When you just want CLOSURE and there’s none

She was sexually abused by her dad as a kid, and my husband says to her,

‘You need to accept that possibly – probably? – you’ll never get justice, in this life, for what’s been done to you.’

She’s been spilling cold stories over hot coffee at our kitchen table all evening. I’ve said all the lukewarm things I know to say but really, what Murray says, that’s the white-hot truth she’s come to hear.

She needs an honest, brave someone to say what she already knows and fears: that there may not now or ever be revenge or restitution. And it brings her closure – knowing there will never be closure.

Something like relief sputters to life. Her expression –

Opens –

Like she’s opening her hands to let go, so she can leave her case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. (1 Peter 2:23)

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A dam wall cracks somewhere in our littlest boy and he begins to leak then gush stories of fear and inadequacy and not matching up and measuring up. The not-enough lies are cracking the concrete: not fast enough, not tall enough, not strong enough.

I tell him Jesus makes our bodies all kinds of different, and He has different plans for each of us.

I tell him, nothing about his physical make-up – his passions, his personality – has thrown off God’s gladness in orchestrating Scott-shaped gaps in this world that only Scott can fill – not because God needs us to accomplish His purposes, but because it delights Him to include us.

Even though I tell him this truth, the boy still may never know the satisfaction – the happy-ending closure – of being the fastest or the tallest or the strongest. But I’m praying that he would open his heart to celebrate God’s perfect plans for him, and God’s perfect plans for others.

Some part of his soul stands up straighter again –

Opens.

Maybe it’s the beginning of him learning to open his hands – let go of his case – so he can leave it in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

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A friend tells me about the hurt of a difficult relationship, and how what hurts most is that the person who did the hurting doesn’t even know it. She tells me there’s no point bringing it up; it would only be misconstrued as her petty insecurity. But she wants closure. Vindication. She wants the hurter to hurt.

We talk about paying kindness forward to someone who has or hasn’t earned it, and opening our hands to let go of people – to leave our friendships, our personal and political agendas, our in-laws and out-laws – in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.

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So I’m trying to stop looking for closure and start looking for openness.

Because if any of us stands a chance we’ve got to keep our hearts and lives, our front doors and fridges, open to people who deserve our generosity and people who will almost certainly take advantage of it.

We’ve got to believe that the God of justice is the God of perfect closure. When the time’s right and when He sees fit, He’ll bring the closure we seek. We just need to be ok with the possibility that closure may only come when this life ends and He opens up for us the great wide open of eternity.

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. . .

I’d love to hear how you’re living openhearted, even though you’re hoping for some closure?

Thanks for reading today; have a marvellous week.

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7 comments

  1. I’ve been pondering Rev 21:4 since yesterday:
    “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
    He will wipe e.v.e.r.y tear from our eyes….the glory of that! Every tear – from injustice, pain, mourning, disappointment, sorrow, poverty, loneliness, abuse….The former things, these things we live with and struggle through, they will have passed away. Sometimes all we have to cling onto is hope – I am so thankful for the hope this verse gives me.

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  2. I have so much anger. But I’m learning to let it go, for me. Anger can heal when I am holding it, letting it guide me to know I deserve better. But then there is that rage that consumes me. Mostly, it’s the anger that has no closure. When I have been hurt and betrayed and violated, and there is no acknowledgement, no apology, no amends, and when even all these things could never fill the aching hole in my heart. Then I must learn and I must let go, knowing my Father hears me even if no one else will. Feeling judged and insecure and afraid, I remind myself I stand before my God before I stand before anything or anyone else. And that God, my God, is infinitely loving, patient and merciful. I am standing because His love won’t let me go – tiny, broken, insignificant me. I fall on my knees before my God, and know I will rise. It might not feel like it, but with each step I take, I know I am walking upon the waters.

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    • Pray for you and with you, Emma… So very sorry for the pain you’ve had to carry, and trusting that God’s peace and presence will be so real to you as you rest in Him! Thank you for sharing!

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  3. Thank you for this! I have tried to live ‘the next right thing to do’ since reading it on your blog, and am now going to practise finding ‘openness’ instead of looking for closure!

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