Friday, May 14, 2021

Living After Death

I died here.

I remember it so vividly.

Sometimes when I close my eyes, I go right back to this place.

I remember the way the dock felt underneath me. 

The way my friend’s legs held my head so gently. 

I remember their confused faces. Their wonderings how on a bright, muggy August morning things could go from normal to so gutturally devastating in just a few short moments. 

To be honest, I wondered that myself.

I am listening to Lisa Terkuerst’s new book, “Forgiving What You Can’t Forget”. And at the beginning of the book she invites us back to the moment we experienced our own personnel B.C. and A.D. 

“Before Chaos and After Devastation”. 

This is mine. 

A lot of people would think it was the night my dad left my mom for the first time; or the night my parents told me they were done for good. 

Many people would assume it was the day I called my dad and asked him to come pick up myself, my oldest daughter, and the few belongings that I needed to leave my first husband for the final time. 

And still there would be others who would be sure it was the day my divorce was final and I sat there surprisingly crying on the witness bench reeling from the last almost 10 years and the choices we both made to bring us to this point. 

But, no. None of those things broke me the way that day at this place did.

While they were devastating and gut wrenching in their own way, none of these moments shattered me wide open and left me bare and bleeding out the way as I was on that day.

In many ways, I’m still healing. I’m still growing. I’m still picking myself up from this dock where I fell apart in August of 2013. 

Over the last 8 years, God has been teaching me-mostly unwillingly-about forgiveness. About what it looks like and how holding onto these deep hurts only keeps us broken and unable to fulfill our true potential.

For a lot of years, I thought forgiveness meant I was giving the culprit of this moment in time a pass. 

That I was looking my monster in the face and telling him that his misuse and abuse of me was okay. 

mean, I’m still here, aren’t I? 

What’s the big deal? 

I thought that if I forgave him the way everyone else already has that he was finally getting what he needed: his free pass from the person he damaged the most. The closure he needs in a neat little package to continue to move on with his life and forget all about the girl he killed that day. 

But God is teaching me through Scripture, and worship, and wise counsel that forgiveness isn’t ANY of these things. 

Forgiveness is me releasing myself of years of bitterness, sadness, and pain.

Forgiveness is finally allowing myself to get up from that dock. 

Forgiveness is taking back control of my story and removing control of my heart and my emotions from the one who broke me. 

As long as I stay on this dock, he wins. 

I get to continue being the bad, evil person he needs me to be to feel good about himself. 

I stay the villain. 

The girl who took something she was not supposed to have. 

And that’s where the story stops.

As long as I stay on this dock. 

Well, I’m tired of laying here. 

I’m tired of feeling attached to this moment in time.

I’m tired of the way I’ve allowed it to damage me, change me, and mold me into an even more broken person than I was before he came into my life. 

I’m tired of the depression that wraps itself around me and strangles the life out of me some days. 

The moments. The memories. The things that keep me chained here unable to move. 

I’m tired of missing someone that clearly has not thought about me for one single second since the moment he left me laying here. 

I’m tired of waiting for an apology I’m never going to get, and feeling like I need it to move on.

I'm tired of feeling like I’m somehow entitled to it. 

Simply put: I’m just tired. 

This burden is heavy.

I feel my Father calling me away from the dock. 

I feel Him asking me to let Him lead me to freedom from this. 

I feel my body stirring, moving, sitting upright. 

I feel my hands on the wood pushing myself to my feet. 

I feel my legs taking steps. One foot in front of the other. One step at a time. 

Down the finger of the dock. 

Toward the gangway.

Onto solid ground. 

I’m not 100% there. 

But I’m moving in that direction. 

Freedom sounds so sweet. 

And I know He’s calling me towards it. 

2021 will be the year I finally walk away from this place. 

Watch me. 

But for now, I’m just trying to stand up. 

I’m trying to find my brave. 

And I’m finally starting to recognize the things I need to do to get there.

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