This lesson of AOH (Aperture of the Heart-my photography class) was a big one for me. I wanted to share a few random thoughts on it because like all of the other lessons so far, I felt it needed to be documented. Maybe no one else will ever read these words, maybe my daughters will need them at a certain time in their life and I’m not here. But it was pretty profound and something was realized that’s taken over a decade to fully comprehend. Maybe you need it too.
“My outside self might mark me as a certain age, but my inside self isn’t defined by time. I’m every age I’ve ever been.”
All of a sudden after hearing those words, some of my feelings and emotions made sense. Some things you don’t “get over” or quit feeling because of time. They might still sting the same way they did when that event happened, no matter how you’ve matured or changed with age. That’s ok. Everything that has happened to you is yours and you get to tell it. Your version matters.
However, Earth is forgiveness school and it starts at the dinner table. Families are hard. Life is hard. As a deep feeler and one who is also a “fixer,” we can’t arrange peace or lasting improvement on the ones we love the most. They have to do it on their own. We have to release them. We all have baggage. We all have some sort of trauma. We are all screwed up and broken. But God. His grace is a healing balm, a spiritual ointment that soaks in and seeps out. It’s a mystery too. That He extends it to me and to you as well as everyone else that we think doesn’t deserve it. None of us do. But He gives it, so should we. If we don’t, what was His sacrifice on the cross worth? Everything.
That realization makes me retreat back into my shell and feel shame. That I’ve been given grace but it’s so hard to accept for myself and extend to others who have broken me. However, that shame is also a tactic from the enemy because he knows we’ve been bought with a price and that grace is freedom. Grace finds us where we are. It doesn’t leave us there either. It carries us forward and teaches us how to mend our hearts and use them as an extension, an olive branch to rebuild bridges that were once torched to ash. It’s a lesson I’ve known but am still learning. I’m learning to be me again and to also be free.