You know, when it comes down to it, each and every person in the world has the same potential to be hurt, afraid, angry, joyful, wounded, and the like. We are all much more vulnerable than some of us let on. No one is as thick skinned as my Norwegian ancestors pretended to be. (and probably even had themselves convinced) Dude, it it wrong that sometimes I just wish I could shake them? Anyways…
If you’re reading this and already disagreeing, that’s ok. But please, hear me out on this before you check out. We all have things from our past that have done some degree of damage to us. People that are like me decide at a young age that XYZ (insert abuse, neglect, absence of a parent, legalism, lack of encouragement, depression, alcoholism, etc) doesn’t matter, because we are strong enough to “survive.” However, until we realize that we’ve been living under this lie (and believe me it’s a lie), we will always be living a bit out of reality.
If you’re not sure what I’m referring to as lies, it’s this kind of thing: “My parents were legalistic Christians with no room for grace, but that’s ok, I learned to live with it.” LIE…why is this a lie? Because rather than facing the pain/confusion caused by the situation, it minimizes it, ignoring it’s long-term effects on ones views of God, forgiveness, etc.
Or how about this one, “my mom never really said much to me unless she was telling me what to do or telling me what I was doing wrong, but that’s no big deal… I’m strong enough and don’t need her encouragement anyways.” LIE.
So we can’t live under these lies, that have shaped our thinking, and live in reality at the same time. Reality is the truth, not lies.
When we aren’t living in reality, then we really are missing out. You see, it’s in reality that we get to know the real God. It’s in reality that we are truly alive. BUT, with being truly alive comes feeling true emotions. To be alive is to be living in a state where we will experience incredible pain (but incredible joy). So if we continue to decide we want to stonewall the pain, we forfeit LIFE. Do you see?
But what I’m learning as I’m beginning to enter the pain that I’ve long ignored, is that sometimes I feel like I can’t handle it. This is where the journey gets messy. Healing will come only if we first begin to enter the pain. However, we can’t control how fast that process moves. I’ll share more later on how not dealing with past hurts inevitably leads to unhealthy ways of living. What I’ve found is that throughout the journey we must learn to extend ourselves grace, find a safe community that will extend us grace, and bring the mess and raw-ness to God as we go. He’s more full of grace to extend than we can ever imagine.
What do you think scares us most and keeps us from facing past hurts? Any other thoughts or comments?
Um, so I really hope that you’ll come check out the next post that will be from a new guest blogger! He has some incredible and unique insights to share, some of which relate to some of my posts. I’m seriously pumped about what he’s writing for us.