Like Clay

3:47 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 Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
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?
Blessings, Laura Story

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7 impressions

  1. Ah, Bailey, this is so beautiful! We so need to be broken, don't we? As Christians, we tend to think we need to have it all together. As it turns out, band-aids aren't enough to treat gangrene - it takes a radical amputation by the Great Physician. My prayer these days is for brokenness, because I know I need it most of all.

    That song by Laura Story is one of my favorites right now. :)

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  2. Thank you, Bailey, thank you. This post blessed me today more than I can say. At the moment it's too hard to explain how, but thank you.

    The song, too, by Laura Story is good. I was encouraged by the words.

    Blessings,
    Amy

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  3. Lord, have Your will with me. Let me feel the depths of my sin, so that I may know the depths of Your love.

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  4. We don't need to be broken. I mean this, sincerely, not as a contradiction to any previous thought or comment.

    We need to know we are broken and desire our fixing. The difference is so huge.

    I cannot explain it. But, if you know...

    You KNOW.

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  5. Tragedy101 :: Wow. You're so right. I never really differentiated between the idea of being broken and seeing that we are, to begin with, broken.

    Now that's got me thinking. Thank you.

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  6. Yes, He transforms. I love that.

    I may be reading too much into this, but may I offer a caveat (for what it's worth)? We should be careful not to fall into self-loathing when we think of past sins. Yes, we should reconcile when possible, of course. And it's crucial for us to understand how desperately we NEED the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. But I think Satan can get a certain amount of satisfaction--or even delight--if our focus *remains* on our sinfulness when Christ has done so much to free us of sin's penalty (in the present) and its very presence (in the future). (O glorious day....)

    How does that go...? Forgetting what lies behind...pressing forward...fixing our eyes on Christ--the author and finisher of our faith. (Phil 3.12-14 & Heb 12:2) The more we look at Him, the less we think about ourselves. Not that I have already attained this (ahem), but it's comforting to know He doesn't want us wallowing in the mud like swine ("the Lord is too gracious for that"). He wants us to soar on the wings of eagles. = )

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  7. It's amazing how God works. He knows what's under all those "patches", as you put it, and wants to bless us more than we could want to be blessed. We just have to let Him - it's amazing how much we hold ourselves back from. (Speaking of myself.)

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