C.S Lewis so aptly said:
“There are far, far better things ahead
than any we leave behind.”
Oh the deep wisdom. It’s true you know.
Not in simply the spiritual sense I believe Lewis refers to, but also…for myself, I’ve discovered there’s a kind of “better-ness” found in moving forward from past things — good or evil, which have the tendency to hold me hostage and weigh me down.
I guess I’ve lived a bit of a “detached” life.
I tried to remember exactly — at some point I may try again– but I moved roughly 15 times from my birth until I was married. These weren’t military moves or job relocations. These were the fractured moves of a fractured family steeped deeply in dysfunction and disaster.
Sometimes I got to take my belongings. Sometimes I didn’t. So I learned how to start over a lot, how to “make do” a lot and I learned how to let go…a lot.
So much so, that trusting and investing deeply has been a major hurdle for me to overcome in my 45 years. People-pleasing, mask-wearing and manipulation was my main “M.O” with the constant, hazy fear that the bottom was gonna drop out sooner or later and I’d be left alone or have to start over again.
That’s gone now.
The fear, manipulation, mask-wearing and neediness….gone. Even as I go, there’s still some wreckage and scarring to deal with but that’s ok, you know?
I was blind as a child. Not in the sense of eyesight, no. Blind in that emotionally and psychologically I really could not see things clearly. Raised blindly by blind people…most of whom either remain in that state or have died that way– the dysfunction, abandonment, sexual and physical abuse so clouded up my ability to see the difference between good and evil, love and hate, or truth from lies. It messed with the way I saw myself. It messed with the way I saw others too.
That’s also gone.
Healed most miraculously…
by dirt and spit. Sorta.
Scripture records this AWESOME moment about a man who was also born blind except he really was unable to see. Jesus and His disciples are passing by and they ask about the source of the man’s blindness — was it because he or his parents had sinned? You know…that’s a fair question. In my case…it was both. Ah… but Jesus answers them the same way I heard my answer:
He explains the blindness wasn’t due to sinful parents or the sinful self…the blindness was intended to evidence and show the glory of God. (see John 9 )
Then Jesus scoops up some dirt, spits in it and makes mud…yep, spit-and-dirt– mud. He places it on the blind man’s eyes and then tells him to go wash. Scripture says, “the man came home seeing.”
Jesus could have healed with a word. So…. why the mud? Why dirt and…. spit??
That dirt… organically created by the One standing there with all our dirt on His hands. Dirt spoken into existence by a word at the dawn of time then breath-crafted into a man.
The same dirt this man sat in and begged from all day, every day.
Sin-trampled dirt made only dirtier by the wickedness, pain and violence of the world
— mixed with the spit of God.
Dirt and spit… made holy and healing.
Isn’t that just like God though? Taking what we consider gross, and making it beautiful? To open our eyes with the dirt of this world.. the pain, the sorrow, the horror…and somehow, ever so gently use that “whatever” to heal and open our eyes, so we can “come home seeing” ? So we can turn around and just give glory to Him because that’s all we know to do anymore.
That once-blind man, now seeing, had a choice about whether or not he was going to testify and how. He had a choice about who’d get the credit…how he’d tell his story and who he’d share with.
So do I.
As Jesus said, what happened to me– and the things I chose to do — didn’t cause my blindness…because I was born just as blind as everyone else. But I don’t have to stay that way. People….God is in the redemption business and He stands ready to give back every key either given away…or stolen.
In spite of those things and through them… I can now see and give glory to God and testify to His miraculous healing power. I can choose to let God use that testimony to help others “come home seeing.”
So I yield.
I gladly surrender and release the pain of the past in order to allow it to become healing for the future. Because.. I am not a victim and I am not a survivor. I am forgiven…. and so are you.
Last year, my one-word-365 was “yield”. It still is.
I’m yielding still and leaning into learning how to be and live brave. What is brave anyway?
- Brave isn’t fearless but chooses to rise and walk anyway.
- Brave chooses to hold the hand of the One holding the answer to every question.
- Brave refuses to look away or back down from injustice on every level.
- Brave is accountable and asks for help when needed.
- Brave sometimes falls but gets back up because being brave is a process.
I haven’t always felt or have chosen to be brave.. I can’t say I really know how. But I’m ready to try and do whatever it takes for myself and others to find The Way, The Truth, and The Life so we can all in the end come home…. seeing.
*Updated on 8/23/2015
26 thoughts on “clear as mud”
That “twin” thing? Oh yeah. Could I count the moving on fingers and toes I would, but I’ve long lost count. The bitterness, well, that’s slipping slowly, too. And it’s sure good medicine to find a “gets it” girl who’s been there, done that just a few steps ahead of me. Clear tracks and good company are hard to come by some times. When they do, count it all as joy, and pure blessing indeed.
