Okay, this implies I’m up on anyone’s pedestal, which is pretty brazen of me to assume. I’d be shocked if I were, honestly, but I feel I need to say a few things.
I’m a mess.
Seriously, you have no idea.
I cannot say in all integrity, as Paul did, to follow me as I follow Christ. I could list off a few of my friends that you could follow as they follow Christ, but I cannot say that about myself.
I’m not talking about how sinful I am. Though I am.
And I’m not talking about all my little quirks that I have a feeling would be tres annoying to live with. Though there are plenty.
I am talking about one very specific issue in my life: my broken relationships.
Because there are a lot of them. What feels like more than the average person.
Human/sinner + female/relational + introvert/shy + dysfunctional/baggage + divorced/needy + sarcastic/unfiltered = messy, messy, messy.
Carnage, so it seems, everywhere I go.
I know of several people (and I’m using the word several conservatively) who do not like me, are angry with me, have hatred toward me, are disappointed in me, and/or have placed a boundary up to protect themselves from me.
This makes me feel ever-so-slightly nauseous at the mere mention of any of their names no matter how much time goes by.
In some cases, some people don’t agree with the reality that I’m divorced, and that’s pretty much it. I can’t get un-divorced, so there’s nothing I can do there.
In other cases, the people who don’t like me are reacting to my new and uncomfortable attempts (uncomfortable for both of us) to live in more healthy ways with clearer boundaries.
And in yet other situations, I have just plain messed up by being mean.
In this moment, there is not one more thing I can do to attempt to repair these relationships. We’ve just had to walk away from each other, even as Christians. (I find a small piece of comfort that Paul and Barnabas – both godly men wanting to serve Jesus – had to part ways in the book of Acts.)
But you need to know this about me. Because I don’t want anyone to think that I’ve got my act together. Or that now that I’m divorced, that all my un-health is behind me. Umm, no. Not by a long shot.
But here’s my consolation as I drag around shame with me like Linus and his dirty little blanket. Everyone has difficult people in their lives. And, gulp, everyone is someone’s difficult person. This is life outside of the Garden of Eden. This is life until Jesus restores everything and everyone. It’s hard and it’s sad and it’s messy and it’s so painful and it’s embarrassing and you mess up and I mess up and we’re human and that’s life.
But then there’s grace. And then there’s Jesus. And we can say we’re sorry. And we can lay it all down and try to do just a bit better today than we did yesterday. And we can move on. We absolutely have to move on. I am moving on.