i have been amazed over the past year at how god actually answers prayers, especially when you take the time to listen. when i was younger, even as young as this time last year, i’d just ask and ask and ask and ask but i never actively seeked and answer and looked for god to answer whatever i was asking for. lately, i’ve been doing that.

i haven’t been asking for “stuff.” i’ve mainly been asking for stuff to help me develop as a person, as a christian, and in any way that i needed to develop in. i would notice something and spend some time actively praying and asking for help in how i could make that better. i’d ask god to show me what needs to be changed and what i need to do to fix the problems i have.

one of the things that came up this time last week was a grudge that i’ve held. i knew i had this grudge but didn’t think anything of it. i just considered it normal because it was a grudge against my ex and against what happened between us. i just justified to myself that anyone that goes through that is going to have a grudge.

but it still ate at me a little bit. i didn’t know what to do. it’s actually part of what led to what i wrote a few days ago about things being awkward.

the more i thought about it, and the more i prayed about it, i realized that it wasn’t at the core of it, the grudge i had wasn’t against her. it was against what had happened. it was against trusting her so much and then having it all blow up unexpectedly.

but even more than that, it was a grudge against trusting people in general.

once i started tearing through this issue, i realized that she was just the easiest thing to target the grudge at when in reality, this was a grudge going back to middle school.

when i look back, i see different instances when people i trusted or cared about let me down or did something to hurt me. in sixth grade, the girl i was “going out with” went to texas for two months and broke up with me the day after she got back. in seventh grade, we went on vacation with the girl i was “going out with” and she spent the entire time with another guy and then we broke up when we got back. in tenth grade, some of my best friends were supposed to pick me up to go to a show across town. they forgot and i spent the night on my couch by myself. in eleventh grade, i had a birthday party for my 16th birthday and only two people showed up. during my freshman year of college there was a girl i would always hang out with and she routinely forgot that we had made plans or whatever. then the stuff with my ex.

i focused the attention of my grudge against her because she was the most reason. it was easier to hold a grudge against her than the three people who stood me up for a house show in tenth grade.

but that’s not right.

it’s not the way i’m supposed to live.

it’s not the way any of us is supposed to live.

i’ve prayed a lot about this grudge. i’ve prayed about the fact that i focused it on her and i’ve prayed about the root of it as well. i don’t think twelve years of “junk” gets erased in a week, but i’ve seen progress in it over the past week. i’ve seen god actually answering my prayer and helping me deal with this issue so that i could grow.

i don’t like getting stood up or screwed over or taken advantage of or any of the other things that have contributed to this whole trusting people issue that i have. i don’t think anyone likes it. but just because i’m dealing with it doesn’t mean that i need (or even should) push that off on someone else. it’s my issue. it’s something that i have to deal with. i don’t need to keep blaming other people for it.

it’s my problem. i’ll own it.

and i think that’s something that we should all do.

we’ve all got crap in our past that has contributed to the issues and grudges we have today. and i’m sure that all of that crap is as bad or worse than mine. but imagine if we stopped blaming other people for it, started admitting to ourselves and others that we are dealing with it, and then took it to god so that he could start helping us work it out. imagine how much different our lives would be if we did that.

so i’m starting now.

this is now my problem that i’m dealing with. this is me publicly saying i’m done holding a grudge against her, against the sixth grade girlfriend, and against everyone who didn’t show up to my birthday party. it’s cool that you guys did that. i’m not gonna hold a grudge against you guys any more. in my book, we’re cool again.

and with that behind me, it’s time for me and god to start tackling the actual issues. it’ll be tough. it’ll take some time. but it’ll work. i’ll get it worked out.

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.