My husband has recently taken to using the comment, "You're doing it wrong," when something becomes more difficult than it should be or doesn't turn out right, etc. Sometimes, it's funny. Sometimes, it's true. As I've considered the last week in my life, I've needed this phrase at times.
The last week has brought considerable rejection and disappointment for me. On Friday evening, I found myself in such a funk that I had let that rejection and disappointment get to me, and I was upset with my husband, frustrated about our pets' behavior, tired, not feeling well, and at a loss for what to do next, in the face of what I'd been trying to deal with for the two days beforehand. As I sat in bed, ruminating, I thought to myself, "Betzy, you're doing it wrong." I mean, really, look at the title of this blog--"The Ubiquity of Grace." I didn't just choose that name because I wanted to give the word "ubiquity" more play time in my everyday vocabulary. I really believe that God's grace is showing up all the time, even when we don't notice it. Now, I'm still not quite over grieving the loss of some opportunities I was really, really hoping for, but at least on Friday night, when I finally admitted to myself, "Betzy, you're doing it wrong," I realized that God is walking with me through this, and there's grace enough...even when the baby has bronchitis again and the dog pees on the carpet and I don't get to be involved in the ministry I wanted to do.
But that's not all that I thought about. In the midst of this disappointment, several well-meaning folks have said things to me like, "God has something better in store for you." Now, I don't claim to know the mind of God, that's for sure. I have spent the last 10 or so years of my life doing a lot of discerning of where I think God is calling me to be, though. So I've realized after hearing people's responses to my loss that I need to be more careful about how I respond to other people's disappointment and loss, myself. I think we all say things sometimes that make us feel better, but we don't realize how much they don't make the person hearing them feel better. If I find myself going to the default of, "God has something better planned," I hope I'll remember to tell myself, "Betzy, you're doing it wrong." When we hurt, sometimes we need the caring people in our lives to give us space to grieve for a bit, let us walk through the pain and find God's grace in it...
There is certainly a time for anticipating and expecting how God will bring us to something new and wonderful, but man, I really, really thought maybe that's what God was doing just then...and I'll get to the anticipation. I know I will. And I hope that when I'm dealing with someone else who's hurting, I won't have to tell myself, "You're doing it wrong," because I will have learned a lesson in all this, by the grace of God.