“I suppose since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.”
-Paul Young, The Shack
I’m sitting with Katelin talking about relationships, and I’ve been ciphering on this for a few weeks. Really, for a couple months. For whatever reason, the summer is just rough. It always is. I’ve noticed in the past few days that I feel more tense than I have in my entire life. While I am very busy, I don’t usually carry tension. I’ve also noticed that it isn’t coming just from my life, but from the lives of the people closest to me. Friends, part of our team at church, family… it’s evident that people around me are hurting. With all this pain, I have a few observations:
- “since most of hurts come through relationships so will our healing” – this is so true. While this summer has been rough and tense because of people, people have also been a huge help. We’ve just started a new series at New Life Church called “We Are Not Okay,” and this is so true. The idea of all this is that we need each other – we need help. As a driven & independent person, it’s really easy to want to handle everything on my own. This summer has proven something: I can’t. Of course, we need Christ like bread and water… but this summer has taught me that we need His people. I am so thankful for the people in my life. I remember being particularly low one day and walking in to NLC for just a minute – not to work, not to stay… and I felt unconditional love. I walked out of there from a quick visit feeling loved, encouraged, and energized. We need people, and people will help heal what others have done.
- “Grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.” I have always said this, but understand like never before. I’ve always been really quick to offer advice to friends, being certain that it’s the right way to go. When dealing with people, grace is so hard to understand. Grace is really deep. Mercy. Pardon. Clemency. Favor. Goodwill. Kindness. Love. Grace is love. Grace is also not something someone else can give. To look at the picture of faith – grace comes from Christ. From the only perfect sacrifice – the only person able to conquer pain once and for all. In our relationships, we cannot understand grace given to others, much like we’ll never fully understand the picture of grace painted by Christ (this side of eternity). With this new understanding of grace, there’s a new challenge for myself – model grace in my relationships as closely to Christ as I can. People will fail, and I will fail people. But healing can be born from this – redemption comes through forgiveness.
- People warp reality into what they want it to be. This isn’t always malicious – in fact, I’d say more often than not, people have positive intentions. But we have a picture in our heads of what life should look like. Who people should be. What relationships should look like. When life doesn’t match this picture, we warp, distort, twist, whatever it takes to make it land where we want it. This understanding has given me much more patience for people. To realize people aren’t evil and malicious, but operating trying to make the world what they want it to be. Working for good, not for evil (with exceptions).
- From pain comes healing. Life sucks sometimes. It really just does. Pain brings healing (when handled correctly). Spiritually, storms make us stronger when we lean on Christ. Relationally, pain makes us stronger when we work through it with the right people.
This post is partially for my benefit (to sort through this all and bang it all out), and partially to share what I learned through a lot of mistakes and some lucky successes. I am so thankful for Katelin. I am so thankful for my family. I am immeasurably thankful for my church. I’m thankful for new friends born out of the past few months. I’m thankful for closed doors.
From hurt, here comes healing.