What Are The Chances?

27 Oct

By Gil Gonzalez

This week’s topic is second chances. Whether giving them or receiving them, second chances have a lot to do with forgiveness and starting over.

This is a tough post for me for a couple of reasons.

I have a peculiar point of view when it comes to how I apply this concept in my life. In the last several years, I’ve seen personal friendships I shared with other people dissolve into nothing. I’m not talking acquaintances, but rather good, close friendships that, at one point, I cherished.

Right, wrong, or indifferent, the stereotypical bromance ended up in dudevorce. Was it me? Was it him? Was it a little bit of both? Yeah, probably.

In each case, there was a point where the initial pushback was reached. One or both sides were offended, and a discussion about the issue ensued. In both cases the air was cleared, the proverbial hatchet buried, and the relationship went on (albeit with less fervor than before). Then, there was another tipping point, and from my perspective – which I will readily admit is skewed and biased – I was done.

See … I’m a purger. When I get to that point where I feel the actions of someone else are so egregious, I simply decide I have no more room for that person in my life. It’s not so much a matter of forgiveness – I don’t hold a grudge or harbor any anger (not a whole lot at least) – as it is a matter of just moving on. Fisherman cut bait. Gamblers settle their losses. Me? I purge.

Address book entry: Gone. E-Mails: Deleted. Facebook: Un-friended. Twitter: Blocked. You get the picture. I guess it’s the equivalent of a college girl burning an old picture of an ex-boyfriend. I guess you can say I’m in touch with my feminine side.

I like to reconcile this behavior in my head by saying the second chance came following the point of initial pushback. There was dialogue. There was an attempt set things straight. It wasn’t purge at first sign of conflict. Still, it doesn’t really feel, to me, like that second chance was really that. Those instances did not carry the emotional weight of a second chance. Rather, they were the equivalent of a “my bad” moment, like when your roommate forgot to tell you your mom called.

On the other side of the coin, I’ve been the recipient of several second chances in my recent adult life. I have an ex-wife whom I devastated with my behavior and decision making while we were married. If you read Lindsey’s post from Thursday, you can insert my name in those places where she refers to her ex-husband.

Nevertheless, my ex-wife never took me to task or raked me over the coals (as she had every right to do so). Rather, she displayed a level of class and grace through it all – primarily because she knew how important it was to maintain a relationship for the sake of our children – that just goes to show I was not really deserving of her to begin with. I will always maintain there is no other woman in the world I want to be the mother of my kids. My ex-wife is absolutely amazing.

Not long after that incident, I met a woman who put up with my continued stupidity and immaturity for the better part of a year. She saw I was blinded by emotions and infatuation, and she tried over and over to get me to open my eyes to the reality of my situation. While I waited for my ‘soul-mate’ to come around and take me to live happily ever after, I used this woman like an emotional crutch to get me through the days, weeks, and months. She fought for me. She yelled at me to wake up. She begged and pleaded with me through her own anguish because it broke her heart to see mine stepped on and abused by someone else.

Our situation finally got to the point where she couldn’t take it any longer, and for the sake of her own sanity and well being, she painfully let me go. I still remember the tremble in her voice as she sucked up the tears and told me, “I just can’t do this anymore.”

Then, the crisis moment that lead her to give her mom a second chance would be the moment that lead her to give me one as well. This woman wrote about that crisis moment in her blog, and she also happens to be my wife.

Following her mom’s arrest, the first call Lee made was to me. I don’t think I was at that time deserving to be that person in her life. Perhaps it was a function of geography, and I was the only close friend she had in the area. Perhaps it was God doing His thing in His own mysterious ways. Whatever the case, that phone call changed everything for both of us, and it set us both back on the path we find ourselves today.

I am completely humbled to have been the recipient of such love, grace, and forgiveness. I can’t even begin to describe how undeserving I feel in both cases. I couple that by saying I wish I had the same genuine ability to extend that same love, grace, and forgiveness to others. It’s shameful how much I struggle with this. It’s something I am not sure I’ll ever be able to fix simply because it does not come naturally to me.

Our lives are filled with random probabilities. What are the chances I’ll ever grow up and be the person that is deserving of the second chances given to me?


Posted by on October 27, 2011 in Gil Gonzalez, Prompts


Tags: , , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “What Are The Chances?

