Lost and Found

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The metamorphosis was almost complete for she was the guilt and shame, the bitterness and loneliness, the fearfulness and emptiness that pooled itself in the middle of the floor. Her very life force had all but slipped away, absorbing into the fibers of the carpet as she let go.

Letting go – it seemed that her very struggle in life had been holding on – as if she had been carrying around a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle in her hands, searching for the last piece and hoping that no one would come close enough to cause the puzzle to collapse. The puzzle — her life, in pieces. There was no foundation upon which she could carry it – no box top, no cardboard slice, no Plexiglas beneath it to maintain the integrity of the puzzle.

Each piece was a hand-painted representation of all her hopes and dreams, watercolors stained by her tears, faced by the harshness of the elements that weathered what she had so diligently pieced together over the years. But that last piece, that elusive last piece, was the vision and hope that had sustained her so far – nowhere to be found. As she let go the clarity of her hopefulness turned to despair, fading into the recesses of her mind. All hope was lost now. There was no point. She laid the puzzle down. No more searching. No more longing. No more struggling. No more.

As she gazed upon it one last time it too began to melt away. She had come to the end of herself. Darkness had already coveted the room, enticing her further, begging her to follow.

She closed her eyes. The first moments were quiet, like the murky stillness of the ocean bed. As she took her last breaths, her body became heavy, a shipwreck hitting the bottom. Darkness had come to ravage her. “Is there no peace in death itself? She cried out. “If you’re really there, if you really love me, show yourself. If not, let me go!”

Through her tears, she spied a glint of light. It captured her attention. It flickered and danced on the carpet. She watched it; she was mesmerized – momentarily forgetting why she was on the floor in the first place. Where was it coming from? She scanned the room quickly. What is this? That glimmering fragment of light before her was overcoming darkness. There came with it a sense of peace, a sense of intrigue and curiosity that entreated just a few more minutes of her time. She acquiesced. Surrendered. And life began. The kind of life someone lives. Not the surviving kind, the thriving kind. Glory to her Creator and Saviour her solid foundation.

True Surrender

Bench in formal gardenGetting older isn’t just about a cumulative store of wisdom that you can draw on. Wisdom means nothing until you make the choice to employ it. There’s a preferred expression I use: “take my advice, I’m not using it.” Recently I’ve been feeling like a hypocrite; the words I speak to others seem to resonate deep within my soul. All this great advice I have to share and yet I cast it aside like a fool.The truth be known, it’s easy to give advice when making a choice or taking action is the choice of the person you’re speaking with. The fear of self-application can immobilize a person into a life of solitude.

I have spent the last 15 years, or so, growing in many ways. That is a fact that cannot be disputed. The areas where I have failed to grow have been due to a consuming fear that has paralyzed my growth in the area of  relationships. Some people make it into the “sphere of trust,” but there has always been an inherent dread of the possibility that pain may penetrate that sphere. What I’ve come to realize recently, however is that my fear of being hurt has caused me to build a fortress around my heart that is virtually impenetrable. The sad thing is that I have conquered nothing by building walls. I’ve barricaded myself with my fears.

Believing I had surrendered to the false power I allowed fear to have over me did allow some growth but I have realized that we cannot love or allow ourselves to be loved until we acknowledge that there will be pain in all relationships and that is life – and it isn’t life threatening. Not all future relationships will turn out the same as those of the past and not everyone from our past is responsible for the pain suffered at someone else’s hand. The pain of our past cannot kill us unless we allow it to live on inside us – and that, my friends, is a slow and treacherous way to go. Where is the wisdom in that?

Try as hard as you might, you cannot move on from the past until the fear that the past will repeat itself is conquered. What conquers fear? Surrender. True surrender conquers fear. True surrender is not just a feeling. True surrender is born from a choice to believe that even if what you fear most happens, you will not only survive it, you can thrive  because of it – if you so choose.

We were made for each other. You can’t be there for anyone if you hide away in self-imposed solitude. Your pain has a purpose – Someone else out there IS exactly where you have been. Don’t waste your past pain – use it as a healing balm and apply it to someone else with love.

The wall I once built for protection has hemmed me in; my surrender will break it down and keep it down.