My head fell forward into my hands. Thoroughly disheartened, I sat on the sofa and fought back tears. The warm summer night did nothing for my cold, crushed feelings. Granted, to someone else, this would not even be a bleep on his or her emotional radar. But for me, this was a big deal.
Let me explain.
Larry threw my clothes into the dryer. Had this been towels and sheets, I would have welcomed his kindness. But these were not towels and sheets. These were my two useable summer Polo shirts, red and blue. When I pulled the load from the machine in the basement, I discovered—with horror—that my tops were reduced to the size for a toddler, and rendered useless for an adult.
Attempting good marital communication, I returned upstairs and engaged Larry in conversation. Seeing the evidence in my outstretched hands, he expressed remorse. (Great.) While I appreciated his apology, I could not imagine manufacturing the funds to replace my clothing.
So, now on the couch, I sat immobilized in a self-created cocoon. I felt sick; and I felt stuck. This was not good.
In quiet seclusion—feeling the onset of a marvelous pity party—I prayed. “Lord, I don’t want this to grip me and ruin the plans for our summer evening. Truly, I want to respond correctly. But this hurts. How do I handle it? How do I manage to get on with life?”
In that moment …
On that couch …
Heaven and earth stood still as a Whisper from the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart: Walk in newness of life.
Undeniably clear …
And just as clear, was the reality that I had to make a choice – obey or disobey. Thank goodness, the same Holy Spirit who gave me the instructions also gave me the supernatural power to move forward to walk in newness of life.
For my laundry situation, walk in newness of life meant:
Engage and release: engage with Larry in prayer, and forgive him for making a simple human error
Enjoy our dinner
Embrace our summer evening’s recreational plan
Thankfully, walk in newness of life brought peace, joy, laughter, and freedom. And interestingly enough, in the upcoming weeks, the same admonition quietly, gently repeatedly presented itself in a myriad of situations transcending the boundaries of the laundry crisis. Each time, the way forward was clear: walk in newness of life. And each time, I faced a choice: walk in newness of life or stay stuck in the muck.
Two shirts, five words—in the Hand of the Holy Spirit—provide curriculum content for Marriage Counseling 101. The clothing loss pales in comparison to the value of the lesson.
Walk in newness of life: Five. Small. Words.
Living With Eternal Intentionality®
We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised up out of the dead by the glory of the Father, so we also should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4). BSB
How do you identify with the words walk in newness of life?
What other option do you and I have when faced with the choice to walk in newness of life?
What are the characteristics that result when we do not walk in newness of life?
Father, will You please give me a sensitive heart to hear You when you offer me the opportunity to walk in newness of life? I want to experience more and more the reality of this path that You so graciously provide for me. And to You be all the glory!