How do you handle the truth … in your relationships … when it’s pretty much about what you need to do differently? Nicole Unice offers hope.
By Nicole Unice
Thinking back, I had no idea how hurtful my words were. I was moving between tasks and relationships, squeezing in one more thing in a too-busy schedule. In a drive-by interchange with a friend, I may have made a sarcastic comment about getting it together and I may have said it in a way that made my friend think I was not only condemning her parenting, but herself as well. Ouch.
Of course, at the time I had no idea that’s what transpired. I thought we had a quick conversation in the carpool line, but the ensuing icy silence from a friend I would normally talk with several times in a day made it clear that all was not well, and I wondered if it ever would be again.
What do we do when we know something has gone wrong but aren’t sure how to make it right? And is it possible to accept our own failings as an opportunity for a miracle, not inevitable brokenness and distance? At our kitchen tables and cul-de-sacs, in social media and through text messages, what does it look like to be people who pursue what’s right even after it feels like it’s gone wrong?
In my work to find miracles in the midst of the brokenness, there’s been one fundamental reality that I can’t escape: there is no such thing as grace without truth.
I wish it was different, I really do. I wish I could completely embrace and accept the grace of God without having to walk through the truth of myself first. And as Lizzo once said, “truth hurts.”
Truth hurts … when I realize that I’m exhausted, and I recognize that the only person pushing myself over the edge is me.
Truth hurts … when I realize I’m irritated, and I recognize that I’m the one who hasn’t initiated the conversation to make things right.
Truth hurts … when I realize I’m disappointed, and I recognize that I’m just as likely to be let down as I am the one to let someone else down.
Truth without grace is harsh. It leads me down roads of blame, self-condemnation, and discouragement. Truth without grace makes me want to hide—hide from myself, hide from those I love, and hide from a world that is quick to judge and slow to compassion.
But … when truth leads me to realize that I don’t know everything I need to know …. that I am not going to get it right every time … that I can surrender my need to be perfect … then I’ve opened myself up to grace.
I believe in the kind of miracles that happen when we embrace the truth and believe in grace. I believe in the kind of miracles that allow us to say, “I think I’ve hurt you and I want to understand.” I believe in the kind of miracles that allows us to seek forgiveness, discover reconciliation, and experience conflict that leads to deeper places of connection—with God, with our own humanity, and with the sweetness of giving and receiving grace with one another.
Through tears and trial, my friend was able to name how I’d hurt her. Through my own tears, I was able to share deeper insecurities about my worth that were triggered by silence. And by the end, we were both stronger for it. Truth can hurt. But the miracle moment on the other side of truth is transformative.
Nicole Unice is an author, pastor, leadership coach and podcast host who spends her time helping people learn how to love one another. Her newly released book, The Miracle Moment is a practical guide for all relationships, guiding people to transform conflict into connection. Find out more at nicoleunice.com/miraclemoment