  1. purrfectlee

    October 27, 2011 at 8:45 am

    Baby, I know I didn’t include that part of the story about how my mom’s darkest moment became my biggest blessing, but it was. You have always been that person who’s deserving of second chances and the easiest thing I’ve ever done was to invite you back into my life. I love you and I’m honored and blessed to be your wife. I am the person I am today because you have inspired me to be better, to do better.

    As for your own internal struggle to forgive others, “once you know better, you do better.” I have no doubt that writing this and acknowledging your need/desire to fix this, you’ve already started doing just that. (Thank you Oprah and Maya for the quote.)

    • Gil Gonzalez

      October 27, 2011 at 9:00 am

      Our story is continued proof that everything happens for a reason, and that God never really says, “No” but rather, “Not now.” Thank you for being so patient with me, and as I’ve told you before, I am everything because of you and nothing without you.

  2. Lindsey Goodall

    October 27, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Holy, canoli, Gil. This post, just blew me away. Each post this week has moved me but this is exceptional. It’s beautiful, raw and open and so very you. I could hear your voice in each word and didn’t want for it to end!

    I’m with Lee on thinking you’re already on your way to growing into forgiveness. It’s an evolution.

    You needn’t worry though with the answer to that question. Grace is given freely, without regard to worthiness. It’s free. Has been and always will be, because you are His beloved child.

    • Gil Gonzalez

      October 28, 2011 at 10:57 am

      Thank you so much, Lindsey. This was a touch one to write, especially coming off the heels of three other excellent posts by this little tribe of our. In retrospect, I think it’s a blessing to feel undeserving of grace (as opposed to, “Hey, grant me your grace. I deserve it!). Still, it’s comforting to be re-assured of the fact life is a work in progress, and through it all we learn and keep going.

  3. alanj11

    October 28, 2011 at 10:29 am

    Oh yeah…I’m gonna love being a part of this group! It has the initial appearance of a bunch of proverbial “misfits” that have all discovered it’s not about them, but it is! The difference being the realization and acceptance that none of us can change us. We are all changed as it becomes the central most desire in our heart, and then the Master Creator continues in the shaping and forming of this masterpiece He started. “He who has begun a good work in us* (my paraphrase), will be faithful and just to complete it!”

    And since the main thrust of Gil’s comments seem to stem around what he may perceive as a failed marital experience, allow me to comment that after 41 years and a 2 1/2 year separation, I can both relate and encourage how it is to feel undeserving of God’s grace.

    Oh yeah! As a crazy, misfit, rebel, troublemaker, round peg smashed into a square hole, I’m one who sees everything differently and likes to make the rules. One who has been blessed to learn how God intends to use all that for great and wonderful things!

    Your transparency is a gift. Allow me to agree with both Lee and Lindsey that the change is well under way.

    It is a gift to know people beyond the surface on first meetings. There is no pretense to claim any in depth anything, rather enough of a connection to know in spirit all that’s necessary. The rest will come in time. Personally, it’s a rush when words fail, leaving just what you know to be true in the moment. Like all of us Gil, you are a marvelous, miraculous creation in progress.

    • Gil Gonzalez

      October 28, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Thank you so much for the comment, Alan, and I appreciate the kind words. One of the goal of Random Writers is to allow us to better discover the authenticity in ourselves as writers/bloggers, and to share that honestly with our community. We strive to affect positive change with our words, be it personal, local, or global change. Yet through it all, I believe we’re all working in concerted effort to do His will and serve the greater good. Like you said, Alan, we’re all “a marvelous, miraculous creation in progress.”

  4. Deborah Stewart

    October 29, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    Gil, I’ve always known you to be a gifted writer – but this revealing, powerful post is quite possibly the best from you yet. I felt privileged to read it. Open. Honest. Real. And beautiful. “Are you deserving” you ask? Yes Gil…you most certainly are. Not because you’ve “earned” it, but because at your core, love is who you are. Thank you for writing this : )

    • Deborah Stewart

      October 29, 2011 at 6:00 pm

      oops.. that should have read, “Not JUST because you’ve earned it…”

      • Gil Gonzalez

        October 31, 2011 at 10:32 am

        Thank you so much for your kind words, Deb. They left me speechless. I will admit it was tough to finish at times, but I did draw on the strength and inspiration I found in your guest post from last week. Your words reminded me of how/why I got into writing in the first place, and that sometimes our greatest moments come as a result of our most painful times. Thanks again for the support.


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