I haven’t been as prone to write of late. I haven’t felt the thoughts pouring out like they did a year or so ago, when words and ideas were coming out at a pretty constant rate. I didn’t (thank God) publicize them all, but even so, I was more prolific than I’d ever been.
Many of those thoughts/posts were fueled by hurt, anger and (no doubt) bitterness, and while no less true, they were not necessarily appropriate or helpful to air. It felt good to get them out, but I’m beginning to realize feeling passionately correct about something in a given moment of time might not seem so right a few days/weeks/months/years down the road. Hurt can make you see things a tad less clearly before the pain heals a bit. It doesn’t diminish the hurt, but I like to think it provides a bit of clarity, kind of like those eye tests at the optometrist: “Better with 1, or 2? 2 or 3?” It’s not always clear on the first try, though you might think it couldn’t be more so.
I’m learning to feel again, to trust again…in some ways (if this is not too much hyperbole) to live again. Dwelling on past hurts wasn’t allowing me to do these things. Dealing honestly with hurt and wounds is necessary, but it must lead to progress, not regress. It must lead to healing, not a continual re-ripping off of the scab. For me, seeking reconciliation, but finding none, was a hard one to swallow…but it is what it is. At some point you just have to move on. I’ve given more than enough time to what the locusts of my past have eaten; it’s long past time to plow up those fallow fields and start planting new seeds.
Another thing I’ve come to realize: wounds heal, but scars remain (pretty sure Poison had a song about that…my brother can verify). We can forgive, we can move on, we can heal, and yet the scars are there, hardly noticeable much of the time, but burning as though new on occasion. Like Frodo and the wound from the Morgul blade, these wounds go with us throughout our days. Sometimes, when things close to the source of our pain come near, it’s as though they pierce us through anew. And, as with Frodo, I don’t think those scars ever go away, not until we reach the “Gray Havens.”
I feel that.
I’m sure many reading this feel it as well. I’m learning to see, instead of the hurt that led to the wound, the beauty and joy that have come in the ensuing years. Now, with distance, I can focus more easily on the healing and joy that has come as a result of the journey.
I’m learning not to let the wounds and hurts and mistakes of the past define me, but rather letting the truths of the Gospel do so. I am not who I once was. I am not the sum of my wounds, though they are a part of who I am. I am a sinner, loved by the Father, brought into the family of God by the grace of Jesus, and being continually made new in the Spirt.
And all those wounds and scars that I carry with me? They’re being redeemed in the light of this truth.