Growing up is hard to do

You know they say that breaking up is hard to do. There’s the awkward conversation that starts with banalities and ends with finalities. There is the anticipation of said conversation, and the nervous frustration of time moving toward it too slowly. And there is the grief that comes over you, making you wonder if it was truly the right thing to do… like a reversed buyer’s remorse. But then it is done.

I think perhaps, in the world outside of pop music, staying together may actually be harder to do. It requires a commitment to talking and listening and listening and talking from banal to deep to difficult to painful to regretful to confessional to healing to banal. It requires patience as that same cycle plays out, again and again, until both parties find that honest unity and trust that comes from knowing the others’ messes and loving them anyway.

Which is all part of growing up.  Entering, mangling, reconciling, ending and mending relationships looks different when you are the grown up in the room and no longer the child being prodded to say “I’m sorry” whether you mean it or not.  It even looks different from the false starts of tween and teen BFFs, cliques and first crushes.  Those are all foundational experiences as we head into the hard work of discovering who we really are, separating from family and friends to become whole people in our own right.  Because becoming whole means being fully me while I am a lover, friend, daughter, wife, sister, mentor, co-worker, employee, leader, follower, committee member and every over relationship label we could name.

As a follower of Christ, I am to be a lover of others.  My first allegiance is to God, but then I am to turn toward those around me and love them as I love myself.   The simplest of commands and yet so stinking hard. And clearly not just for us in our rapid-paced over-saturated world.  I mean, really… why else would there be all those letters alongside the gospels in our Bibles?  We churchy folk have had a hard time loving other people from before we called our little gatherings church.   Which doesn’t excuse us from trying.  Learning and loving are part of growing up.  And a HUGE part of growing up in Christ.

Still hard.

Still not fun.

But very much worth it.


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