I’ve been pondering this for a while but haven’t necessarily found the words to express what my heart was feeling, but I guess what I’ve found is that time doesn’t heal – God does. I don’t want this to be unsettling if you have been told that it does – as I was – and what I’ve experienced is that it just isn’t true.
Time may put distance to a memory, but what happens when you go back? It’s like a knife to the heart, and you find you are bleeding out again, re-living every memory, heartache, regret and you scream, while wondering if God is even real at all.
When I decided to go to Australia for the first time I was attracted to the distance; oceans and nations apart from my mistakes, poor choices, bad relationships, unfulfilled dreams etc. I was allured by the fact that I would be somewhere where the younger me wasn’t. She wasn’t known there. During the course of my DTS (Discipleship Training School) in 2014, God radically restored a large part of my heart and identity; I was filled with a deeper sense of belief in who He was and who I was in him.
Although DTS was transformational for me I still found that when I returned home that it was often a painful experience, until this summer…
I watched the younger me in slow motion: I found her in the bathroom disgusted with herself, I saw her screaming out to God with frustration, I saw her crying into her horse’s mane over a broken heart and I winced at the notion of her considering to inflict pain upon herself. I felt the weight of her disappointment, I was burdened by her hurt, and I watched her carry a yoke around her neck that wasn’t hers to carry.
Time doesn’t heal – but God does.
Going home was uncomfortable because I tried to ignore, erase, and numb out the parts of my life that I wasn’t proud of. As much as I was falling more in love with the Lord, I wasn’t letting him heal those parts of myself. I couldn’t say they were dead to me, because they weren’t. I have cried every time I’ve gone home, because I have been filled with regret, haunted by poor choices, and grieved by the condition of my heart.
But we get to choose.
In Genesis 27:40 Issac is talking to Esau after he has given his birthright away to his brother Jacob and he says:
“You will live by your sword,
and you will serve your brother.
But when you decide to break free,
you will shake his yoke from your neck.”
The thing is that there is stuff that can have a hold on us and it does take time to heal, but we can’t expect time to do the healing for us. I had to choose to break free and shake off the yoke of regret from my neck. I had to decide and walk in truth knowing that those things did not have a hold on me.
Like Esau, we too get to decide when we want to break off the things that enslave us.
Rest assured I have never felt more at ease and content in my own skin, I don’t feel like I live this double life ie. the missional me vs the younger me who was bound by shame and anxiety.
If Jesus left the grave behind him, so will I.