It has been 3 months and 10 days since my last blog entry. In that time, some pretty significant changes have happened in my life. The biggest being my move move from desert Utah to swampy Louisiana. With that move, life changes were bound to take place. The move, the changes were so much smoother than I ever could have hoped for. The homesickness has not been debilitating as I thought it would be. I miss my family so much. I miss my nieces with my whole being, and I am so excited to visit everyone at Christmas, but I am happy with my new life and my new home.
With my move, came another life change. I became a student again. I began a 4-5 journey as a PhD student. I was scared to be a student and a teacher. And there are times that it can be intimidating, and I know that I have not yet experienced the true definition of overwhelming. But, here in the hot, humid South with bugs on steroids, I have found a new home. Within weeks, days, of being here I met people that I now consider some of my dearest friends. Within a month, I found a church that I would immediately call home and family. No matter what I had hoped for with this move and life change, I never dreamed that it could turn out so well. Somebody once talked to me about God’s finger prints. I have seen, been more keenly aware, of God in my life in the last 6-12 months than ever before.
From nearly the moment I received my acceptance to UL-Lafayette, I knew that this was where I was supposed to be. That this was the place God was saving me for. And the evidence of that belief has only grown as I have been here.
This last year of my life has been a year of change and growth. Not just tangible change, but a change in me. I am not the same person I was a year ago, and I thank God for that. I never want to be her again. I know longer carry the shame of my past, but I have realized that I carry the inevitable scars of my past.
I just spent the last four days beginning a new chapter in my life (at this point it’s only about a page long, but a page can carry so much meaning). It could be a very short chapter or a long chapter, but it will always hold significance for me regardless of it’s duration. I have been happy in a new way. I am so happy with my life in Lafayette. I am blessed with the friends I have formed at school. I am so happy with the family I have found at Pathway Church. But I experienced a form of happiness that I was trying so very hard to give up on because I didn’t think it was a happiness destined for me. I am not sure I deserve that kind of happiness. I’m not sure if it is meant for me. Tonight that happiness has led to an incredible sadness. Not because anything threatened that happiness, but because I am still carrying so many scars and wounds and vivid memories from my past. I can not be ashamed of my past because I am forgiven for it. I know that my experiences can help others and maybe give hope to others. But I am so sorry for the damage that I allowed my choices to cause me. And finally, tonight, I pray not for forgiveness but for healing.
I thought I had been seeking healing all this time. I know I was. But I didn’t understand what kind of healing I needed. I didn’t realize the depth of the scars that have marred my heart and my soul. That have marred my life. There is so much I still haven’t let go of. And so many that I thought I left behind in Utah, but their memories have followed me here. Threaten me here. Have I forgiven them? I want to say yes I have. But there is pain that these memories still cause. The impact of other people’s influence on my story make me wonder if forgiveness, resolution has really occurred, or am I destined to live with their memory, with this pain, with these scars forever?
I know God has given me a heart to love. I truly believe God wouldn’t have given me such a heart if he didn’t intend it be used for love. But have I allowed to many wounds and scars to build up that love can’t get in . . . or get out?
Four days of happiness. Simple, innocent, beautiful happiness. And tonight I cry as I have not cried since before leaving Utah. Why? Why does happiness ultimately make me sad? Why does the thought of happiness lead to fear and tears? Have I simply been scarred and jaded to point that happiness cannot penetrate it’s way through? My fervent prayer is that God will heal these scars. I don’t want to regret or forget my past. I want to use my past to help others. But I need there to be profound healing. I don’t want to experience happiness only for it to cause debilitating fear. Fear that maybe just maybe it is a fluke, an accident, that maybe God meant my happiness for another and it will be taken away from me. Because maybe just maybe I wasn’t meant for the happiness I desire.
My Prayer: God heal my heart. Heal the scars. Allow me to forgive and to let go. Please don’t let my past, my mistakes, my pain, my scars influence my future. Don’t allow them to take happiness from me. Please, God, let there still be a part of, just a part, that believes that I am allowed happiness. Let there still be a path to my heart where happiness can find a home. I have scars. I have been bruised and broken. But I don’t want to be jaded. I don’t want to be cynical. I want to be healed from that. I don’t want to be so scarred that I can’t believe in happily ever after. I want to believe that I am allowed happiness. Amen.
And last, a song/movie mash up that has been playing constantly as I write and think about this: Because of You/Jane Eyre