The Gentleness of Restoration

“I suppose that since most of our hurts come through relationships, so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.” -The Shack

For a while I had a specific expectation of what restoration in my life should be and would look like. And that didn’t leave a lot of room for God to do His miraculous gifting of restoration. Thankfully, God has already taken into account our need to get in His way. And he can restore despite me and you. God will restore to me and for me. It is who He is. But maybe not in the way we, as humans, envision. He will do it in a much more perfect and complete way. Gently. Kindly. Timely. Because that is what Love does.

I didn’t get the testimony of a restored marriage. I don’t know why others get that story and I didn’t. But I didn’t. What I did get was God’s gentleness in quickly showing me that my initial desire was not the healthy, safe way to restoration. What I did get were friends who moved toward me. What I did get is a new perspective on God’s love and forgiveness. What I did get is seeing how important adding value, showing kindness, practicing empathy, having more connection and being gentle with others & myself is. What I did get is the confidence and freedom to unmask parts of me I had kept hidden for years. What I did get is a more intimate relationship with God. And two plus years later, God is daily showing up in the gentlest of ways. Teaching me. Reminding me. Encouraging me. Refining me. Stretching me. Restoring me.

One thing I have learned is restoration is not a final destination. Restoration is a journey. It is a daily bathing of God’s grace and goodness and forgiveness. It is daily drawing near to Him. It is God working all things for good to them that love Him. I had a certain picture of restoration in my mind. And I abundantly got more than I imagined. Because that is what Love does.

So maybe you – like me – didn’t get the miracle. Maybe you didn’t get restoration in the package you pictured. Or maybe. Just maybe – you – like me – actually did get your miracle and restoration has begun and it is showing up to you and for you. It just showed up in a different form than you thought you needed or wanted.

Our God is a good God. He is gentle. He is gentle in His restoration.

And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” – 1 Peter 5:10

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