When I make my to-do lists, I precede each item with a little, hollow box. When the task is completed (the letter sent, the laundry folded, the post written) I take great delight in filling in the little box with ink.
I like the way my paper looks with a flush-left column of neatly filled-in boxes.
Sometimes I browse through lists from months ago just to see how much I’ve accomplished. I’m a little bit crazy.
I bet you have a system, too. Maybe you are an old-school check mark person. Or perhaps you are more of a bold list-maker and like to completely cross-through your finished tasks. Whatever your system looks like, I would venture to say that it has one goal: completion.
I was talking with a friend who mentioned she was glad a certain tumultuous relationship had ended, but now she just wanted some closure. I began to consider the word, the idea of closing up a relationship, or of bringing it to an ending that is satisfying and makes sense. I think of tightening the lid on the jar and putting it away, of taping up the box and storing it in the attic, of coloring in that little, hollow box on my to-do list.
Is closure really possible when it comes to relationships? I would prefer that to be true, because closure implies that I will no longer have to deal with the thing I have closed. I’m not saying some aspects of closure aren’t needed and even necessary in the ending of relationships. But more often what we really seek is healing.
Healing is messy and fluid and often unpredictable. I can’t manufacture my own healing. It usually takes longer than I think, runs deeper than I wished and involves more areas of my life than I ever imagined. But once I come through it on the other side, healing not only offers the closure I thought I wanted, but it comes with a wholeness, wellness and restoration that closure lacks.
But I can’t heal myself. I need a Healer, someone to stand on my behalf against my past, against the pain and disappointments of broken relationships, against any fear of trusting in the future. I’m so glad I have Someone.
“Who will rise up for me…? Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence. If I say, ‘My foot slips,’ Your mercy, O Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.” (Pslam 94:16-19 KJV).
by Emily, Chatting at the Sky