Have you gone through difficult or traumatic experiences in life and left a part of yourself behind?
When I was a little girl we went to visit my relatives in Tasmania who owned a large dairy farm. One day my brother and I donned our gumboots and started to explore the paddocks. After trekking through a rather large puddle we began to sink into the mud. We became stuck in the mud and our boots filled with water making it impossible to move. We tried and tried to free ourselves to no avail.
Being so far from the house there was no point calling for help so we made the decision to step out of our boots, leaving them behind in the mud as we walked back to the farmhouse.
It got me thinking about things I have left behind in the ‘mud’ situations of my life.
It may have been a work situation where conflict with a boss has caused you to leave behind your ambition and dreams. It might have been a situation when you were very young and a trusted adult treated you badly, causing you to leave your confidence behind. It could even be in a relationship where you have had conflict or experienced abuse and you have left part of yourself behind.
Was it God’s plan for you to leave that thing behind? Was it meant to be laid down in that painful mud of the situation? Is God wanting to restore it back to you?
God’s heart is to redeem what was left in the mud.
I had a friend that experienced the violation of rape and in the mud of that traumatising event she left behind her femininity. She completely stopped caring for herself. It took years for her to realise what she had left in the mud and I watched her blossom like a flower as God healed and restored her to a place where she was able to embrace her God-given femininity.
There are some parts of us that we have left in those situations that were never supposed to be left there. Unfortunately, the pain, hurt and trauma of the situation caused us to leave them there, but it was never God’s plan.
As little kids, we did not have the strength in our little legs to lift our boots out of the mud and it was easier for us to leave them there. You may not have had the strength and it may have been easier to leave part of yourself in the mud, but now you are stronger!
Is now the time that God wants you to go and get those boots out of the mud, put them back on and walk in them, knowing they were never supposed to be left behind in the first place?
Eugene Peterson captures this well with his paraphrase of Deuteronomy 30:3-13 in The Message version. Even though it is his interpretation I feel it speaks well to the encouragement that I hope to bring you today.
God, your God, will restore everything you lost; He’ll have compassion on you; He’ll come back and pick up the pieces from all the places where you were scattered. No matter how far away you end up, God, your God, will get you out of there and bring you back to the land your ancestors once possessed. It will be yours again."
Deuteronomy 30:3-14 (Message Version).
The solution as kids was simple; the puddle eventually dried out and we were able to go back and retrieve the boots. The encouragement is simple; you can reclaim that which has been left in the mud!
What you have left in the mud is not irredeemable. Allow God to show you what was left behind and ask Him to restore it back to you.
Is there anything that I have left in the mud that You want me to pick up again? Would You restore back to me what I left in the mud.