Ever been surprised in relationship?

It’s pure sweetness. When an unexpected friendship shows up, one I didn’t anticipate or solicit, it’s like Christmas in June. But sometimes the surprise isn’t so sweet. Sometimes a relationship doesn’t turn out like I expected or goes south without explanation.

I hate it when that happens.

I’m prone to disappointment and don’t handle it well. Some of that is history, and some is just wiring. I’m a little over the top on the idealism meter, meaning I dream big and then invest 200% to make it happen. Not all bad, but leaves me susceptible to disappointment, because … (are you ready for this?) …

No human relationship can live up to the ideal. EVER.

We’re talking about PEOPLE here, and whenever PEOPLE are involved, it’s going to get messy.

So, back to why I’m telling you this …

Recently (meaning over the past year) I’ve watched a couple relationships go south. Two were very close and, therefore, heartbreaking. Another just surprising and disappointing. At first I blamed myself: “Something’s wrong with me.” After beating myself up mercilessly, I moved to the other extreme: “What a jerk. I’m better off without so-and-so.” (All this sounds so junior high. Here’s to authenticity.)

All this to say I’m grieving relationships that didn’t turn out like I hoped. Don’t know all the reasons why. Don’t know that it matters. But I do realize this:

It happens. The minute we take a gamble on relationships, we’re guaranteed a dose of disappointment. Relationships come and go, and sometimes it stings. However, I also know I’ve been the source of disappointment to someone else. I didn’t meet their expectations. Doesn’t matter whether or not it was intentional, it just happens. I’m a PEOPLE. Which means I make messes.

It also means that today, while I mourn some relationship results I didn’t expect, I’m determined to choose the one thing I’m hoping others will choose when they think about me:

GRACE.

It’s like a big eraser that cleans up the mess for everyone.

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” ~ 1 Peter 4:8

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