It happened pretty innocently. My internal dialogue went something like this, "I am only trying to defend myself, I am trying to make her see the injustice here, why can't she see me, why has she never seen me for who I am instead of the ridiculous girl she thinks I am?"
The story is not important, the details a waste of space. What's important is that I hurt someone I loved. I spoke without thinking, I did what I do frequently, speaking my mind when I have no place to do so, judging someone else because of my own insecurity. I wasn't even speaking to the person that I hurt, sadly I haven't since, and now it is too late.
I am reading a book right now that talks about the "flesh woman" inside of all of us ladies, the one we don't like to talk about, the one that rents out space inside of us, the one we have tried desperately to evict, but no matter how many notices we give her, she just doesn't ever leave completely! My flesh woman can be nasty, she can rear her ugly head at any moment, saying or thinking things that the heart woman in me despises. Can you relate? Probably.
I have read the following verse many times before, only now really allowing myself to process it.
James 3: 3-6 (The Message)
3-5A bit in the mouth of a horse controls the whole horse. A small rudder on a huge ship in the hands of a skilled captain sets a course in the face of the strongest winds. A word out of your mouth may seem of no account, but it can accomplish nearly anything—or destroy it!
5-6It only takes a spark, remember, to set off a forest fire. A careless or wrongly placed word out of your mouth can do that. By our speech we can ruin the world, turn harmony to chaos, throw mud on a reputation, send the whole world up in smoke and go up in smoke with it, smoke right from the pit of hell.
My cousin, Brenna is the one that I hurt with my words. My cousin, who from the moment she came into this world was adored by me. I was 12 when Brenna was born, and boy did it feel good not to be the youngest in the family anymore. I would take her sledding, to amusment parks and the zoo, we would go and see movies, we just had fun together and I loved being admired the way that I was!!! Heehee...don't we all love that??? As Brenna got older we spent less and less time together, we lived in different cities and our lives went in different directions, as they do. I will regret not taking the time out of our busy lives to see eachother. Most of all I will regret saying what I said to my Grandmother about Brenna.
Brenna was killed last week in a car accident, 24 years old, beautiful inside and out, and loved by so many. This experience has taught me a lot about my words and my thoughts, about keeping my mouth shut when I should, about loving without judgment. I will always regret not having the opportunity to tell Brenna that I was sorry and that no matter what choices she made it did not make me love her any less. Today I want to say, Brenna I love you, and I always will, you will always be in my heart and I will miss you.
If there is someone in your life that you need to reconcile with, someone who you need to tell "I love you, no matter what", please take my advice and do it. Love like Jesus loved, without judgement or strings, without hurting, without harsh words. Isn't that what we are called to do, love one another as we have been loved?
|Brenna Leigh Seeley|
Born March 24, 1986
Died December 9, 2010