I tried to figure out where to start.
Do I dare go back to the time I hung upside down in my closet on a regular basis as a four year old trying to escape the strife outside of my bedroom? How about the time I stepped outside into the 2am darkness when I was 13 years old, can I go back to that place to see where I went wrong? Maybe I went the right way when I turned back and circled up in a crying ball on my bed. Adulthood is a good starting point, but that’s not where the heartache started.
I was cleaning out boxes, again. Moving, always moving. That’s what military families do every few years, right? Purge, store and pack all to do it again a few years later. Sometimes I place the same items from one old box into a new pile for the movers to toss into a crate and never really think about why I keep kindling for the bonfire I should have burnt and turned away from so long ago.
I found a leather journal. It was a Christmas gift from a good friend from my teenaged years. I should have made better choices when I was seventeen. The corners were bent and I almost saved it. It was distressed, just like my life, and it seemed to fit me. Then I opened it…
It was filled with many words of nonsense, but so heartfelt all those years ago. Childish love, angst and dreams. I wrote about how my grandmother was getting worse in her Alzheimer’s and my parents were fussing over college tuition. I spoke little of school and all about dreams of love.
And then I found the words, too many of them.
“Why am I so sad all the time?” “I am always crying.” “I don’t understand my grief.” “I just need to be happy.” “I am happy, but I cry a lot.” “Stop crying.”
I was in denial of something that I tried to ignore my entire life. There wasn’t a closet I could run to and hide in anymore. Hanging upside to drown my sorrow was no longer an option. Tears were covered in damp late night fits, fleeting thoughts of hurting myself propelled me to fight against the tide of fear and hate. Loneliness kept me company as I walked the hallways of fake teenaged smiles, embraced hands in movie theaters, family arguments, and problematic phone calls with my grandmother stuck in dementia.
Sadness, maybe not. Utter devastation over a depressed life, that was it. I had no one, and God wasn’t answering the desperate prayers of a daughter drowning out His direction by codependent relationships, and a busy schedule.
A year later I wrote a five paged paper in desperation over what love was. It was for a philosophy class and I needed to define love in my life. All I found myself doing was complaining about family and God. I even questioned my Lord because my prayers seemed to be hitting the ceiling for years and I was done.
I was done….
…and this is the memory I rekindled. Why do I chose to hang on to these things? They add to the thorn that I carry with me. These memories are not edifying nor do they help me… or do they?
Deuteronomy 8:2 ESV
And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, that he might humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep his commandments or not.
Thankfully I didn’t wander for 40 years to learn a lesson in faith and fortitude. It didn’t take the desert to humble me before the Lord. However it did take a lot of angst, depression, and life lessons to look beyond the clouded mindset of a daughter who couldn’t see past shattered hopes and dreams into the hope that was just ahead. Many sidesteps took me away from the true escape route that led to the loving arms of our true and good Father.
He did lead me out of the desert, humbling me and showing my heart the true direction that it needed to go.
These memories help to make me glad in what the Lord has done for me. I am joyful in His great mercies and abounding love. His sovereign hand has seen me through in the past and will continue to get me through the trials of the present.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
And as we move forward away from the troubling memories and in thankfulness for the good, let us hold on to the truth that the Lord gives to His loved ones. He leaves us peace despite our circumstances and our pasts. He loves us dearly and holds us close. Remember Him in all things.He leaves us peace despite our circumstances and our pasts. He loves us dearly and holds us close. Remember Him in all things. Click To Tweet
Find all posts from the series 31 Days of Biblical Truths here.