There are things in life that drive me nuts. Absolutely nuts. One being when someone else makes a mess and I have to clean it up, not because I volunteer or am trying to help, but in a situation where the person who made the mess won’t clean it up and it needs to be cleaned up.
I have spent many hours in the past seven days cleaning up someone else’s mess. Not cleaning it up in a way that does not cause that person to have consequences, but cleaning up my part of it. Reconciling with people and engaging with others in a way that was really scary for me. It was not scary because I was in harm’s way, it was not scary because these are dangerous people. It was scary because of my pride. I had to swallow it, and show up, and share that things were not going well in my world. I had to show up and report that the thing I fought so vehemently against might be, in fact, the truth. I expected in this case to be met with judgement. To hear that awful phrase “I told you so”.
Nothing could have been farther from the truth. I was met with grace, tears, hugs, and arms welcoming me to come to a place that will care for me. I was given room to speak my concerns, offered an apology where that was needed, and I was given space to offer my own apology. I have been so grateful that I worship a God who redeems and reconciles.
You see, 2011 have been one of the worst, if not the worst, years of my life. I have been kicked to the ground by life multiple times, and each days seems to bring revelations worse than the last. Although most days I awake and my first prayer is a cry to God to come for me in a powerful way, followed by tears. Although I cry at the thought of what my future may hold, at the secrets I have not learned yet, and at what God will have me do in response, I know that my God is not out to torture me.
It feels that way sometimes. It feels like torture. Like the struggle will never end, like my days will be lonely and sorrowful forever.
But that is not true. And I can see that. I can see that God is for me when friends call to check on me. I can see that God is holding me tight when I am met with grace and reconciliation occurs. I can find hope in a future joy when I glimpse present joy at the park with my nephew.
So, if cleaning up someone’s mess is part of the redemptive process for me, I’ll do it. If reconciling my part in hurt and anger means that God is molding me to be more like His son, I’ll do it. If swallowing my pride and stepping out even though I am afraid means that God gets glory. Okay. It’s not fun. It’s not pretty. My eyes are often swollen and my heart is heavy, but God will redeem me. That’s His job. He’s our redeemer. He’s MY redeemer.