Saturday, May 22, 2010

50th Post!!

It's my 50th post! Which is an appropriate landmark, because I've had kind of a landmark day!
I've been so busy writing for school, that I haven't had much thought or energy for what to write on my blog! As I was in my quiet time today, I was praying about what the topic for this week should be. Nothing really jumped out at me. I've been hammering out several hundred words per day in essays, debate postings, and discussions, so the creative well has been a little bit dry. At the same time, I always feel like I'm neglecting to share all that God is doing when I don't make time to blog. So I keep my heart continually open for what God would have me write.

It has been a goal of mine, ever since coming back from St. Louis, to get rid of some of the negative artifacts of my past life. In talking to a friend who also grew up as a military kid, I realize that I hold onto keep sakes with real tenacity. There were so many times in moving around that I was asked to say goodbye to someone I would never see again. I have a couple of friends from the first fifteen years of my life, but most of the people, places, and things that I treasured from that time are gone. I've also lost quite a bit of memory to the PTSD fog that surrounds the chronic trauma I experienced. In that, journals, knickknacks, jewelry, pictures, and other things become overly important. I become fearful that if I don't hold onto that scrap of paper, the memory of that time will be lost forever. Abbey put it really well when she said, "I just know that my memories don't do it justice". I feel that I need something tangible to hold on to.

There are certain things, however, that are better left in the past. I have written in journals diligently from 1998 to now. Some of those years, particularly between 2006-2009, hold very dark moments of total despair. I wrote things, drew things, and recorded experiences from that time that still hold leverage over me, and God has brought me to a place where I'm ready to let those things go. Not all of it, but certain entries that are the very opposite of life-giving. Hear me: I'm not saying that it's wrong for anyone to keep things that remind them of tough times in life. But for me, at this point, I felt the Lord saying, "It's time to move on".  I have such strong negative associations to certain things that I wrote and drew - things God has already brought me through and out of - that to go back there would just be rehashing things He has already laid to rest.

It's different for everyone. Sometimes, in letting go of a past relationship, we have to get rid of clothing or pictures that remind us of that person. Sometimes, it's getting rid of music or movies that take us to a dangerous place. For me, it was getting rid of certain pieces of jewelry, certain images, and certain journal entries.  I made sure that I was not alone, and I was prayerfully supported. I put on some worship music and started in my sketchbooks, tearing out anything I felt "check" in my spirit.
It was pretty obvious.

Once it was all said and done, I had a small box full of papers I never needed to see again. I wanted to burn them and get rid of them, but living within city limits doesn't allow for back yard bonfires. Somehow, though, I needed those papers destroyed. So the Holy Spirit prompted me to soak them in the tub. As I immersed those records in the water, I watched the ink slide off the page and one of my entire journals just slide out of its binding. I felt like that particular aspect of my past was literally being washed away.

Still not really knowing what to think or feel, I heard the Lord speak to me the phrase, "letting go of the former things..."  I looked up the reference in my concordance, and I found this in the Message Version of my Bible.

"You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything - and I do mean everything - connected with that old way of life has to go.  It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life - a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you."  Ephesians 4:20-24 (The Message)

Thank You, God, that you have given me an entirely new way of life, and that You've given me the grace to get ride of the old things. It's been quite a journey, and I know You're not finished with me yet.
I am so excited for what is to come. I know You have great and wonderful plans in store for those of us who call ourselves Yours.


Aaron, Angie, Hailey, Lexi, and Jacob said...

I like the visual picture of the past being "washed away." How cool is that?!

emily said...

Thanks! :) I just got some pictures that Abbey took, so I'm going to put them up! It's a great visual reminder of what the Lord has done and can do in lives. :)

cortneymarie said...

wow em, this is very cool.

Deb said...

Very brave of you! I've gotten rid of a couple of my past journals for the very same reason you mention here.

Sometimes you just know the time is right to part with things which hold too many associations with the pain of your past.

emily said...

Thanks for all of your support.

I agree, Deb, the time was right. I wasn't ready any sooner than now. Funny, though, for as much as I was hesitant to get rid of those things, I haven't missed them one bit! I'm so relieved to have them gone.

It's funny what I ascribe such value to. Somehow it seems so unimportant once it's gone. :)