The cross is a meaningful Christian symbol. But this past year, I learned to really look at the cross. It is made up of two bars: a vertical bar and a horizontal bar. For me, the vertical bar represents my relationship with God, and the horizontal bar represents my relationship with others. Both are essential, which I didn't learn until recently.
I want to talk about my relationship with others, particularly one friend named Cita. I met Cita my freshman year of high school. She's in my closest circle of friends. We had classes together in high school, we were in clubs together, and of course we hung out outside of school. I'm a boring person, but Cita is so not a boring person. She is the friend who comes up with random things to do like make scavenger hunts or build gingerbread construction sites (they didn't last as houses very long). I'd say our friendship is pretty average: we have good times and bad times. Sometimes Cita would have a bad day and take it out on me, just because I happened to be there. And I would let her, because I knew in a few days we'd be ok again. That's how it is - we always are ok again. Well, Cita and I started college at UF together. I was really happy our friendship strengthened, and actually she was the only high school friend I regularly hung out with after college started. First year of college, she pretty much lived on my floor. Again, there were good times and bad times. One specific bad time... at the beginning of the past school year. We had a fight, but this time I said, You know what? I need to stand up for myself. I don't want a friend who stresses me like this. It's not worth the friendship. And I told Cita to "never contact me again."
And I figured we'd be ok in a week or two, because that's what always happens. I was over it in a few days, but I was just being stubborn. But days and weeks went by, and we still hadn't reconciled. Remember the cross made up of two bars? I didn't accept it at the time, but I realize now that my inability to forgive Cita started driving a wedge between me and God. It affected me more than I admitted. The past school year was rough for me in so many ways. Cita and I didn't speak all year. Actually, that's wrong. We started emailing each other a little bit around February. I figured, ok by the summer we'll be back to normal and hanging out all the time. That's how it always is.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008. Cita was riding her bike on a trail a little outside of Gainesville. She was hit by a van, ejected from her bike, and died. That was around 5pm, and by 10pm, I had heard the news through the grapevine and drove over to her dorm room. It shocked me that here I was, in her dorm, for the first time all year. It was so strange to think we were so attached freshman year... I felt absolutely horrible. We hadn't fully reconciled, and now I wouldn't get another chance to.
Why am I telling you guys this story? It's not that I want to make you cry, it's because I think there are a couple of lessons to be learned. First of all, don't take people for granted. So cliche, but seriously. Whatever drama you're having with people in your life, trust me, it's not worth it. I think my story is a story about forgiveness, and not just among people. If there is anything, any issue that you have right now, with yourself, with God... let it go. Let go and let God, because he is bigger than any problem you are having.
And as for the song I chose: if you don't listen to the whole song, at least just listen to the first line, because it summarizes everything...
[Please Youtube the song if you don't know it!]