Like most couples, Kristen and I have a language that we speak. These little phrases, sounds and words naturally mean nothing to any one but us, but they serve us well.

One of the things that Krist and I have always done is use names for each other. Some examples…

A few days ago, Finley was crying and yelled across the room. Her voice had this strange back-of-the-throat quality to it that sounded very similar to when my Dad and I sing way too high. So we laughed and said, “Dubby,” which is my dad’s nickname.

It tends to break the tension but also usually helps put the situation in perspective.

A few days ago, I was upset by something I saw on Facebook. Essentially, it was a reminder of a time and place where I led worship and I was “let go.” Not fired, necessarily…just…not “asked back.” Now that experience was a few years old, but seeing some random status on FB brought it all back. So I said something about it. Probably something arrogant like:

“Can you believe they didn’t want me to lead worship for them?”

Kristen looked at me and softly said this:

“You know how you get so mad at (name removed) for holding grudges? That’s you..about this.”

And she was right.

For all the shiny, happy thoughts I have about myself (I’m kind, I’m sincere, I love everybody and just want to have a good time,) I can hold on to hurts with a tenacity that would shock you. And I realized that when I say the phrase ‘death grip,’ I never think about the fact that the death it brings is my own.

Every time I clutch that hurt close to me, all that’s hopeful and trusting and God-centered in me dies a little bit.



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