Friends came over yesterday to talk about the husband's struggle with pornography. We knew it would be difficult, and we hoped to offer them a safe place to share their “trash” with us. We wanted to offer comfort, to share tears, to affirm the positive steps taken, to ask hard questions, and to love them through the messy.
As I mopped our floors and emptied our trash cans before they came, I pondered how we could prepare our hearts in addition to our home.
So we could truly listen to what was said and what was not said.
How could we clean up the cluttered places in our hearts in order to make space for another's pain?
I asked God to give us discernment so we could to speak His words with gentleness and love. That we could direct the conversation in such a way that it wouldn't feel like it was all about us trying to “fix them” or that we have it all together. Because we so don't.
We just want to come alongside as fellow travelers in this journey of life. As safe friends of like heart who want to offer our hands of support and encouragement so that they don't feel alone in this valley.
After our friends left last night, our living room trash can was full again—with orange peels, chocolate candy wrappers, an empty water bottle...
There was an emptying of the trash in preparation of their coming, a filling up of the trash can while we were together, and an emptying of it again after they left. A feeling of starting clean once more. And we want to believe with them that God is working all things new. That He can bring good out of the bad, something beautiful out of the ugly.
For He is the Repairer of Broken Walls. And the Redeemer of All Things.
He takes our trash and our repentant hearts and says, “I love you, precious child, and that is why I gave you my Son.”