My body and mind are tired. My emotions are out of control.
My soul is tired.
We’ve been in Colorado for over a month, with folks taking classes and preparations happening for our big conference that begins this Friday. There have been meetings, plans implemented, rethought and tried again. Construction has been necessary to create seating spaces, conversation areas, coffee shops under tents and other places to gather. I’ve been doing assessments and talking for hours–I’ve used up my words for the next two months.
Busy is an understatement. Challenges have complicated the crazy schedule–sick kids, broken bones, addressing issues that won’t go away, dealing with people who need answers.
We’re all tired.
John and I have the privilege of being part of the “well-seasoned” group with a mini-conference before the main event. For those of us whose ripening years have added experience and maybe a little wisdom, it’s an opportunity to process our next steps.
I didn’t want to go. It was one more thing to do. One more activity to schedule. But out of kindness to my husband–and knowing I was expected to show up–I went.
Best decision ever.
We’ve sung, reminisced, met with folks we haven’t seen in years, laughed at memories sparked by conversation.
A highlight for me has been our main speaker, Dan Allender.
A prominent Christian therapist, author, professor, and speaker, Dan shared the larger arc of our story and how our memories impact how we live, memories are that are often full of heartache and disappointment.
He spoke of trauma that results from that pain and the challenge of owning it so it can’t diminish who we are.
Hearing that made my heart race. I don’t like remembering heartache. I don’t want to be reminded of the problems that have happened in the past, the miserable mistakes I’ve made. I want to shut the door on those things and move on. I’d rather deny hurt or numb out.
That’s not how it works.
There’s stuff from my childhood that has significantly influenced me in a negative way, things I’ve done to my kids that have adversely impacted them. There are no perfect parents. We carry baggage and help those we love to pack their own.
He encouraged us to be truthful with our kids about our hurts. The things, small and big, that have left scars on our hearts that affect our actions.
I don’t want to do that. A little too revealing. Humbling.
It takes courage to be truthful. To not let shame or fear keep me from dismissing hard things or underplaying reality.
God has allowed me to engage in my story. To see the messes and learn from them. To own them and not allow them to derail me or hurt others. Trauma happens, and I need to bring it to Jesus rather than hide from it.
Only a relationship with God can allow me to live with the hope and sorrow of this world. To not be burdened by regret and fear.
Problems are part of life. So is death. Guaranteed.
But God offers eternal hope.
Any hope here depends on that.
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