Seriously. It’s about time right? I need to tell you how God did this– it’s mind- epic and blowing at the same time. It’s… God. All God.
THIS: ” People….God is in the redemption business and He stands ready to give back every key either given away…or stolen…I can choose to let God use that testimony to help others “come home seeing.” ” Oh gosh, friend, this speaks so powerfully to me, today–confirming what the spirit is speaking. *Thank you* for being obedient to write as He pushes your pen. I *see* you, and it is beautiful. LOVED this.
Thanks Nacole… it’s a blessed thang! Your encouragements are like a cool drink in a wide desert. Love you right back!
What a very encouraging story, your life. Thank you. Visiting from Nacole’s.
Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement. God is truly good to “clear up” even in the midst of the mud. 🙂
These words really hit home, “Isn’t that just like God though? Taking what we consider gross, and making it beautiful? To open our eyes with the dirt of this world.. the pain, the sorrow, the horror…and somehow, ever so gently use that ”whatever” to heal and open our eyes, so we can “come home seeing” ?
So we can turn around and just give glory to Him because that’s all we know to do anymore.”
And I say a hearty “Amen!” to all this. Your overcoming of a painful abusive past and moving toward wholeness and healing story sounds a lot like mine.
It looks like I need to investigate the brave as I write out my own story, and continue to yield too as I try to listen more intently to God and to my life in the months ahead.
Thank you, Lorretta, for a beautiful post that truly spoke to my heart! Blessings, brave sister 🙂 x
” Ready to give back every key whether given away or stolen ” If you only knew the flash I got when I read that. Let’s all wallow in the dirt! Thanks buddy.
Isn’t God good? Oh yes… he really is. Bless it!
Thanks for your honesty here, and for your wrestlings. Your lines: “It messed with the way I saw myself. It messed with the way I saw others too.” caught my attention.
I praise God for his healing and work in you, in me, in all of his kids. May you continue to see his face and heart clearly.
Warmly stopping by from the IP link up,
Ah Jennifer, I’m so glad you stopped by. Even gladder that you “get” where I’m coming from and where I’m going too because you’re right… healing is available and it’s such a blessing to watch it roll down in the lives of others and even more stunning when you see it wash over you too. Thanks for stopping by, I will definitely pay you a visit soon. Blessings!
Yay! As always, I just love what you wrote. Keep going, Loretta. Your voice is clear and strong and it is a blessing — it is an instrument for Him, to be sure. You are a truth-teller and the Truth and the truth are freedom givers. You sing freedom in your words which echo your heart. Thank you for being brave. Brave is courage in the face of opposition and brave is standing for what is right when there are a million reasons to run away. Blessings to you as you yield and you step out.
And girl..you have just spoken the blessing over me I’ve needed to walk one more step for one more day. Bless you for taking the time to honor me with *your* words.
So grateful God saw fit to cross our paths before heaven, Loretta. You inspire me.
I love this friend!! I’ve often read through the story thinking something like, “How peculiar” and “I wonder why he used spit and mud”
…the same dirt the man sat in… the light came in. That is profound.
You know, I never moved as a child. Had a whole family, but still I was blind. Still I’ve been shackled by similar things to your list… and PRAISE God He makes all things new…takes the dirt I sat in and redeems it all.
I pondered that passage for a long, long time and then like the channels of a combination lock…it all just fell into place and “click” an open door. I am profoundly grateful for this and for, among other things, getting to meet you this past year.
Lorretta, you did it again. Love this. May we always choose to proclaim the glory of God.
Now off to see about this brave living thing…. 😉
Sarah-Girl… you are definitely brave-life material! I love walking with you.
Wow! This is amazing! I love it! Resonates within my heart, as a God-message to me. Thank you for shedding some new light (to me) about blindness & God’s amazing ability to bright sight & healing. What a beautiful testimony you are allowing Jesus to use! Awesome! ♥
And THAT right there is worth the price of admission! 🙂 Bless you for stopping by Satin… God is good!
Oh yeah! So proud of you.
Bless you Mandy… you are a shining star in my little piece of sky.
It is an awesome thing to truly SEE the path of destruction behind us and see the path guided by the Light in front of us. Great post :).
Thanks Donna! It’s so good to finally feel good in my own skin and I really want that for others as well. Bless your Bliggin heart! 🙂
love this. Congratulations on being a Brave Writer! You were one before and you shall always be, but I am glad your writing ministry has been expanded. God bless your year as a Brave Writer!
Ah friend…you know only as well as I do what it really takes to be brave…it’s always a choice isn’t it. Love you!