Would it surprise you to know that you bailed on me at one of the most painful and vulnerable times of my life? While I was simply trying to breathe through my days, you left, just like that.
Triage had become my way of life. Yes, you too were in the midst of attempting to stop the bleeding out of all that you cherished. I knew this. I grieved for your pain. My losses were tracking with yours, only on different battlefields.
You had depended upon me to help bring your visions to life, for which I delightedly obliged. You provided relationship and generosity as thanks. I gave. You gave.
And, ultimately, sadly, I became anemic, losing my spirit and purpose somewhere among the mounting losses that was my life. I no longer knew who I was – or who I was to be. The foundation of my dignity was disintegrating daily, and I was on increasingly shaky ground. Hanging on, desperately trying to find where to step to find solid ground, avoiding the deep crevasses that kept appearing. Managing all the crises and loss was life-consuming. Ever-draining. My wounds were deep.
Grace. Mercy. Compassion. The gift of time. These were my needs.
Specific relational behavior, as in this is the way people should behave was expected from you, and when not met, you bailed. You shoulded on me. And my heart ached. It still aches. Where is my friend?
If I am only a friend, worthy of your presence when I am serving your needs, and behaving according to your formula, then where does that leave my humanity?
A realization learned through this deeply painful chapter – when we are emotionally unwell, when we are on the edge with life-consuming challenges, trying to make sense of circumstances, losses, crises and demands – it is unfair for others to impose time-frames and expectations.
Hopes and plans, coming in the form of spoken or written words when someone is in the midst of crisis, are nothing more than wishes that may never be realized. When we fail to live up to them, we need grace. Especially those of us who’ve faithfully been there. We hurt more, because it’s not who we are in our heart and soul. We are wounded, bruised and battered by life’s unrelenting pummeling – which makes it so hard respond in a manner that meets others needs. Maybe because we are drowning in our own brokenness.
Be sad and be grieved that I could not be there in the capacity to which you were accustomed. Be patient and long-suffering – most importantly, be present.
And be grace-filled. Always. Even when you don’t understand, and when it hurts.
Grace could be defined as the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it. Just do it. God endorses it, generously, as God knows we all have need of it’s restorative healing. I heard that in your words – but I did not experience it when it mattered.
But, you might not know this brokenness because you bailed.