Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Wounds that Fester and Giving up the Right to Remember

This from Lena:

A few years back, I had developed some emotional wounds from the bumps and bruises that happen in church life (if you don't have any, you haven't delved very far into community!). In fact, I had a list of them. I was able to recite them. And as a fairly dramatic Italian, I could even get you to cry along with me.

It isn't that those injuries were not real. But there comes a time when the wounds begin to emit a certain smell. They get beyond their expiration date, and the telling doesn't bring the same catharsis. In the place of the sense that you have lightened your load a bit, you begin to sense that some unpleasant things are happening in your spirit. The end of your emotionally-spoken sentence finishes with a bitter note, and in your spirit you can sense that your time at the sidelines is over, and that you need to suit up and get back into the game.

Back then, I developed a sort of test to determine how "loosed" my past actually was. I had to give up the right to tell the story. I had to let myself even forget the details that I had rehearsed so many times in my head. I had to cut off the influence of those painful events on my now, and in their place, I had to create--with my hand in the hand of the Lord's--a new interpretation of my past.

Looking back now, I can see how those old wounds led me to a place where I could let go of old roles that the Lord had given me, but was now exchanging for other tasks. I couldn't have released them, and I had no idea how important for my future it was that I was able to love the Master more than the Post. In my mind, they were almost one in the same, but as any mature believer learns, they are NOT. The Lord gives, and He takes away; BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD!

Honestly, I find myself in that place again. Once again, I am challenging myself to let go of the difficulties we faced in our first term in Latin America. The wounds were even scarier than the last time, but the Lord has spoken. Time to lighten the load. This past Sunday during a marvelous worship service (how I thank God for times like these--I pray you attend a church where those happen!!), the Lord showed me a picture of myself at the edge of a high cliff, where these burdens were tied to me. I took a sharp knife and cut them off, watching them careen crazily into a canyon below, then crash to a million pieces, never to be recovered. I even pictured myself returning to the bottom, starting to try to gather them together again (old habits are hard to break), but finding it impossible, and being relieved. Never again was I going to carry that load. It won't be the last time that I am tempted to meditate on these things; but I will remind myself that they are smashed into a million pieces, and there is no sense gathering them up again. As far as I am concerned, they can join all my sins in the bottom of the sea of forgetfulness!

My prayer is that today, if you find yourself in the same place; if your wounds have begun to have a certain sour note to them; that you would cut them off and let them smash into a million pieces. God has wonderful tasks for you to do that you cannot manage while your hands and your mind are full of what was done to you. Let them smash on the floor of the canyon into a million pieces, let the Lord reinterpret for you the events that caused you so much suffering, and then let Him give you new songs and dreams that are so much easier and pleasant to carry than putrified pain.


Unknown said...

Hi Lena, thanks for sharing this, it really spoke to me... I seriously can't read a blog from either you or Bill without starting to well up a bit!! ahhh! :) hahah!! Thanks! Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Very touching