Oh, I’m upset.
And the more I think about it, the more upset I get.
I was angry enough to swear in my Facebook status.
I never swear on Facebook.
I was even doing pretty well at stopping completely. Well, admittedly, that changed in mid-February, but even since then, I’ve done a much better job at not swearing.
I hate even having to admit that I swear.
I just never liked it. I still don’t.
But I am so upset.
I have a legit reason for being upset. More than one, actually. And at the same time I worry that they’re petty issues, I realize that they are ripping apart one of the friendships I valued most highly.
But a friendship takes two people.
And I am only one.
I realized in my anger that I think music is literally my anti-drug. Literally. That and homework. When I’m feeling as hurt as I am, I turn to music. When I’m thinking myself into depression and anger, I power through my homework so I’ll actually overthink about something that’s going to matter as much the next day as it does at the present moment.
And I had a long overdue cry today. Although it wasn’t as long as I imagined it would be. I have myself a darn good cry every six months or so and I don’t think this was volatile enough to express the emotions of the past six months.
They have been six long, hard months.
I’m listening to “Atmosphere [Ambiente Mix]” by tobyMAC. I love all three mixes of the song, but I think this one might be my favorite. The chorus is in Spanish (“ambiente” means “atmosphere”), which makes me feel at home in a way nothing else can. My mother is from Honduras and spoke Spanish to me growing up, so it’s my first language (although I’m not fluent). I took Spanish all four years of high school and have a class this semester, so I’m hoping to polish it, especially since my family’s going to Honduras this summer and this Christmas. All that to say, the Spanish chorus of the Ambiente mix stirs up the memories in my subconscious of being a little girl and speaking Spanish fluently for my age.
That was not my point with the song though. My point was to pull out relevant lyrics. Take for instance:
I know you keep a journal
And every page is rippled
From the tears that you cry
Ain’t no meanin’ to your scribble
‘Cause words can’t describe
What you’ve been feelin’ inside
It’s like thousand foot walls
And they’re still on the rise.
I really don’t cry, ever, besides my semiannual one, so I definitely don’t have any rippled pages in my journals. However, on the pages, expressed in quickly and therefore somewhat messily written words, is so much pain. I have spent the past four years building walls. And I only figured out in the past six months that it. is. okay. to let those stone walls crumble, to let Jesus slowly pull the stones away, one by one, assuring me all the while that it’ll hurt, but love is never painless. And even so, love is never in vain. And I can see myself telling Him, as I want to tonight, that there is almost no way I’ll take the pain with the love. And I can see Him stopping, collecting the tears that fall as I say that, and then telling me that it’s my decision. Love will always come with a price. But if I want, I can walk away.
I can do that. He died for me to have that choice.
And yet, how could I? How could I tell Him I don’t think love is worth the price I have to pay for it? How can I tell Him it hurts too much to let another person–or even Him–past the stone walls I built so systematically?
How could I tell the very same who took on the pain of the world for love, that my small share of that pain is too much for the same love?
I mean, it’s not like Jesus says, “Thank you for choosing to follow Me, for seeing that love is worth the small price you pay. You can collect your proportionately small amount of love at the table over there. Last names N-Z go to Gabriel’s table.”
He doesn’t say that.
But He doesn’t.
Instead, He gives me His whole heart. His overflowing, overwhelming, immense and selfless love.
All of it.
And He not only gives me all of it, but He offers me the chance to bless others by being a channel of that love. In incredibly simple yet incredibly beautiful ways.
So I can slam my door and throw my phone and swear (not, of course, that I did any of that tonight), or I can be a channel of love by grace.
Isn’t that a beautiful word? I love it. There’s just something about that soft c sound that makes it sound magical.
The weird thing is it starts with a hard g. But I think grace is like that. It’s a little tough. You have to let go of your agenda, your plan, your pride. Your own self. That’s humbling. And it’s a tough pill to swallow. It kinda smacks us in the face. And maybe this is just the inevitable analysis from a nerdy English major, but I’ve always thought of the hard g sound as a punch in the stomach, or something equally as forceful.
But it ends so nicely. Grace. So softly. That c sound reminds me of a ballerina–appropriately so, for we often refer to such dancers as graceful. It’s a soft whisper on the wind, the smile evoked from some secret joy, the act of rocking your baby cousin to sleep as she’s nestled in your arms.
Grace leaves us a little softer, a little more vulnerable, a little more open to love.
But you have to leave your pride behind first.
I am a terribly proud person. I always have been. And I hate laying it down. I don’t want to lay it down today. I don’t want to extend grace and by doing so not seek any sort of recognition from my friend about the issues at hand, much less an attempt on her part at fixing them.
I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. But I think it would be an intentional slap to Jesus’s face at this point to say I won’t extend grace.
I think I’m going to take a break from blogging, because my journal has been sorely neglected since I started here. My journal being 150% of the reason I’m still mostly sane, this just isn’t acceptable. I hate to phrase it that way, but that’s really what it comes down to. I don’t know how long this’ll last, though, so I’d recommend checking back periodically if you don’t want to miss anything.