As time went on

It bothered me for many years.

I never understood why I had to carry this particular burden.

The burden of memory.

No matter how selective, no matter how much consumption of the world around me, the memory was mine and mine alone.

My mother could never be a reliable witness and my younger brother’s coma caused memory loss, to this day he remembers very little. I use to think him lucky. I, not only carried the burden of remembering, but always lacked the knowledge of why. Why do the memories conceived that Sunday morning have to be carried by me? For a while I thought it was my punishment. After all it couldn’t have been a reward, right?

It wasn’t fair, I thought. I would never put this burden of the mind on anyone.  And it was lonely. It was so very lonely. The gruesome scene, which tore apart my sense of safety and shredded any happy moments that occurred in my home prior, replayed itself bit by terrifying bit on a daily basis in my mind.  My life quickly became ridiculous, to me anyway, but it didn’t matter.

The awe and newness of sunshine, palm trees, and orange farms quickly dissipated. Trying to settle in a new place and meet new people always came with the agonizing question of where are you from. And yet again another rewind of flashbacks. My overly blunt responses, “she was murdered”, became a shield. That unfeeling, guarded mask of an answer seemed to stop the flood of memories, for a while, and any further questioning of my past. Saying it and not feeling it was a great deterrence for a short while. That is until I started to feel like I was living in a much sun shinier version of Boston. The walls were brighter but closing in all the same.

So let’s get a job and party on weekends and as much as possible. We needed a job or else how would we party?

If you’ve ever heard of a functional alcoholic then you can understand what I mean when I say by the time I was truly settled in Florida I was a functional partier. The only time I felt sane enough that my  loneliness, insecurities,  fears and memories didn’t attach me was when I could drown it, smoke it, and forcefully laugh it away. What a miserable time that was.  What liars laughs can be. What dishonesty a smile hides. What turmoil dancing feet carry. She was murdered. Quick, simple truth that bear no feeling but held every emotion all at once. Most responded with  blank, confused for a moment looks. Some with, “are you serious?” I couldn’t say which I preferred. Even now. No response could have made me feel any better in all honesty. Nothing could.

Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

…I walked and talked through my lie, my fear-filled lie. The on point smile and just the right amount of laughter did more than just keep questions at bay. It enclosed my heart and prevented my eyes from truly seeing. He was there. All the while He was there.

…Tears form as I remember how much time I wasted in the pits that kept me shut off from my life, from my God.

…Today, gratefulness.

 

What a liar

So jumping right into it, I’d like to refer you to blog post titled: Familiar Ground, https://wordpress.com/post/piecesofgoretty.blog/44 where I revealed a major fear I had, have, working out with Jesus on a regular basis, is the fear of life repeating itself. My life has always been a ticking clock, duh, we all have that ticking clock, right? But what do you do with the belief of knowing how and more or less when you’ll die.  I say belief and not the knowledge of because none of us really know…(Scripture: Matthew 24:36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only  the Father”)…Nor did I say feeling because that’s just one of the building blocks towards belief. How do you remove the feeling turned fear and now full-blown belief that your life would repeat itself and you’ll die much like your mother before reaching golden years, tragically leaving behind not fully grown children to figure it out for themselves. Irrational fear, perhaps, but its fangs sunk deep onto my subconsciousness and I lived in that belief for so long.

Remembering all the times I was meant to die added to this feeling turned fear turned belief. This belief manifested itself in a real fear of man, double chained doors, chaotic images that replayed in my mind that depicted vivid pictures of my demise. When I started having children, their playful and sometimes loud play had me trapped in my shower attempting to assure myself that the noise was of them and not of pass familiar noises. ( check out Blog Post The Sounds That Plagued Me, https://wordpress.com/post/piecesofgoretty.blog/125 ) It’s been said that fear is False Evidence Appearing Real. My fear was so real to me that I believed it to be pure truth. What a liar fear is. Instead of seeing that I was being saved each time, one way or another, fear only allowed me to view those circumstances as my supposed end was chasing me down. I adopted fears truth and I just knew I wasn’t going to live pass 48, most certainly not pass 50. What would you do if you knew….felt you knew….you only had so many years to live? A question that is usually answered with various types of adventures, apologies, and some showing of affections to people we otherwise don’t take time to appreciate. For me, that belief gripped my heart, squeezed, and rendered me a tumbleweed.

TUMBLEWEED-a structural part of the above ground anatomy of a number of species of plants, a diaspore (seed and fruit together) that, once its mature and dry, detaches from its root or stem, and tumbles away in the wind. (google/Wikipedia) The structural part of me, above ground was no longer rooted. I was detached.  Numb, and dumb because most of my actions in that state of mind were simply that, not thought out flat-out dumbness, I tossed about in the world, unable to be in the present and fearing the future.

Like a woman living and breathing in the nausea of her new circumstances due to her first trimester of pregnancy, I lived and breathed the fear of being attacked…again. But this time, this would be the time I wouldn’t make it out in the end. After the ordeal of nausea and all that comes with pregnancy a child is born. A blessing.

This fear, this belief of my death and the pain of leaving my children in such a harsh manner, the fear of man, birthed in me not a child but when God picked me up and dusted off the remnants of what ailed me, a new trust in Him was birthed. One I never had before. He removed and continues to remove all the particles of this above world that combined created this tumbleweed. (continued from Wikipedia) Apart from its primary vessel the tissues of the tumbleweed structure are dead; their death is functional because it is necessary for the structure to degrade gradually and fall apart so that its seeds can escape during the tumbling, or germinate after the tumbleweed has come to rest in a wet location. In the latter case, many species of tumbleweed open mechanically, releasing their seeds as they swell when they absorb water.

…I’m so thankful that His grace is sufficient. I’m so grateful to soak in His waters, to be refreshed, and renewed once more. I challenge you today to empty out the fear(s) that cripple you, be filled by Him and absorb all the benefits of just knowing Him. Allow yourself to be touched and renewed by Him. Don’t live in a lie. You don’t have to.