I had the privilege of babysitting one of my granddaughters a few weeks ago. She is the cutest thing ever at age one, and is so full of joy and happiness, that it is contagious. As we went from one set of toys to the other, read books, and danced around, we were laughing and enjoying each other’s company. During our wonderfully good time, she began laughing and just ran up to me and fell, without hesitation, into my arms. She would turn forward, then backward and just fall. Her beautiful smile beamed from ear to ear, and so did mine. Those moments are priceless.
As I was driving home, I couldn’t help but reflect on our amazing night, and kept thinking about that trusting fall she made, right into my arms. Our children can often teach us valuable lessons, and so she did that night.
Things had been rough for a month or so ahead of this visit. There were some deep family issues unraveling before my eyes, by deep I mean long forgotten, previously forgiven, and never mentioned issues. One day, without warning, memories I never wanted to remember came back to ferociously antagonize me by day and haunt me by night. Violently slammed into the mental winds of chaos, I felt fear creep in, then anger, then rage, then exhaustion. One by one, the bricks flew at me. Each cleverly wrapped in the word ‘defeat’.
I made peace long ago with certain parts of my past. It felt almost unfair to find myself here now. As the tornado lifted me out of myself, I had no footing, no stability to rest on. As the days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, I knew I had to find my peace once again. Through the debris swirling around in my mind, and in the deepest hurts I have, I chose to fall.
I fell without hesitation, into God’s arms. Every day I woke up, I chose to smile again, to feel again, and to love again. When the moments were too hard to bare, I ran forward and jumped into His arm, and when facing God in my broken mental state was too difficult, I simply let go, and fell back without sight, and without fear, and gently placed myself in his loving hands.
Who are we to hold ourselves hostage? Are we not valuable to our Savior? Did Jesus demonstrate his love once, for all? In the middle of this battle, a manipulative game unfolded. I began telling myself that I will never escape; the past had a hold on me forever. In this, Satan cheered, as that would be his victory. Then, with a thunderous voice, I would hear the words of my God, “You are MINE! I am YOUR’S! Lay it down, now!”
It has taken an intentional effort every day to let go. I cannot confirm that I have nailed this, but I can confirm that Jesus took the nails for me. There is so much to our individual stories. I think we always remember our sin on that cross, but do not ever forget it is our Savior on that cross. While I have plenty of sins to atone for, his ultimate goal was to have me, all of me-including my childhood past, where I was an innocent victim.
I see two scenarios.
Those bricks, marked defeat, coming one by one, building walls around me that nothing can penetrate, until I am lost forever behind them.
The other is watching this precious child of God, this beloved woman of God, watch, helplessly, as the bricks begin to stack up. However, with the sneakiest grin I can muster, I close my eyes and fall back. Falling right into the arms of God- and the bricks spontaneously turn to dust.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (NIV)