So speaking of generosity and being gracious, there is something about me that has come to the surface recently. Rabbit trail: Committed relationships tend to do that, bring our flaws/the worst parts of us to the surface. It is a terribly beautiful thing.
Anyway, one of the things that has come to the surface for me recently is that I am not an incredibly gracious person. I am generally quick to anger and slow to forgive. I am the type of person who takes offense and runs with it... and runs my mouth about it. I am a ranter. In my natural state, if someone or something hurts me or someone I love, I demonize and make an enemy right away. I don't go to grace. I don't go to compassion or empathy or understanding. I certainly don't jump right to love.
When I feel wronged, I move in with closed fists, ready to start wailing. And it does me no good. It's humbling, really. Because most of the time when I step back from a situation, responding in love would have defused so much, or at least saved me a lot of energy. If I spent as much time praying for a person as I spent ranting over the things that they did or replaying offenses in my head, my heart would change, and I would find joy. I'm still processing this, so it might not make any sense. But what would happen if I stopped being so self-centered and chose grace instead? Because honestly? Anger is so self-indulgent. And self-righteousness? Don't get me started. But compassion and understanding and being slow to speak? Those help move mountains. Those build bridges instead of burning them. Those keep hope alive for restoration and reconciliation and redemption.
I want to be a woman who never stops believing in goodness first. I want to be a woman who believes that anything and anyone can be redeemed. I want to choose faith and grace and forgiveness and hope over anger and self-righteousness and sharp words. I want to be light. I want my words to give life. I want to open my hands and extend grace.