Updated: Oct 25, 2020
There are two sides to every coin.
A win and a loss.
One does not exist without the other.
It’s a bittersweet truth.
As I put my life into boxes preparing to move, that’s exactly what I feel.
There were some wins in our house.
There were some losses in it.
Such is life.
Some parts are easier to say goodbye to than others.
The life-changing magic of tidying up plays in the background on Netflix as I pack.
Marie Kondo’s method that has everyone talking says, “If an item does not spark joy, don’t keep it.”
I’m totally hooked. Along with the rest of the world.
So, anything that doesn’t spark joy - doesn’t go in a ‘keep” box.
It goes in the give away/throw away pile.
Marie Kondo says that people love her method because when they tidy their homes, they actually tidy their hearts.
I carry her method throughout my house deciding what sparks joy and gets to come with me into my new house and the next chapter of my life.
Eventually, I made my way to my jewelry drawers.
Yes, plural. I have way too much jewelry.
Surely, there are pieces in there I haven’t worn in years that I can get rid of.
And, then I see it.
I had nearly forgotten about it. Nearly.
My wedding ring.
I haven’t looked at it in so long.
I wore it every single day for years.
It always had this shimmer and shine to it.
I loved the style.
I loved the way it looked on my hand.
I loved how big it was.
I loved how it was full of diamonds.
I loved what it signified.
I was taken.
I was a wife.
I didn’t realize how much of my identity was wrapped up in that ring until I took it off.
So, I pick up the ring. It’s been sitting there untouched for 2 years. I inspect it. It’s the same ring. The same diamonds. It’s still beautiful. But it doesn’t carry the same weight and significance it once did.
I try the ring on for old times sake.
(And because I like pain, apparently. Do not try this at home without waterproof mascara and a best friend handy).
It looks the same on my hand.
But it’s not me.
The message behind the ring is now polluted.
The ring is worthless.
I contemplate selling it.
Why bring something that definitely does not spark joy into my new home? My new life?
My mom sold her wedding ring years ago.
My dad threw his into the ocean.
I don’t have daughters to pass it on to.
I certainly don’t care to re-open an old wound by looking at it over the years to come.
But selling it is so finite. Concrete.
It would be GONE.
It’s like saying goodbye all over again.
And once and for all, maybe?
I said goodbye to my ex a long time ago.
But saying goodbye to the life I thought I would have…
Saying goodbye to marriage…
That’s been harder to release.
If life is a coin – which let’s face it – we may as well play it this way…
Saying goodbye to a hard past was a swing and a miss. A loss.
With no desire to bring an old loss into the next chapter of my life, I convince myself that selling the ring is a good idea. There’s a 50/50 chance I’m right, right??
So, even though I’m only 50% sure it’s a good idea, I decide to do it.
I wore the ring all day. One more day.
And then, I walked into a jewelry store and sold it for a third of what it was worth.
Jokes on you, jewelry store. That ring is tainted.
I wonder how many diamond rings under the glass case contain diamonds purchased from tainted marriages…
I felt a little ashamed taking the ring off my wedding finger so the jeweler could appraise it.
Like, I was publicly acknowledging that my marriage had failed. SHAME.
I forked over the ring and he forked over a fistful of cash.
That was quick.
Surely such a big decision should require more red tape allowing for mental preparation.
.......READY OR NOT…....
"Do things before you're ready."
This explains a lot about me.
And answers a lot of questions I get about how I was a teen mom or how I finished college or how I started a business or how I do whatever I do.
I’m an all or nothing person. I’m 100% in or I’m 100% out.
I move when I’m ready. I hate delays and I hate being rushed.
But every now and then, the world moves a little faster than I’m prepared for.
I’m not in control.
And I have no choice but to faith step.
When those moments come…It’s like God instinctively/intuitively moves my body forward even though my mind isn't there yet.
My head doesn’t feel ready. But it feels peace.
I’ve learned to trust those moments by now.
In this case, it was time. Time to let go a little bit more.
I stood there squeezing the cash into my wallet.
“This feels like a drug deal,” I said to the jeweler. He was in his mid 30’s.
He looked at me and laughed like he actually had experience with drug deals and this was nothing.
I liked him.
I could tell he had a crazy life story. I knew he wouldn’t share it though. Brooding type.
Although I was tempted to work my magical people skills and get him to open up about his life to a stranger, I didn’t stick around to find out. I was too distracted with selling my ring.
I walked out of the jewelry store and into the daylight. It felt like walking out of a club at 6am and realizing it’s light outside. (Not that I have experience or have ever done that or know anything about things like that at all ever.)
I took a deep breath.
The ring is gone.
But I’m still me.
Life goes on.
The sun is still shining.
God is still good.
The future is bright.
The best is yet to be.
Thank you, God for showing me that there’s a win on the other side of that loss.
A win on the other side of letting go.
I think we have a tendency to give God credit for the pain in our lives.
But we don’t give him the credit for the healing in our lives.
We give him credit for the shitty experience inside the jewelry store.
But we don’t give him credit for the SUNSHINE and possibility outside the jewelry store.
Maybe we all need to have a little more grace for God…
He gets blamed for everything.
We’ll take God's grace all day long but we have a hard time giving it.
Here’s the cool thing about Grace…
Grace can only cover pollution.
Grace can only cover sin.
Grace can only cover hurt.
It’s such a beautiful concept.
Until you have to give it.
I heard once that there is pain and glory in life.
They are two sides of one coin.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people.
And sometimes good people do bad things.
There’s good and bad in everyone.
The world is going to hurt you.
You can stare at the loss side of the coin…
OR FLIP THE COIN OVER.
There’s a book called The Raggamuffin gospel.
It talks about how broken and SCREWED UP we all are.
WE’RE ALL A BUNCH OF “RAGGAMUFFINS.”
And God lovesssss his ragamuffins.
This is my favorite quote from it:
“When I get honest, I admit I am a bundle of paradoxes. I believe and I doubt, I hope and get discouraged, I love and I hate, I feel bad about feeling good, I feel guilty about not feeling guilty. I am trusting and suspicious. I am honest and I still play games. Aristole said I am a rational animal; I say I am an angel with an incredible capacity for beer.” – Raggamuffin Gospel
“An angel with an incredible capacity for white wine…”
Someone remember to put that on my tombstone.
So…is it possible that the worst part of your story is actually a building block to the best part of your story? What if you can’t access the glory without the pain? The win without the loss?
Maybe I am legit just THAT positive thinking………..…but I don’t think so.
I just really believe it’s true.
So, grieve what you lost. Pain is real.
But then, turn the coin over.
Because on the other side of HELL is HEAVEN.
And on the other side of TAINT is GLORY.
And the other side of SIN is GRACE.
Flip the coin over.
And if it's all a little easier said than done...listen to this...