I went to England aching for alone time. Needing to escape the stench of rotting relationships and wanting to leave conflict and drama an ocean away. I did that, and I found the silence I needed. I found the thin spaces where I could clearly see God’s craftsmanship as a Creator. The landscapes, the freedom, the people, the culture… I had it all at my disposal, and I took advantage of every opportunity I had to get out and adventure.
In the end, though I felt refreshed, the healing I so desperately sought never came. I know… Rebecca, you’re dumb. Healing never comes from running away. It comes from intentional reconciliation, it comes from asking your Creator to remake your brokenness into something beautiful, it comes from well… where all things come from, God. In the end, after a long process of letting go of the burdens on my heart and letting God change me, healing did come. I finally found joy where joy had always been, in Christ.
As a result, I knew that I would be different after coming back from studying abroad. I knew that the lens in which I viewed my life would shift and change. I knew that, I did. I just wasn’t ready for how my life would change.
I didn’t know that forgiveness would make my friendships stronger.
I didn’t know that I would crave community the way a dehydrated traveler craves water when I came home.
I didn’t know that I would experience culture shock when I got back.
I didn’t know that I would make a family with my co-workers.
I didn’t know I would meet a man who would show me what a new type of joy looked like.
I didn’t know that I would be the angriest* I had ever been in my entire life.
I didn’t know that I would be the most joyful I have ever been in my entire life.
I didn’t know that I would become the most honest version of myself that I have ever been.
And the list goes on… My life looks different, and honestly I wasn’t prepared for just how different it would be. But I’ve learned to embrace my lot in life. I’ve learned a lot about openness and honesty and vulnerability… And I’ve learned that there is a reward that comes when you tentatively spread your heart out for people to see.
I’m so done hiding my little jar of clay. I’m so tired of trying to paint over it and fill the cracks with whatever temporary fix I could conjure up. So here it is, here is my brokenness and ugliness all poured out into a vessel that is cracked and thinned out and warped. I cannot believe that I spent most of my life trying to keep up the walls I had made. Being vulnerable has taken a burden off my shoulders, I am no longer responsible for keeping up the image of perfection that I have held so tightly onto. I will no longer say “I’m okay, I’m just tired” when in fact I am brimming with resentment on the inside.
This jar finally gets the chance to breathe fresh air. It is finally washed and cleansed and unwrapped for all the world to see. The beauty of it is that this jar is not all about me. This jar does more than tell my story, it tells the story of the glory of my Savior. It tells a story of how a fragile, angry, beaten girl was redeemed by the same hands that put the stars in their place.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants,
you have established strength because of your foes,
to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings
and crowned him with glory and honor.
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands;
you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen,
and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is your name in all the earth! -Psalm 8
This is still all just part of a process. I am not claiming perfection, nor am I claiming a life that has been magically fixed now that I have had an epiphany about my walk with Jesus. Life is still hard, and I am still broken. Now I know that I don’t have to walk through this life alone.
Click here for a song that wonderfully illustrates what my process of healing looked like this year.
*someday maybe I’ll tell you about what my process of wrestling with injustice and cruelty looks like, not today though.
-Soli Deo Gloria