First things first…I dedicate this blog post to my coworker, Judy. Thank you for allowing me to bend your ear these past 48-72 hours (wink, wink).
It was on Tuesday, July 11th at approximately 3:30pm when I got a call from someone close to me. I answered my cell right there in the front lobby of our office because of the incessant calling. The conversation lasted a total of one minute. I know it lasted only one minute because I just checked my phone. That’s all it took to break my heart a little…ONE MINUTE. It wasn’t earth shattering news I had received, but it was a shattered hope. Just the day before I had swallowed my pride and said yes to something I would have historically said no to. A day later, this caller, this “someone close to me” was on the phone explaining that there had been a mistake and they weren’t going to be able to see me as originally planned. I was angry with myself for letting my guard down with this person and trusting that they actually wanted to spend time together. I thought to myself, “I should have known better. I should have said no in the first place.” I hung up the phone embarrassed, shocked, confused and slightly numb and had the feeling that I wanted to hurl that phone as far away from my ear as possible. I mumbled, “Okay, fine. I have to go. I’m at work.”In the midst of trying to move on from that conversation, there was an epiphany. Almost immediately after hanging up the phone, I could feel the sadness start to work its way up from the bottom of my heart, like a paintbrush and watercolor, just seeping its way up, up. That’s when it happened. The epiphany moment. Just as quick as the sadness sprung up, this hardness closed in around it like vault doors. I started thinking things like “Suck it up!’. “This is nothing to be sad about!”. “You are not going to let her get to you this time!” It struck me right then and there that there was this automatic response system that usually takes place when these things occur, the “vault doors around the heart” thing. But this time it was different. I could feel the sadness come up before the hardened anger. That’s never happened before. This was definitely new.
On Sunday our pastor spoke on a number of issues relating to our emotions. He referenced the analogy of someone driving along with a tumbler full of grape soda on their dashboard when they hit a bump in the road. The bump initiates the cup falling and causes the grape soda to spill out and make a mess everywhere. He explained that the cup of soda had been there all along – the bump just exposed what was inside. He also said that we shouldn’t blame the bump, the cup nor the driver. Those things just exposed what was already in there.
Well, that phone call was the “bump”, and I now had to deal with my mess of emotions. I went on with the rest of my day, wrestling with wounds that were screaming to be attended to. I prayed. I prayed silently in my heart for God to show me how to feel the right emotions here, the ones I am supposed to – not the ones I’ve allowed to give me a false sense of control and “protection”.
God heard my prayer.
I felt the sting of the hurt, letting it hurt as pain like that should, and then this morning I prayed some more, for others, for myself, and then scrolled through Facebook and Instagram where I saw this verse over and over:
“Make allowance for each other’s faults, & forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you so you must forgive others.” Colossians 3:13
I heard the message loud and clear. Unforgiveness was my grape soda. I have harbored a ton of it towards this person for many years, and it is time I deal with it. Has the hurt magically disappeared? No. Not yet anyway, but I am willing to let God show me how to do the very thing I know He is calling me to.
So tonight stop blaming the driver, the cup and the bump and ask yourself this question, “What’s my grape soda?”
Don’t worry about the mess. God makes miracles out of them! (P.S. I want to hug whoever said this first!)