Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Quit Hogging the Bathroom!

I know my way around a toilet. (You're already glad you started reading, right? I have started this post three times now and that's the best intro I could come up with.)

And while it is not Messy Monday, I really wanted to start the new blogging season with a bang and a realization that came to me in one of my new favorite rooms in the house... the can. I'm thinking it's going to serve as my reminder of what the purpose of this blog is.

It's a call to honesty in a believer's life, and a hand to pull us out of the emotional bathrooms in which we lock our sorry saved selves.

Summer traveling took me into a lot (Read: too many to count and some I'd like to forget) of bathrooms. Two of which had me slack-jawed. Seriously, with the lighting and the d├ęcor and the mirrors, Jacuzzi tub, fireplace, television- how do you ever leave? I could just hear the concerned family friends: Where's Lauren? I haven't seen her in a while, is she ok?... Yeah, I don't know. She walked into the bathroom one day to do her makeup and I haven't seen her since.

But those dear friends manage to do it somehow. Walk into their oasis and then back into real life, and all for the better.

The summer has also given me a chance to explore some spiritual bathrooms and has me realizing just how easy it is to want to take up residency beside my toilet.

All of us have our moments- probably daily- that send us to a place where we just have to purge the negative junk in our lives. We are sick with sin and, as a result, we expel it. But I tell you what, sometimes I have the hardest time flushing it and getting on with my life. It's like I just want to revisit all the nastiness- dress it up with flowers and pictures, and spray the Glade...

It's sick really. Makes me want to grab a pillow and blanket and camp out on the tile floor so I can return to the hurt or guilt at my earliest convenience. And if I can make it a slumber party with all my besties, even better...

Now there are illnesses that require some extensive toilet time. We all need friends to hold our hand, and our hair back, as we muddle through pains and process problems. He gives us His Word, His Son, His body the church. He instructs us-

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
(Romans 12:15)

so we can confidently support those around us.

But what about the everyday little things? What about when comforting leads to captivity? I will surely sit in a soul-searching bathroom as a friend struggles with God's will in her relationships, but when does the shoulder to lean on need to become the arms that carry their friend out of the water closet and back into the living room?

I don't really know. That's why I'm asking:)

God did give me a clue about 7 years ago though. When I was first diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis I had a friend with RA who told me, "If you need someone to come to your pity party, I will be there. But let me tell you something. I will not let you stay there." She was allowing me to deal with the reality of my life without letting me chain myself to the stool. She gave permission to be free when all I could see was a life-sentence of pain. She was a follower of Christ whose words served as a reflection of His own...

When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world. So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you... I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world. - John 16:21-22; 33

I pray the Lord uses this blogger, and her readers, as examples of honest lives lived, not void of pit-stops, but in the freedom of Christ. I say, "Quit hogging the bathroom!" But maybe I should leave you with Paul's words instead,

"For freedom Christ has set us free..." -Galatians 5:1