Creating closure to the past in order to open ourselves to a fresh future has been the state of my heart and the disposition of my husband and I’s life lately. We are trying to take tangible steps towards creating the life that we imagined, and, doing so has created a season of cleaning out the old and creating space for the new. But, it hasn’t just been a physical process, it’s been a mix of emotional and spiritual cleaning and sorting as well. Even in such a way that getting rid of physical clutter makes room for emotional and spiritual intentionality in our life. Really, this looks a process of dying to self in the form of having self discipline and getting uncomfortable. But, it’s leaving me with a self challenge towards myself to become better acquainted, and even comfortable with doing the uncomfortable. We are called to live outside our comfort zone. While it’s scary, the scariest thing of all is settling for living in a sort of stagnation and disappointment of unfulfilled potential, or never knowing. And, all in all, I’m seeing how this process is truly exposing my heart- where I need to give grace, and where grace has made itself known.
Starting with the physical changes, and leading to spiritual changes. I am in a whirlwind of going through boxes of baggage and sentimental pieces, and reevaluating what things mean to me- only keeping the things that I really value, that truly spark joy. This both takes place literally, as I go through old papers and poetry written in high school, reentering the 15-year-old girl I once was and realizing that I still very much resonant with her, to testing my opinions on issues that my parents never faced, but I will face because this is the time of our world. We can’t ignore the controversies before us or live in the bubble of our own opinions, we can only embrace the head-butting ideas, evaluate them, and try to look at them with eye’s of understanding. In the midst of all of this, I’m better refining what I really believe, opening up places in my heart with biases, judgment, and things that contradict the grace that I live by and hope in. And seeing how this creates clarity to the calling upon my life. This is who I am. And, I must see and dig into this who and know her and her purpose, before I can take her along a journey into higher places.
This journey looks like replacing shame with grace
While I passed through the boxes of memories, I came across baby pictures of myself, and the little girl I see almost looks foreign to me from any other time, as if I am not her, but as if she is any other little girl who catches my heart and I want to love on. And, that little face in mirror that would stare back at me with shame and indifference is not there anymore. Rather, she is a little girl I would choose. I would love. Even when she did not not feel chosen, I choose her. She was created and chosen by the heavenly father. Therefore, in all of her awkward stages, she is enough. I choose who she was, regardless of how she may have felt about herself or behaved alike, due to brokenness. That’s not who she was.
This is the process of choosing myself; finding grace for how God made me, starting with the beginning of my story and my deepest roots. But, five years ago I couldn’t look at these pictures and feel this way. It didn’t happen over night. Rather, it’s been a slow process, revisiting her just reminds me how far we’ve come.
I’ve come to understand that we are all victim as a child to our world, but once we can think for ourself, we are no longer a victim, and are then responsible for our behavior and choices. The most difficult thing is pressing past those wounds and acting out of the truth of who we are (loved) and not out of the pain of the lies that skewed our sense of being and purpose. Will we be victim as children for the rest of our lives, or will we overcome? Only grace can take us from point a to point b.
This is a process of digging up, replanting, and growing in the soil of God’s love. It undoubtably is a process, but having grace with our self like God has grace with us, empowers us to be who we really are. Of course, this starts with understanding His love- the definer of love itself. Perhaps learning to say “thank you” for your own self is the most tangible place to start.
“You will never really enjoy other people, you will never have stable emotions, you will never lead a life of Godly contentment, you will never conquer jealousy and love others until you thank God for making you the way He did.” – James Hufstetler
This quote demonstrates the importance of us loving who we are, seeing that exactly how God made us is praise-worthy, because we are an expression of who He is. Tangibly stepping into this and seeing time pay off in the healing process is my favorite part of growing up and older: being able to own our story and create it, rather than feel victim to what we were told or shown when we were young and malleable.
What am I seeing now? I see that we may all look quite different, but our human condition is quite the same. We may have different tendencies, but we are all broken. We all have to learn through awkwardness and pain, and we are all quite afraid. This means that there doesn’t need to be space between us. We just need to listen and yearn to understand. This is world peace. And, this is also the heart of Jesus.