girl growing

and a space for her to play in

Monday, August 06, 2007


'learn the unforced rhythms of grace'
-matt 11:29; the message

ebb and flow.
all of these words describe rhythm to me...
and to have a rhythm implies a counter part,
that makes me wonder...
if one side is grace,
then what's the complement to this 'rhythm'...
i'm beginning to believe that this rocking back and forth is between grace and...
sigh...fucking up.
this week at harbor we looked at the idea of integrity.
that we can commit to something,
mess up and correct ourselves,
and then 'repeat as necessary' as jim put it.
that we can keep, break, and honor our word and promise...
and to me, that is just a set-up and excuse for failure.
i think in black and white.
i think if you commit to something, then you don't mess up.
i think if you really want something bad enough,
then you simply do it.
if you know my story, you know i came from a chaotic family.
in that family i had to set up boundaries and rules that the rest of my family wasn't,
and in that i began to create a system.
i use that today to not only protect myself,
but because i simply don't know anything different.
this weekend something happened...
ryan messed up,
big time.he hurt me in one of my most tender spots...
and for a girl that thinks in black and white,
things were not looking good for him...and us. the moment when i could have most easily and justifiably walked away from him,i chose to stay.
something in my brain clicked and i realized that to stay love.
it was one of the most beautiful feelings i have ever experienced.
i sat there with him as he felt and mourned his decision,
and knew that somehow it was going to be okay.
the next day, however,
was not so pretty.
i became angry and hurtful.
i'm realizing that most of that was simply from my fear of him and being vulnerable.
i started to think in black and white again...
i started to believe that if he could do this to me then he must really not care for me.
i started to tell myself that i needed to leave and that he would do it again.
and what i already knew prior to this experience became painfully obvious:
i have no idea what grace looks like.
i have never acknowledged a screw up so bad that i thought i needed someone's grace.
i justify my actions and my behavior.
so with that, i have never really known how to love someone unconditionally,
or give them grace.ryan and i have had many conversations over the past year about whether he 'loves' me or not...
and if he ever will.
that is a hard thing for me to consider.
in my heart i believe i've loved him all along...
and as we sat there discussing his big mess up this weekend,
i began to hear him telling me what he sees me as,
and what he's afraid of.
i glanced briefly into the mirror he was holding up...
and for an instant i realized what this black-and-white-thinking girl had become-
a pharisee.
there is no room for error in my mind...
and no need for grace.
i am above anyone's...
including God's,
it was a terrible sight to see...
and i began to see just who i really am...
or at least behave like.
in the moment that i was most angry with ryan and so unrelenting...
i began to see that perhaps he understood how to love someone better than i.
he was staying there...
he was telling me that despite all my crazy belief systems, hurtful words, and mess ups,
(and i have had plenty of mess ups i'm starting to see)
that i was worth it.
that i could mess up and he wouldn't give up on me.
and i began to wonder if this is what grace feels like.
ryan and i still have a lot to go through...
a lot of mending and patience to give each other in wake of this weekend,
and the past year.
we're digging up the messiest, ugliest part of each other...
and somehow we're being healed in all that.
someone gave me a card once...
it said that
'love isn't in the falling,
it's in the staying there'.
for me, that speaks on so many levels.
you see, the one place i hurt ryan continually is by my walking away.
when a fight or argument comes up
i either walk away or hang up the phone.
it seems to juvenile when i write it,
but i do it.
i run away because it's my ability to control.
i am able to stop dealing,
and to tune out.
for ryan, this is one of the most hurtful things i can do...
to abandon him.
i continue to do it,
and i am only beginning to apologize for it.
i look for ways out...
of hard conversations and of our relationship as a whole.
i try to run away when things get tough,
and this weekend i saw for the first time that ryan has never left me.
there's a snow patrol song...
some of their lyrics say:
'what do you mean i don't love you,
i am standing here, aren't i?'
maybe he does love me...
maybe it's more than just words that can be said and tossed aside...
maybe i am only beginning to see what love really is.
maybe it really is in the staying there.
i don't want to walk away anymore...
from ryan, or anyone else.
i don't want to shut down and disengage anymore.
and the hardest thing for me to realize...
is that i will.
i will fuck up.
i will need grace.
i will have to repeat as necessary.


Blogger Eric said...

Thanks so much for your honesty/transparency. Your perspective reminds me of my own, but with more above the above mentioned wonderful, godly characteristics.

My wife and I have linked your blog to ours. The blessings of the Age to Come be with you and yours now and always.

7:15 PM  

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