SHE can be recycled
“I recycle now.”
I proudly announced my new lifestyle change to my friend over the phone as I summarized my first week’s experience in California.
When I lived in Texas, there was typically only one option: trash. From time to time in the area I lived, you would see a blue recycle or compost only bin, but pretty much all of my plastics, paper, and cardboard pizza boxes were considered waste.
Now my surroundings encourage and almost recycle shame you into making sure you sort through everything before you consider throwing something in the trash. I’m forced to re-evaluate each item's purpose to be reused or broken down back into the earth to grow something new again.
This past week, I mediated heavily on all the moments in my life since March 6th, 2016. It was on this day, that I gave up something I wanted so badly and had hung on to so dearly that I felt like I had lost almost everything that day. To be honest, by the time I was “ready” to let it go, it had deteriorated so much that there wasn’t that much to hold on to anyway. But even the broken pieces that were left, still made me feel whole. Or so I thought.
I let this prized possession go in order to not miss out on all the things I was sure God must have had for me. I prayed, I cried, I journaled about it, and then I braced for impact. Which did come, hard. Like ocean waves, I felt attacked on all sides, pulled under by grief, anger, resentment, confusion, sadness.
When I finally washed back up on shore 9 months later, I began to try to re-establish myself. Revived old friendships, blossomed in new ones, and began to really take notes on what all that pain taught me.
Now over 2 years later, I was reminded of March 6th, and the conversation I had with God. But I was angry, because I felt like that while the pain had subsided, what I believed at that time was promised had not been fulfilled.
“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”
- 2 Peter 3:9 -
God does not fulfill His word on our time. We can’t set deadlines for a God that doesn’t not operate within our concept of time.
I also failed to see that God, too, does not believe in wasting what He knows can be recycled. Over the last two years, He helped me sort through my pain.
He recycled my identity in man into my identity in Him.
He recycled my desire to isolate myself into a desire to be inclusive with others.
Not only that, but on March 6th, He allowed other things to be broken down so that there was nothing left of it, and allowed those dead things to bring life to something beautiful: My faith.
My faith in the last 2 years, is completely built upon the hard and painful experiences and spiritual lessons I’ve learned. Those have taught me that even the worst thoughts and feelings can reused at some point in time to make me into a better child of God. One that is a walking representation of what happens when God recycles.