My friend Kate, who has stuck by me since nappydom, was probably not far off when the other day she told me that I walk a fine line between being really thoughtful and plain stalkerish. What follows is an instance of one such footstep veering into the latter- so apologies to my sisters in advance.
I remember thinking for months on end that I wanted to turn the clocks back becauseI would never be the same Florrie that I had been before anorexia. It felt like I had been moored up to a river-bank and cut adrift by the disease without hope of return. So, often I would go into the rooms that my sisters had left behind when they had gone to university and rifle through the remaining clothes in their wardrobes. I would remember them wearing them before our house of five dropped down to two, and even (here comes the stalkerish bit), put Nick Cave music on, like my eldest sister used to, and try to smell their scent on their old jumpers. Anything to pretend I was safely tucked into ‘the good old days’ even for a minute or two.
As a perfectionist, my instinct is always to start again after any mistake. But I think God shows so much power in His preference for the make-do-and-mend approach. He makes do with us and mends our mess-ups through His Son. With the Flood, God could have started completely afresh and created a robotic race who wouldn’t hurt Him so with their infractions. But He showed mercy to Noah’s family- even though his later drunken atnics showed that that meant sin was still alive and kicking- and stayed true to His promise of redemption in Genesis 3:15. Then, during the wilderness years, it was the Israelites who wanted to take steps backward, this time into Egypt. ‘The food was pretty lush and the slavery not all that bad so why not give it another go?’ they thought. But God knew that His plan was to take them forwards, to a place of freedom and abundance, even if the journey there was hard, hazardous and sometimes seemingly futile. Sound familiar? And even now He works through his messy, bunch of broken-clay-pots- His Church- to bring about something majestic. God is the epitome of the patient parent who lets His children learn by doing, even if it pains Him to watch us proverbially colour outside of the lines.
I might want to go back to a less messier pre-teen age. But God has a more glorious plan to redeem my messiness, and by it to bring me to:
See God- Revelation 22:4
To Be Near To Him- Acts 17:27; Ephesians 2:13
Freedom- John 8:32,36
Salvation From Sin- Matthew 1:21
Comfort- Matthew 5:4; Luke 6:21
Life By The Word- Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4
To Answer Prayer- James 1:5-8
Protection By Angels- Hebrews 1:14
Peace Of Mind- Matthew 11:28-30
Eternal Life- John 3:15-16,36
Wisdom- Luke 21:15; James 1:5
Revelation 21:4, 22:3 “and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more…no longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him.”
And if I can’t see how the heck we are going to get there, I will trust that the good old days weren’t as good as God gives. So I would rather fumble onwards with Him, than yearn for a time machine.