Expectations and broken people.

September 8, 2012

I read this bit from Humble Musings the other day.

And.  I’ll leave it at that. :]

My grandmother had alienated our entire family with her rants and opinions. That’s because bad behavior has consequences. (If you abuse the people in your life, you shouldn’t expect a huge crowd at your birthday party.) Everyone close to her had called her out on it, put up boundaries even before there were books about that, and by 80-years-old, everyone was tired of her.

Granny was a broken woman. She fought with the devil from the day her young daughter died in a drunken accident, and then danced with her demons until she died. It made her feisty, though, and I can appreciate that.

I visited my grandmother every other month, and I called her every Tuesday. The truth was, she was an undiagnosed crazy with a capital C. (Or maybe she was just different from me.) Crazy runs in the family. What am I going to do about it? It seemed to me that taking her jabs personally wasn’t an option. She was who she was. After I’d asked her to make peace with God, there was nothing left to do but love her.

It’s possible to view your relationship with another person with grace, when after the dust settles and words are exchanged, you are okay with it being just what it is. That’s hard to do with family and with people we love. Somewhere muddled in that mystery is coming to terms with who you are yourself, certain that your worth is not dependent on another person’s acceptance or rejection of you. If I belong to Christ, is there someone better for whom I am striving to belong to?

We are so broken. Viewing each other through this lens shouldn’t give us a feeling of superiority but of humbleness, knowing that God reached out to us when I did not deserve it or earn it.

Granny was not going to be the kind of grandmother with cupcakes and kisses, and the sooner I was okay with that, the sooner we made our peace. I drew a line in the sand, the one that said, “Don’t rant about how my children shouldn’t have been born when they can hear you. They are too young,” because I had a duty to protect my children. But after that, she could cuss and chain-smoke and do her facist rants to her heart’s content. I just never saw Jesus as a guy who got offended at personal slights and the “f” word.


2 Responses to “Expectations and broken people.”

  1. Stephen Says:

    I’m super-sad that Amy hasn’t updated her blog in a while.

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