I'm going to be doing something a little bit different with my blog, in that I am going back through my all my posts and pulling up any that document the healing and growth that Jesus has done in my life, and I will post them in (hopefully) chronological order. As this unfolds, it will show the depth and scope of His work.
To distinguish these past posts from the current ones, I will use descriptive titles for them as I have done with this one, while continuing to use the current date as the title for any that I might post regarding what Jesus is doing in my life right now. Also, I will be using a new tag. Usually, I label my posts "Jesus" and "Journal," but I will add "Redeemed" for those that show more of the back story.
I am tempted to try and wrap up the inevitable loose strings that dangle from each of these entries with either a verse or a piece of my current journal, but I think that would avoid the whole point. When I wrote it, those strings were dangling there. I could not, at the time, reach a further conclusion. But the story itself, as it unfolds, will reveal how the conclusion was gained as Jesus gently led me along, and so I must be patient and let the story do its own work.
As I was working on this and trying to decide how to go about it, I turned the page on my calendar and the verse was this:
"Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out! Tell others He has saved you from your enemies. For He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things." Psalm 107:2,9 NLT
So yes, He has and I will.
The first one I found is from February 11, 2011. It contains something I wrote as a teenager and had forgotten about until then. Keith and I were living in Kentucky in the first year or so after he returned from his year long deployment to Iraq. We were trying clomid to try and get pregnant, which was not working and I was back in therapy to try and heal from the shame, anxiety and depression that had returned during that time, due largely to the infertility.
Since I was engaged in digging up the past in therapy, I also began to rummage around some of my old things and I found and started up my ancient lap top of the 1980's, which was about four and half inches thick and weighed ten pounds- a miracle of technology back in its day.
In this relic, I found many saved files. I wrote the following blog post to describe what it was and what that was like.
February 11, 2011
My goodness, this month is flying by.
So, I'm going to see my therapist only twice a month now. I probably don't need to see her anymore at all, but I've grown to love my therapist and I can't imagine not sitting down to chat with her about stuff.
I feel like a book with all the pages restored. I found an amazing piece of writing lost in my old lap top recently. It was hidden deep inside a file for something else, at the very end of some other writing. It's amazing to me because I wrote it back when I was still a teenager, having no conscious idea of the extent of the abuse, or the true damage it had done to me.
Like ice flows, places inside of me are all frozen up, like a quart of Friendly's ice cream at the bottom of the freezer, like the lake in January I am pinched in the cold. Inside of me I lie like a fetus curled in fluid, like a hidden place in spring, like a glass globe with a world inside I am hidden deep until I can breathe again.
All the lights went out, all the power went down, switches fell with a clang, energy slowed with a whir, emergency lights glow softly in the shadows inside me. In the dusty shadows my Savior walks alone, footsteps echo softly.
He places His hand on the door, it slides silently up, He passes through, it falls into place behind Him. Down and down and down He goes, through the mazes, the traps, the landfalls, the alarms, the doors, the heavy, heavy locked smoothly functioning doors.
All is silent, all is locked away. Screens are blank, lights are off or softly blinking, globes of emergency lamps cast a gentle glow, throw dim shadows on the carpeted floors.
Deep in the center there hangs a glass ball, very large, made of very thick glass. It hangs in the center of a room with no door, surrounded by screens and consoles. In the glass globe I am curled up, completely cushioned by warm fluid, I am bent into myself, my head hidden.
He places His hand flat on the glass, palm pressed against the warmth. His eyes are deep as the universe, they fall inward with lights and softness and places ungoverned by time. They are shadowed with concern; He frowns. Sorrow draws lines across His face.
He steps inside the globe and puts His arms around me. I knew He was there all along, I could feel His hand on the door as though it were on my skin. I knew the sound of His step, the rhythm of His breathing. He is free to wander any corridor, to open any door. He has been in places inside me that I have never seen.
Behind my closed eyelids I see other things, they fall faint as after images, like the shifting glare after the sun. They wound me, they tear and claw. He takes them away into His hands, they fall into His wounds and I bear them no more. I know that He will save all my tears.
Outside the globe, outside myself, debts pile up, the numbers ring higher and higher, mail piles in untidy heaps, unanswered letters, unfinished business, unanswerable questions all tumbled, ignored on the floor. I cannot pay back, I cannot catch up, I cannot answer.
Fear runs like quickfire up my spine. I cannot return to my life, I can never go outside my globe and straighten out the mess. It is too much, it is too heavy, I know if I leave this globe the weight will fall in on me and my inner life will be snuffed out.
But if I do not leave the globe, than I cannot attend to my business. Priorities, I tell myself. If you die then you will never be able to fix anything. Live first. Wait and wait and wait and gather strength , let the debts pile up, there is no help for it. When you are strong, you will come out and straighten it up.
My Savior reminds me that His body forms the barrier against my own oblivion. He stands the gap for me, His scarred back forms the barrier between myself and my destruction. He will tie up all the loose ends for me, He will go through all my affairs, He will hold them all in His hands.
I know one day I will leave my globe. I will walk on new legs, with new skin, warm and open as a baby's. I will breath the air, dusty and cool. I will go up through myself, I will throw open all the switches, lights and power will flower with a humming and sounds. Windows will be opened, voices will call, breezes will flow softly down the corridors.
I will renovate, tear down walls and doors, straighten out the labyrinths, and the dead ends. The double backing, the circling, the alarms, the booby traps, the downward spirals to captive dungeons all will be torn down. A person will be able to walk easily through myself, my heart and my mind. A person will be able to reach out and touch my emotions, and elicit a response.
In that day, my Savior will restore to me all that I lost in the sudden crash, in the long convalescence. He will restore all that I am, hand it to me with His own hands, like a gift. I will be knit together again, as His hands knit me together at the first, in the womb.
But that day is not yet. Not for a long time is that day. Until that day I will be kept safe in my globe, in my Savior who comes to me. I will be held and comforted until that time. I will rest quietly no matter the consequences because I know He bids me to and the consequences He has already felt in the fabric of His soul that day on the cross.
Oh my goodness, right? I mean, how on earth did I know to write this, almost fifteen years ago? I tell you what, chills went up my spine when I was reading it again for the first time a day or so ago.
Because it's true. I was restored, I did renovate, it happened exactly as I said it would, years before I was ready for that work. And it really did take me years and years to be ready.
I think all this creative energy I've been feeling lately is the energy that used to go into just keeping a dysfunctional internal system going. Dysfunction takes a lot of energy to maintain, depression takes a lot of energy, anxiety takes a lot of energy, and repression of memories? Yes indeed, that takes a boat load of internal energy to maintain.
Now I don't need to, so all my own energy just flows as it was meant to flow. I released all my memories, I revealed all my wounds. And it's not just that I'm free of them, it's that they contribute to my being a better person because of them.
I've been thinking about that a lot recently. I love who I am, I love the person I am. I wouldn't want to change me, and everything that I have gone through, the pain and the horror and the degradation, all of it, is now an integral part of who I am. Of course I would never have chosen that, but now that I've processed the pain, I wouldn't want to lose the strength and the lessons I learned from the suffering.
I'm not going to go on living happily ever after, of course. As fond as I am of faerie tales, I don't actually believe in that ending. The same strength that I had to make it through this will be available for me again, for whatever I need it.
Life's an adventure! Who knows what's around the corner. It's the greatest adventure, and whatever it brings, I'm so grateful to have been given my life; my own irreplaceable life journey.