And I’m learning that mercy comes in waves,
and it’s okay to love yourself;
to give your heart the same grace
you give to everyone else.
Everything gets restored. In the end, every single broken thing will be restored. That's the promise. We just don't know when it will happen. Whether it will happen this side of heaven or not.
I use to think that every relationship ought to be restored, if it's possible. If two people are willing to say I forgive, surely restoration can and should follow. Surely things can go back to the way they were. Or at least, some version of that. God promises restoration, to himself and to each other, after all. He promises to come and make all things new.
All things new. Can you imagine? Every angry word or poor decision or mean motive, gone. And the relationship, the person standing in front of you, it's like you're seeing them for the first time.
And it happens, this side of heaven. So many of you have testimony of that truth. Of seeing God wipe away every tear and burden, and making something newer and better.
But it's not guaranteed to happen this side of heaven. And we wrestle with that, and we wait for our restoration. We wait for our brokenness and broken relationships to be fully healed. But what if we chose, on purpose, to prolong that? To allow things to stay broken?
I am hopeful to a fault. I love people, I love relationships; I love growing and deepening the one's I have in my life and making room for new ones. Don't get it confused - I don't want lots and lots of friendships. I invest deeply and richly in close relationships.
And sometimes, people choose to walk away. Sometimes people say no. I struggle to understand that side of the story. I've never been able to understand the ability or necessity to walk away from a living, breathing, human being standing in front of you. Grace demands that I forgive you and you forgive me, and we keep showing up in each other's lives and fix all the broken things...right?
At a certain point, grace becomes useless when we don't know how to show it to ourselves as well. At some point, you pour out grace to everyone around you, and you forget to take care of your own heart. You forget to guard it. You forget to protect it, because you thought grace meant forgetting as well as forgiving.
Maybe, sometimes grace can say "I forgive you" without also allowing the same hurt back into your life. Maybe your ability to show grace doesn't just save everyone around you, but saves you too. Maybe it's okay to be the one that walks away from a living, breathing human being. Because you've got to make sure you're still living and breathing and being too.
I fully believe all things will be restored. I fully believe every broken and hurting place will be healed and one day, we'll be able to truly forget. We'll be able to truly trust again. But I'm okay with not getting there this side of heaven. I'm okay with things being broken because people are broken and we live in a broken world.
It has always been this way.
And maybe God changes my heart, and maybe he shows me full restoration here on earth. Maybe I get glimpses of heaven in the most painful relationships. I'm not saying I don't want that. I'm not saying he can't do that. I'm just saying that I'm okay with seeing the restoration of all things in His time, not mine.