Waking up to darkness has never been a great start to my day. This particular Sunday morning I was not exactly rejoicing. Instead, I was complaining. A lot. All the way to church.
Wouldn’t you know…our pastor’s message encouraged us to let our light shine brighter by evaluating what is quenching our fire. Could it be unforgiveness or a spirit of grumbling or complaining? Ouch! Had he been listening to my thoughts and conversations?
As I thought about the heaviness that I had been carrying, I realized that I had been struggling with the weight of responsibilities during a difficult season. And, I had allowed this weight to impact my heart and my attitude. Rather than allowing my light to shine bright, it had been dimmed by my frustration, irritability and grumbling.
I was immediately convicted to apologize to my husband. It really isn’t much of a sacrifice to get up early and go to church with him when he goes to rehearsal…I needed to be thankful that he wants me to be with him. That is a huge blessing that far outweighs an extra hour of sleep and a little extra prep on Saturday.
Next, I needed to apologize to my parents. I knew I had been irritable more than once over the last year as I took on extra responsibility for their needs as well as two other aging family members. I had allowed the stress of all the extras added to my scheduled to impact my interactions with them and my light had indeed dimmed.
The apology to my husband came easy. I put off the conversation with my parents until after I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few items including the cookie dough that I figured I just might need later. I made the call as I headed home. As I explained my conviction and apologized to my parents, they were beyond gracious and told me that I didn’t sound irritable at all and understood that I carried a lot of extras on my plate right now. A parent’s love has a way of covering a multitude of sins.
Then, my dad said, “I knew you were going to crack sometime.” That made me laugh. I told him I had “cracked” a long time ago.
Through confession and forgiveness, God restored my spirit and removed the spirit of heaviness. My circumstances had not changed, but my heart and attitude did.
Instead of coming home and drowning my sorrows in cookie dough, I celebrated with a big spoonful of joy. And this cracked pot? Like the Japanese art, Kintsugi, of putting broken pieces back together with gold, God repairs and restores our cracked places and makes something beautiful that will shine even brighter when we walk in obedience, forgiveness and gratitude.