September 14, 2011

"Will I ever be over it?"

I have a story. We all have a story.

No matter what age we are, no matter what our childhood has looked like, no matter how much we have forgotten or chosen to forget about the past - we all have a story.

Last night I sat in a room with a handful of women. Ages ranging from early 20's to early 70's. We are there to tell our stories. We are there to talk about what life has looked like for us. Where we were wounded, where we have wounded others, and where we have or haven't experienced God in those place.

"Will we ever get over it? I mean, will I ever 'get over' the things that happened to me?" One woman asked. Tears filled my eyes at her question.

Her question poked at my heart and immediately took me to a piece in my story. A conversation that happened with someone I am close to just last year. "If you're talking about what happened fifteen years ago - I'm over it! I am OVER IT!"

There was anger in their tone and anger in their eyes and I felt it spill all over me. It felt like a slap in the face and I didn't know what to say or what to do because their words hurt me to the core and I didn't really know why or how to tell them that their words hurt. Later I was curious. That if this person was so over something, then where was their anger coming from? Because if we are in fact over something, would there be that kind of intense emotion? And I also felt great shame, because if they were over it, wasn't I supposed to be too?

It's interesting how one question, one face, or one sweet person who is but a stranger, can take you back to a memory or scene.

I looked at this woman last night whose eyes begged me to give her some kind of hope with my answer. I was curious about the places she was wanting to be "over," because hurting in those places is hard, especially when they feel like "old" memories. Hurting is hard when we've hurt for so long and we just want to stop hurting already. I've been there and I'm still there and sometimes I wonder how I can still have some of the same tears over the same things when they've happened so long ago. Her question sounds like my question. Her question reminded me why I feel so called to be a part of this ministry.

"I don't think so. I don't think we will ever be "over it." And in all sincere honesty, I hope to never be "over it". Because if I ever feel like I'm over something - especially with what has happened in my own story - then I will probably stop needing Jesus in that place. And I desperately need to need Him in that place. I'm anxious to hear about the places you are wanting to be over. And I want you to know, that we will walk with you in those places here."

Perhaps it wasn't the answer she was hoping to hear, but I could tell by the tear that fell down her cheek and her softening posture that she knew it was okay to feel whatever it was that she was feeling inside. "Thank you," she said.

I have a story. We all have a story.

I am grateful for the safe places I have found to unpack my story, for the ears that have listened, for the eyes that stayed on me even when I spoke of shame and sinful places, and the faces that have pointed me to the only real hope I've ever found. Jesus.

1 comment:

  1. heh.... i thought you said we need Jesus all over the place, and was like, yep!~ and then i re read it.
    thought id share.
    and im getting full of this type thing. needing him in those places, realizing its not going to ever go away, theres always somewhere hes loving on us.
    i think i need to slow down and write it all out.