A Time to Heal

hold on to the promise of freedom that tomorrow morning brings.

It’s spring. I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the daffodils and daisies awakening to the morning sun. Colorful lilies are frequenting the open fields and tulips are adorning the neighborhood gardens. What a wonderful display these lovely flowers put on for our enjoyment!

It’s easier for me to smile when I have glittering yellows and blues in my line of sight. My day is inevitably brighter when the warmth of the sun melts the frost from my wintry pale soul. Longer days make me jump with glee because it just means I get more time to spend outside in the healing rays. That’s what the sunshine is by the way. Healing. Oh, how I need some of that these days. My winter was harsher than years past due to a family tragedy and my heart hasn’t had the chance to really recover just yet.

Recovery. That goes right along with healing, doesn’t it? Maybe the welcoming smile of the cumulus clouds above are inviting me into a new space. A sunny place. One where I can run and play as I did when I was young. How I miss the ease of childhood, the naivety that youth brings, the fresh discovery that lingered in the air of my early years.

I want to be there again. Before life became wrought with trauma and pain. But I can’t go back. None of us can ever go back. We have to live with that truth. The funny thing about truth, though, is that in a strange and unguarded way,  it sets you free. Even when we don’t realize it, acceptance of the simple things that have always been and will always be, liberates the hurt right out of us.

Take the earth beneath our feet. It may be wet with dew or dry with cracks, but it’s still there for us to walk on. And it always will be. Those bulbs of spring that are awakening to new life after a long slumber in the dark can be counted on to make an appearance every year. Sure, a late frost might threaten their blooms but even so, they can be replanted, reborn.

Reborn. Another one of those words that brings comfort to my nostalgic heart. The pure simplicity of starting over in a world that is constantly on the edge of disaster makes me hopeful for the new.

Sing loud and strong, springtime song.

I have been in the frigid dark for way too long.

So I open my eyes and squint at the sun. I let the truth whisper through the wind that my time for renewal has arrived. And I hold on to the promise of freedom that tomorrow morning brings.

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Deliver Me From (insert your word here)…

he has already delivered me from my shame. (1)

I struggle with shame. Just being honest here. We all have things from our life that we wish we could do over, right? (Please tell me I’m not the only one.)

It’s a late at night when I’m trying to sleep struggle. Or a dark and rainy day struggle. More recently, it’s a things are at a standstill in my life and I feel like I’ll never make it out of this waiting season kind of battle. It pops up in my mind more often than I’d like it to. It screams obscenities at me to remind me of how human I am. Some days it just won’t let up.

Why can’t I move past my shame? I ask God this question on a regular basis. This morning as I was in prayer, again pleading for relief, God directed me to the word DELIVER.

Deliver (verb)- to set free or liberate; emancipate, release, redeem, rescue

It occurred to me that I’ve been focusing on the wrong thing. I’ve been praying for God to take the memories away, to give me relief or alleviate the pain, but I have not actually recognized a vital truth: He has already delivered me from my shame. I just haven’t taken hold of it. 

You see, I am not dealing with guilt from God’s pointing finger. He’s not mad at me. I’m forgiven and washed clean in the blood of Jesus. (Anyone else as thankful as I am about this?!) In case I ever forget that, I can go here for a reminder: 

“I, even I, am He who blots out your transgressions,

for My own sake,

and remembers your sins no more.” – Isaiah 43:25

No, I am dealing with my own finger crookedly pointing back at me. I am mad at me. I haven’t forgiven myself for my mistakes so, though I AM CLEAN, I sure as heck don’t feel like it. 

Deliverance isn’t just one of those “christian-ese” words that t.v. preachers talk about. It is a very real and tangible truth that we have the opportunity to apply to our life. If only we will reach out and take it. I think, like myself, that many times we are so caught up in getting rid of the uncomfortable-ness of our past, the guilty feelings associated with certain people or places, that we neglect to look up and take hold of the freedom already available to us. 

God says He is our Deliverer. I think of the Israelites that God delivered from their bondage to slavery in Egypt. He radically rescued them from their enemy, yet they forgot this fact as they wandered in the desert. They romanticized their past bondage to the point where they wanted to go back to Egypt instead of enjoy the security of the Promised Land just within their grasp. They had a shame-based mindset that was content to stick with the humiliation that comes with enslaved living because they didn’t FEEL like they were free.

Shame does that. It sneakily creeps up into our thoughts and says,

“Hey, remember when we were best buds that used to get in all kinds of trouble fun together? Let’s do that again. Your present situation isn’t going to get any better anyways. Why not go back to the way things were?”

When we are in the wilderness and the promise of a better life feels so far away, we have a choice to make. We can look back at where we came from and decide that comfort and shame aren’t so bad. Atleast it’s familiar. Or we can look at how far we’ve come and decide that comfort feeds our shame and brings a restlessness for a life of regret. 

I have to choose. My impatient and insecure feelings are valid. But my feelings can’t tell me what to do. That’s how I got mixed up in this shame game in the first place! I have to call on my Deliverer to fill me with an awareness that even though I don’t feel free, I am. 

What about you? Is shame your struggle or is it fear, anxiety, lust, pride, etc… It doesn’t matter how big the struggle is, our God is bigger. Deliverance is available to us all. You just have to believe it! 

Sunday Rest #8

“I will remember the deeds of the Lordyes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; You display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.” -Psalm 77:11-15 

photo credit: Join The Flight via photopin (license)

A Time to Reminisce

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Who doesn’t enjoy a trip down memory lane from time to time?

I have been in a very sentimental mood for the past 2 weeks for reasons that I talk about here and here.  And my ability to care about keeping up appearances has definitely gone in the trash with my mascara streaked tissues.

It’s healing, this looking back and remembering what used to be. It really is. I’ve gone through so many pictures of my childhood and teenage years that my bed has become an enormous scrapbook of cluttered memories.  I cry and cry at the fact that those remembered times will never be the same again because my view is now distorted by major loss.

But after I cry, after I grieve the “never will be the same agains” of my past, I feel like I can breathe just a little bit easier than I could before the tears fell.

Like I can finally take a full breath without falling down from lightheaded-ness. And then I try to be productive for a few hours before the next wave of “what used to be” crashes in on me.

Ya know what I’m learning about the mourning process? It’s okay to be a fragile mess for a while and I don’t have to apologize for it. 

When I give myself permission to be a basket-case and watch sappy chick flicks that I used to watch with my sister and drink hot tea because it was her favorite pastime and listen to our favorite beach trip songs and read old letters just to see her handwriting and relive years past through Homecoming pictures, then I can begin to heal.

I’m not living in denial of the devastating facts involved in my present reality. I’m just choosing to enjoy the heartwarming truths represented in my past reality a little bit longer.

And as I long for what once was, I become more and more grateful for the lifelong affects my sweet childhood memories will have on me. I am eternally grateful for the tangible things that point to happy times.

So I reminisce with purpose, one could say. Tomorrow will come soon enough and I am even better prepared for what may come as I reflect on the joys of yesterday.

“Memory is a way of holding onto

the things you love,

the things you are,

the things you never want to lose.”

The Wonder Years

 

photo credit: SISTERLY. via photopin (license)