This morning I have “blog brain”. I haven’t written in a few days, and I woke up writing blogs in my head. Here’s how I write: I have something God has shown me, either in life circumstances or in a reading, and i sit down and type it all in about 20 or 30 minutes…without interruption. If I am interrupted at all, it will take me twice as long and when I read it, it will sound like I have been interrupted 6 times. It gets all herky-jerky and disjointed. So, being on vacation with my family does not make for un-interrupted blogging. Thus, I have escaped. They are all either sleeping or haven’t realized I am missing yet. Regardless, I probably have about 20 or 30 safe minutes to “get er’ done”…so let’s get crackin’.
I had a dream a couple of nights ago that I can’t seem to get out of my head. I have a lot of those kinds of dreams, and that topic alone warrants its own blog. But for now, I will try to stay on track. In my dream, I was preparing my home for a meeting of some sort. When the guests arrived they were all people from my “past” life (former church members, friends, acquaintances I don’t run into anymore), and none of them seemed to be aware that I was the one who was hosting this meeting. Some were pleasantly surprised, some, not so much. That part is intriguing, but the most significant, distracting and distressing part of my dream, was that as people came in, the door simply would not stay shut. I spent most of my dream trying to make it do so. The little part that should go “click” and make it stay closed just wouldn’t cooperate. I remember planning a trip to Lowe’s to ask about how to fix this problem. My whole dream revolved around trying to make the door “click”. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the day before, I had been talking to my husband about my struggle with how to “move on” from Leukemia. How to make to door to my past go “click”. There are many horrible things about my recent “past” (Leukemia, for example) and some other horrible things about my more distant “past” (addiction, leaving a job and people we love, fear and grieving and loss) that haunt me. But there are also parts of those same experiences that were beautiful (the compassion, love and care of nurses, doctors and friends during the Leukemia days and the love of the people who stuck with us unconditionally and the new and precious people we met in recovery and other places as a result of the other “past”). I sincerely want to move onward and upward, but I am also hesitant, like a kid clinging to his “blankie” even though he knows he is too old for it.
There are so many good parts of my past that I want to continue to cling to. Some are for happy reasons-they make me sentimental and help me feel special and loved. Sadly, there are also many ugly and mean parts of my past that I cling to because holding on to them makes me feel powerful and like I have some sort of control over the people involved in the hurting. How can I make the door go “click” on one of those and not the other? I am not exactly sure, to be honest, but I have a couple ideas that I think I will try.
First, I will focus on the present. As I read in a recovery book, I can learn to “look back without staring.” Looking back, remembering what God has brought me through and what He’s taught me along the way is worthwhile; Relishing the special memories and mourning the painful ones. It’s when leave the door open, when I land there, dwell there (in the pleasant or in the paltry), that I have trouble living in the joy of the present. I am in Florida right now. I love it because I am on the beach or by a pool all day. It’s blasted hot and humid, but I like it that way when I am always in a swimsuit. I really hate humidity when I have to put regular clothes on and do regular life stuff. I am a born-and-raised West Coast girl…no humidity there. Florida is a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live here. Kind of like my past. Sometimes it’s necessary to visit, but living there robs me of a fulfilling present. I will choose to live in the present today.
Second-I will look to the future with Hope. I love what God promised the Israelites in Isaiah 43:18 and 19. I believe He means it for you and me as well: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” The past holds all kinds experiences we long to hold on to, and many we wish we could bury forever. But here’s thing; I want the door to my past to open, and shut, when I choose to do it and for reasons that will help me live content and peaceful in my present, and in hopeful anticipation of my future. I don’t want that $&^&%$ door swinging open on its own; constantly causing anxiety and letting in the bugs and that hot, humid air. Just for today (implication: every day after, as well), I give God permission to make that door go “click”. Only He has the skills and tools to fix this kind of door so that I can live inside, knowing that “He alone makes me dwell in safety.”