Relationships are messy.

Our interactions with people are flawed because we are flawed. Maybe our intentions are good, but as we live and breathe in the friction of the Already-But-Not-Yet—of a Kingdom that is somehow here but also on its way—we are reminded that our own brokenness is not too far behind. And it’s hard. And it hurts.

This year two of my closest friendships ended within a matter of months of each other.

An untold number of phone calls, sleepovers, text messages, late night talks, gifts, long drives home, and everything in between—over. It was complicated, as these things usually are, with no clean-cut response to give and a lot of confused mutual friends. Like an earthquake, it shattered the house of my heart and I slid faster and faster into cracks shaped like questions marks.

Some days were better than others, but then there were days where I felt swallowed up in a mess I couldn’t even begin to fix. There were so many words said, so many things left unsaid, and a distance created to protect what was left.

And I don’t know where I read it, whether I was scrolling through Twitter or browsing through blogs, but I remember everything in the whole world stopping for one long second and the words reverberating in my spirit like the sound of a bass drum at sunrise.

“God won’t waste our wounds.” I caught my breath.

Those words came like a neon defibrillator in the middle of a painfully slow heart attack, waking up the parts of me that I was watching die.

I stared at the words, wrote them down in several places, savored them like a piece of my favorite dessert. Could such a promise be true?

Because here’s the thing about life: when we walk into relationships with one another, we are inadvertently bringing all of our baggage with us. Many times, our relationships help point us toward healing, toward letting go of the chains that hold us back. But sometimes, that doesn’t happen.

Sometimes, we don’t know how to take care of each other. Sometimes, we come up short. Sometimes, they come up short. Sometimes, we try again and again to make it right… But sometimes, enough is enough. And we need that time. We need that space. We need time to heal.

And in the middle of that, I didn’t know how to reconcile these hurts with the rest of my life. What do I do with them? How do I move on?

But now I think I am beginning to get it.

The God of Restoration, the God of Rescue, the One who sees me and knows me and understands the spaces in me without words… He won’t waste a single thing in the process of redeeming my life.

So I choose to respond in a new way. I choose to hope instead of despair. I choose to trust Him with my grief. I choose to let Jesus mend my heart, to make all things new.

Even in this, I dare to be thankful. What an incredible promise poured out over us. Let yourself sit in the beauty of that for a while. We are beautiful, intricate pieces in the greater story of redemption that God has been telling since the beginning of time. I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate with gratitude, to sing with thanksgiving, to shout with ultimate joy.

Beloved, His grace is big enough.

And He won’t waste a single thing—not even our wounds.

“To grant those who mourn in Zion—to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they might be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations.” –Isaiah 61:3-4

Michelle Lucio

Michelle Lucio is a twenty-something with a passion for telling the stories of the everyday. She is a contributor for Venture Magazine, an iPhonographer, and a connoisseur of fine cheeses. She graduates from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in English literature this winter.

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