I am at a place in my story where I have found peace, contentment and acceptance. Those are three really big words that I had to wrestle down and wrangle in—I had to fight for them. They are now a part of my home, my life, and my relationships.
Toward the latter part of last year as I started to realize I was at a poignant point on my timeline, I felt it was important to pause and give nod to my past and the colorful road that led me here. I got an idea…there was an audio book series I had been wanting to listen to for years so I checked it out at the library and over the course of a week, I played it every chance I got. I listened to it in my car, at the grocery store, while I worked and even when I was going to sleep. It wasn’t a “You can do it!” book and in no way did it promote self-improvement. It was written by someone who had worked with people like me who struggled greatly through their relationship with their significant others.
Some days, the subject matter felt heavy and was a dark reminder of my past. At times I had to turn it off and in some of those moments I questioned my decision to tip my hat to the process. But in the end, I realized it was a very reverent and respectful look at my past. It was necessary for me to look back at what had transpired through the lens of a healthy heart.
Had I listened to this series three years ago, I would have had conversations with myself that went something like this:
“YES! I totally feel that way. It’s so great to know that someone else understands and empathizes with me.”
“So I’m not the only one who struggled with this—this behavior is a pattern in the other person and I am the victim here.”
“No wonder I felt that way all those years. This guy gets it. He understands what it’s like to walk in my shoes.”
Timing is everything. This book meant something totally different at this point of my story as I had allowed my heart to heal and truly forgive. Here was my actual self-narrative throughout the series:
“Wow, I didn’t realize I had fallen into those patterns. I am fully aware of what that looks like now and can see how unhealthy I behaved.”
“How sad to know this was what was really going on. It gives me empathy and compassion for others who walk this road.”
“I understand my part of the dysfunction. I own and embrace my part and with these tools I will behave differently moving forward.”
At the end of the audio book I pictured myself saluting my past; giving honor, time and respect to a very long season in my life where I was extremely unhappy and unfulfilled, but didn’t understand why. It was that place and the movement between then and now that have created the healthy place in which I dwell. My experiences with my FH (former husband), the season where I completely lost track of who I was, the healing and rediscovery that followed and the BEAUTIFUL emotional meadow in which I now live are ALL vital and life-giving pieces of the puzzle. None were possible without the other. The pain had to happen for the growth to take place.
As we enter a new decade, take time to look back on the really difficult seasons you endured the last year and even the last ten years. And give yourself an honest evaluation…did you walk through them holding grace and love in your heart at the end? If not, that needs to be done and healing needs to take place in order to move forward in the healthiest way. Keep marching forward. But if you have, take time to turn around and pay your respects to the journey that has led you here. Look back in reverence and with gratitude. Give appreciation to the pavers that painfully lined the road that led you to the here and the now.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17
If you know someone who could benefit from this post, please share. God carved out a path of intense healing for me and I would like to share it with as many people who need or want to hear.