Velvet Bags and Repair Kits

Today I have a rather amazing story to share with you. Another story of God.

A week ago I was really struggling with memories of the other. I didn’t want them. I remembered a previous time in my life when I had some memories I didn’t want to have to hold in my mind. They were memories of the very traumatic birth of one of my children. It was a terrifying experience and although we both survived I found that for weeks afterwards every time I lay down and closed my eyes all I could see were flashbacks of the birth. As a mother of a new born I was desperate for sleep but the memories stopped it from coming.

One night in desperation I lay crying in my bed with my baby sleeping in a cot next to me, and I said ‘God just take away these memories. Erase them from my mind. I don’t want to have them. I want them gone. I can’t bear them anymore.’ At that moment I saw very clearly in my mind a really beautiful velvet bag, and saw my memories placed inside it. I sensed God telling me that my memories were actually very, very precious because they were around the miracle of my child’s birth but that He could place them within beautiful protection. I didn’t need to see them, instead I could see the and feel the soft bag which was holding them. That night I slept without flashbacks.

The next morning a parcel arrived in the post. A gift for us on the birth of our baby.I read the card and unwrapped the present.

It was a velvet bag. Inside was a photograph album.

I wept. 

It was such a precious and tangible reminder to me of the reality of God’s love and protection and provision that I have never been able to put any photos into it. I keep it as it is, and I know that for me it contains all the memories which were once too painful to view.

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Last week I cried out to God again in desperation. I wrote in my journal ‘I want another velvet bag. I just want the memories to go ‘.

God answered my prayer but not by giving me what I was asking for.

A few days before I wrote that journal entry I had written about Kintsugi on this blog. The ancient Japanese art of repairing broken things with gold so that they are made more beautiful in repair. I saw in that, an illustration of what God is doing in my marriage.

Yesterday I met with a friend and she had a gift for me. I opened it and almost wept.

Her gift to me was a Kintsugi Repair Kit.  

She had read my blog last week and was amazed I’d mentioned kintsugi because a number of weeks ago a work colleague  had approached her and started giving her information about it. She had no idea what he was talking about. He’d thought that she had asked him about it, but it was someone else. My friend had never heard of kintsugi before, however it intrigued her and as she found out more about it she came across the Kintsugi Repair Kit, made in another country. She felt that it would be the perfect gift for me and so weeks ago she’d ordered it to be delivered. We’d never talked about kintsugi. She had no idea that it held any meaning for me.

I realised as I held that gift in my hands last night, that God is not giving me a velvet bag for the memories of the other. They aren’t to be carefully protected. They aren’t beautiful and important. They are to be let go of in the way that my mind does all the time, with names and faces and places and things I can’t quite recall.

Instead I am to go forward, repairing with gold, the marriage I have. The marriage which contains a richness of memories and which will create many more. It’s about putting off the old and on the new.

God is so gentle when He shows me things.

I have been brought this week to the realisation that my desire to protect the memories and not let them go was not His desire.

I know that His desire is for the gold paint to be applied to all the cracks so that our brokenness is made beautiful.

Every day a story of God. Every day a story of grace. 

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this post in linked with Lisha Epperson and the #givemegrace community

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