i went to the birthday party of a good friend last night; it was really fun, and we had a great time, and right in the middle of all of it, God was at work in one of the most unexpected ways...
i've alluded to the fact that i'm just struggling a bit emotionally and mentally right now (see Psalm 13), and part of that is this ongoing war with my anti-failure/perfectionism issues... i hate failing. at anything. especially when it involves letting people down. and last fall i managed to do it royally in a particular situation and there was so much hurt and misunderstanding on both sides that it didn't really seem like there was ever going to be a healthy resolution to that. i mean, i said i was sorry for my part in it, and i left the door open for communication (or i thought i had), but the other person either never saw it or never walked through it, and eventually our ways parted completely, and it's been simply months since we've talked. the last time i saw him we didn't even say hi... and it isn't something that's been in the forefront of my mind much - it was relegated to the mental drawer of "things i really wish i'd handled a little better/don't do that again" - but i was thinking about it again on Thursday, and found myself extremely upset about the whole thing, just randomly, and i had to take it back to God and say "i don't know what to do, but my eyes are on You."
and this guy with whom i'd had such a falling out was at the party last night.
i walked in and thought, "oh, no - this is going to be so awkward..." but after a few minutes, i decided that, whether it was my turn to say something or not (and i'd been opting for "not" for months), i am thirty-three years old and it was high time to just grow up. so after a while i walked over to where he was sitting, sat down nearby, met his eyes, smiled, took a deep breath, and said, "so how are you?" we caught up on random life stuff briefly, and then he had to go to pick up his fiancee, and as he was leaving, we hugged, and i said, "i really am sorry." he said, "thank you. because, Happy, that really hurt." i didn't know what else to say, so i simply said, "i know. and i'm sorry." and he just kind of looked at me, and he smiled, and i said, "don't be a stranger. drop me a line every now and again, and let me know how you are." and he said he would.
it was a weird moment. good, but weird. there's part of me that wishes he'd taken it the next step and said, "i forgive you." there's something about hearing those words that just makes it easier to really let it go... but if he hasn't, i suppose that's not really my issue. i've forgiven him - and i'm most of the way toward forgiving myself (tho exercising grace toward myself is always hard). if he wants to talk more about what actually happened, i know i can do that now. it would still probably be awkward - but i'm not sure i care. i just don't want to be at odds with anybody in God's kingdom over anything. i'm okay with people not agreeing with me or liking me particularly (in theory, anyway. when it comes right down to it, i would like everyone to like me, as previously noted) - but i'm not okay with tension about it. this is my family. these are the people with whom i'm going to spend eternity. even if we're not in agreement over something, i would at least like to get along...or at least be patient and kind and everything else that love is, in my actions toward people...
it was such an unexpected moment. but i'm glad for it. because whether there's ever more conversation about it or not, it seems like a chapter just got closed and it even had a happy twist at the end. i suspect our conversation was something he really needed, and i'm glad God gave me the grace to step outside of myself and have it - and i guess maybe i needed it too. it's definitely one thing now crossed off the list of things that the enemy can throw back in my face. yes, i failed miserably in how i handled that last year. but yesterday? i did "the right thing." and i didn't do it because i felt i had to or because someone told me it was what i was supposed to do - i did it because i love Jesus, and because i really wanted to. and it felt good, to finally be in a place with this where i was driven not by guilt, but by compassion.
and it was pretty sweet. (thanks, God...)