I was driving down Grelot Road towards the house as the sun was setting. It was a very pretty sunset.
I sort-of heard the announcer saying, "Here's a new song by Tenth Avenue North."
I turned it up, wishing I was in the right lane so that I could stop by and get some Starbucks before I went home.
It was catchy.
From the first word, I was hooked.
Then, I started to cry.
Not in a mopey, sad way. Not in a girly way. Not even in a "I need tissues" kind of way. But in a "this is what I've been trying to pray all along but couldn't find the words" kind of way.
The song was "Losing" by Tenth Avenue North. I had not heard such a fitting song in a long time. Being a song person, there are times when songs fit my heart like a good pair of jeans. They sit exactly where they need to, are just long enough to wear with heels and just perfect enough to make the day look a lot brighter. This one fit like the best pair of jeans I've worn in a long time. It was the song my heart had needed for quite a long time.
By the time it was done playing on the radio, I had already bought it on iTunes. I listened to it a gazillion times over the next weeks. I let it sink in and let the prayer be mine every time my heart turned towards anger.
You see, it wasn't a burning anger that I held towards this person, but once you got me started, it was hard for me to stop. They made me legitimately angry because they were legitimately doing wrong and hurting people. But you see, just like the first verse, they 1. Didn't know it and 2. Couldn't stop it. It wasn't me that they were hurting, but everyone around me. Or so it felt, and honestly, still feels a lot of the time.
But when I listened to the song, I learned three things.
1. Forgiveness (in this instance) for me was wanting God's blessing on their life. AKA, letting go of my grudge and my need to be right.
2. Hate wasn't going to change anything.
3. I was forever going to lose the battle. But then I was so gently reminded that I can lose all day long, every battle, every fight, every thing, because my Savior already won. I don't need wins on my scorecard to be validated.
You see, I'm not super competitive. And that's because I like to play games where I know I'll always be the winner. Ha! It's not competition if I know that I'll dominate. As a child, if I wasn't winning, I'd change the rules so that I was. I can't say that I'm not guilty of the same thing today, but the problem is when I take that practice out of board games and apply it to relationships. And with some relationships, you'll always lose. You'll never win. And that is (sometimes) the price of forgiveness.
I would love to say that in listening to that song once, my battle with forgiving that one person was over, but it wasn't. It's still a daily choice and action, one that I choose poorly sometimes. But the Lord has freed me for so much more than sitting on the high horse.
So I must learn forgiveness. I must learn to lose and to be content, truly. This is a prayer I must pray.
"Oh Father, give me grace to forgive them, because I feel like I've been losing."
Here are the songs for the past few weeks:
"Alive in Us" by Hillsong
"O the Blood" by Gateway Worship featuring Kari Jobe
"Stronger" by Hillsong
and "Oh, Our Lord" by Paul Baloche from the album The Same Love (great album!)
"Set Free" by Chris Tomlin
"White Flag" by Chris Tomlin
"We the Redeemed" by Hillsong
and "Sovereign" by Chris Tomlin from the new album Burning Lights (another great album!)
And this past week, March 10th:
"Our God Saves" by Paul Baloche
"Nothing But the Blood" by Andy Cherry
"Awake My Soul" by Chris Tomlin
and "Losing" by Tenth Avenue North
I hope that you all have a great week and I will see you Sunday, when I'm not sick anymore!