The Grace I Give is the Grace I Receive
What does it mean for me to extend grace? What does it mean for me to receive grace? Can I ask for grace if I’m not willing to give it? Can I be selective about who I extend grace to?
The ruminations of a mind that rarely rests. My mind. I’m always assessing. Always seeking the deeper meaning. For the past week, my focus has been grace.
Colin and I had a conflict this time last week. We’ve been together for about 7 months now. Some days it feels like I’ve known him forever. Other times, I just sit back in wonder at the experience of building a new relationship. It is all so fascinating. We are learning how to navigate around each other and with each other. We are learning about likes, dislikes, assets and well, yes, flaws. It is exhilarating. And sometimes it’s rough. We’re far enough along that not every single moment is pink clouds and rainbows. We are at the point of real. Sometimes I mess up. Sometimes he messes up.
Last week, we both messed up. And when we came back together to process it, we ultimately came to grace. In a fairly new relationship, there are a million opportunities to leave. But there are also a million opportunities to stay. There are a million opportunities to fall down, and there are a million opportunities to rise up. The details don’t matter. What matters is that we apologized and asked for grace. And we freely gave it.
Grace came for me again this past weekend. She whispered in my ear, “Here’s another chance for you to practice. Let’s see if you really mean it.”
We had a very social weekend. We interacted with a lot of friends and family. It was lovely. Almost 100% lovely. Except for that one thing. That one thing where someone said something terribly unkind to Colin. That one thing that I was paralyzed by. That one thing that I laughed at because I froze and didn’t know how to handle the situation appropriately. Which means I felt like a total failure as his partner. I felt like I f’ed up. But I apologized. And, yes, he gave me grace.
The next day I was thinking about the situation. Ruminating really. Or, if I’m honest, obsessing. I was still upset. I still wanted to roll back time and defend him. I wanted to show him that he matters to me. I wanted him to know that I have his back. And I wanted to be mad.
The more I thought though, the clearer it became. If I want grace, I must give grace. I am certain this person had no idea how hurtful their words were. I am certain their intentions were pure. I am certain they need grace just as much as I do. I am certain it’s not my job to fix anyone.
And so I did the only thing I could do. I decided to surround them in virtual compassion. In forgiveness. In grace.
Tonight, I am resting in this grace, in this quiet space. Space to breathe. Space to love. Space to be heard. Space to heal. Space to be me.