Like Clay3:47 PM
My life—the tattered bit of existence so stained with sin and self-righteousness—is not in need of repair. I keep patching it up because it is precious to me, because the wear (in my mind) needs to outlast the tear, because it is a security for an immature soul. God has been tearing off this self-existence, tearing off the patches and the patches of the patches. He is not in the business of repair—nor of self-help—and certainly not my best life now. He transforms—He does not fix. And so it is that where I am frantically patching, He is calmly breaking apart. Where I am merely apologizing, He is greatly convicting. Where I am covering up the past, He is uncovering my future.
Lately, there have been nights of pain, the sort of nights when you can’t sleep until the morning. I stare at the darkness above me, thinking of the darkness within me. The times where I’ve hurt people and it is too late to apologize. The mistakes I can’t go back and fix with my ubiquitous patches. The forgiveness I cannot obtain. The miserable past that won’t let me go.
You’d think at sixteen-going-on-seventeen that I couldn’t experience overwhelming regret. Well, if I didn’t before, it’d be only because I was too high on self-righteousness to see who I really was. And I am nothing but fallen short, filthy, dark, and terrified of going on like that. I hate this uncovering part—the looking in the mirror and realizing that I’ve been living life with stuff between my teeth, if you get my meaning.
But that’s the first step to healing.
Being a child in a medical family of two generations, I was taught to rip off the Band-Aid before I went to bed so that the wound could air and heal more quickly. My grandma explained to me on her kitchen stairs that the bloody mess after a scrape was meant to cleanse it—for quicker healing. You didn’t want to stop it all up. There was a reason for it.
My God says much of the same thing. In darkness, there is secrecy, and also guilt. He is exposing, ripping away layers I cannot or will not. He is uprooting my mountain of excuses and half-truths. He is emptying my cache of lies. He is unlocking the rooms where I would not let Him go. He will not stop until there is nothing between Him and my beating heart but grace.
And then He will fill me. He will, as Paul prayed for the Ephesians, grant “strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you will be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18-19—a beautiful passage).
I wish I would have known, as I know now, that when the nights of exposure came, I would not remain the same person I was staring starkly in the face. The tears were only watering that mustard seed of faith. That emptiness was only the Spirit hollowing out my inner being to make it big enough for His love.
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?