People can be so disappointing.
I consider myself an introvert who has learned how to be an extrovert along the way. I know myself and if I don’t tend to my needs of being alone, I will give myself to everyone else and lose myself along the way. When I was in college, I used liquid courage to be the life of the party. Once that left my lifestyle, I had several years of discovering my voice. I thought since I loved Jesus that I had to always show kindness. I later learned that kindness isn’t always silent.
Once I had a lady that I highly respect tell me that I was too nice. She actually said that I had the spirit of niceness over my life and I needed to get rid of it. I was sort of shocked and intrigued. I knew what it was like to be a B**** but never had I heard of someone being too nice. I put it on a shelf and later understood what she meant.
Finding Jesus in my life didn’t mean that I was no longer important enough to be heard. It didn’t mean that I should allow others to use me, speak over me, or misguide my life and call it humility. Or better yet, carrying my cross. Finding Jesus actually meant finding the boldness to speak up when no one else would. It means being willing to fail and get it wrong and then soon be corrected by the One who can make all things right. It also meant being honest with how the world and many people in it suck. Yes, people sometimes suck.
Wade has been fired for wrongful reasons, 3 times in our 17 years of marriage. Once through a text message. I have been scorned by pastors and made to believe that I was less than by having Bible verses misconstrued all to prove a point. I have been used as a volunteer or in the purpose of my talents all to find out that the only connection we had was what I could give that person. I have been used in the workplace- and once no longer needed, it was evident that their motives were strictly to use me for their own benefit. I’ve given my heart to friends to walk away with regret that I’ve shared too much.
And no matter how old I get, it’s a hurt that wounds deep.
I love people. Yes, I just said they suck, but I LOVE people. I love their stories. I love how God made us all unique. I see people and I often FEEL their feelings long before their stories are told. I also love to help and serve people. It’s probably a good thing I am not a millionaire because I wouldn’t be for long… I love to give and I love seeing God work when we are open to loving and serving others.
But because I love hard, the hurt hurts harder.
That’s because Love Hurts.
I can look over my life and see many hurts along the way causing me only wanting to retreat to my family and ignore the world around me. Life would be simpler if it were just us in a camper down by the river with no cares in the world right?
When I fall for this facade, I am always reminded that my own family whom I love so deeply also hurts. I hurt when they hurt. Motherhood hurts. Especially if they act like the only good thing I’ve ever done was give birth to them. We feel the pain of rejection when they come home and tell us how their friends made fun of them or called them stupid. We hurt when they fall into physical pain or embarrassment as they try and fail at new things. We experience the journey of life along with them as they pick themselves up again and again trying to figure out this journey we call life. I hurt when I look into the eyes of the one who may not ever graduate from the baby stage and experience a life of independence.
Pain is inevitable. And to love means to hurt.
And I am starting to understand that the two must always coexist. Like the limp and the blessing in the wrestle between God and Jacob. The love and the sacrifice as he hung there on the cross for you. For me.
So to exist without pain would be to exist without love. And since God is love and his very image is embedded deep inside of us, we simply can’t live without the existence of painful love.
So yes, people suck. Some a little more than others. But when I look back over my life over the pains and disappointments of people, I want to always be reminded that the pain came from a heart that was willing to love. A heart that is always waking up each day asking God to use me. To expand my heart for others and to lay down my own selfishness for those around me.
And to speak up. We are not called to be silent. Yes, we may need to slow our tongue and speak from a place of peace, rather than rage. But speaking up for what is right and what is just is also an act of Love. Even when it hurts to speak up. And when the enemy tries to isolate us, to tell us that we should hide from those who may hurt us, we must remind ourselves that God never hides himself from us. And how often do our decisions pain the God who knows what we need the most? But God in His love for us chose to allow us to be face to face with Him when He sent Jesus to be our Savior. No hiding. No Shame. Just His enduring love for us despite the pain it cost that day on Calvary.
Without pain, there is no love. And that is a world that I would never want to be a part of. Love wins and I am thankful that He chooses to love us, took on the cross for our sins, and bore the pain in our place so that one day, we can have eternal life and victory in Heaven.