The word returning was impressed into my mind after attending a fascinating workshop this weekend.
It can mean returning to an addictive behavior or a destructive person. It makes me think about this verse:
As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his foolishness.” Proverbs 26:11 (NLT)
Well, that is one way to look at it.
This is SO TRUE in my own life, returning to the things that harm and hurt me. As if they somehow comfort me.
That our suffering and our pain feels as if it is our breath and our lot in life.
So we return.
I do it. We all do it.
Return to making poor decisions, and returning again and again to the parts we despise about ourselves. For those in early recovery, this is the most excruciating part of trying to overcome an eating disorder or substance abuse. The body and mind become so used to the abuse, so used to the negative coping skill the lines begin to blur. What is wrong is right and what is right is wrong. We fall into that deep pit of shame, feeling hopeless and unsalvageable, returning again and again.
But what if there is another returning that brings us life?
A returning of hope.
What if instead of returning yet again to the destruction and abusive patterns, we return to something different. Something deep in us that says, Today. Is new. Today I get another chance to try again.
The speaker at this workshop asked me, “Lee, how many chances would you give your children?”
“Five million!” I answered.
“I would never run out of chances for them. I would never NOT return. Because my love for them is deeper than anything I have ever known.”
So then, isn’t there a God above that does that for us?
My first answer, honestly, is no. Not for me. I am too messed up. Made too many mistakes. Said too many things. I need to be better and then He will return.
He is here now.
He doesn’t move. It is ME who needs to do the returning. Me who needs to accept the grace and trust. Me who needs to walk away from the shame and the guilt and return to this:
Return to GRACE. Return to Truth.
So instead today of returning to the old habits and old ways, instead of returning to the self-hatred and isolation, return to Him.
Come back. It doesn’t matter if you fall a million times or If you fail a trillion times.
What matters is that you return, return to the one that loves you.
I am working on this too.
Won’t you join me?