain out their ears or use to their advantage to gain control.  Because they just don't want to understand me.  And their issue isn't about me.  It's about them.  It's about their inability to cope with life and reality, and their rejection of true and unconditional love. 

And life is really about Jesus Christ anyway.

Christ was completely misunderstood by those who never took the time to really get to know and follow Him.  People didn't want to turn from their ways and realize they were wrong so they refused to understand, they refused to acknowledge His nature, the Truth.  They refused to change in order to love.  They accused Him of things He didn't do and backed away from a relationship with Him, because of fear.  And then they killed Him.

By conforming my sufferings to Christ, I am attempting to push past the pain I feel, continuing on in my journey to be light and salt to the earth; to fulfill my calling as a servant of the Lord. And as a servant, I must cultivate love.  I must try to see my dealings with difficult people as the gifts that they are. Their very nature has caused me to draw closer and cling ever more to Christ, to reflect on myself and my own failings, to realize the truth of brokenness in human relationships.  It has caused me to love my children harder, to be more gentle with my husband and myself.  It has caused me to grow stronger, and seek the ability to draw lines, set boundaries and really scratch the itch for healing and wellness in the exact spot that is needed. If those aren't gifts, I don't know what is.  So I'll take them. Wrapped in brokenness and haphazardly held together with fear, they will serve as some of the best gifts in my life.  And I am thankful for them.

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