You know that feeling you get when you know what you have to do but it’s the absolute last thing in the world that you even want to think about? Literally, the very last thing in the world. And yet – you look back and wish nothing more for the chance to go back and rewrite time… to have just picked up the phone and did the thing in the first place. What would have happened if you had made the call or even just sent the email? The whole year and a half would have played out differently.
Maybe it would have been worse, maybe it would have hurt a lot of people. But maybe, just maybe, it could have been beautiful and special; maybe a lot of people would have felt loved and needed. Maybe more damage could have been done, but maybe strong new bonds could have been formed.
The thing is, I’ll never really know. Fear, confusion, past hurts – they all came in and decided to put chains on Time. They were given the key and it was promptly thrown away and now they own the last year. Owning Time, that is something that should never be taken lightly. When you own Time, you better be sure that you know exactly what you are doing with it. Are you using your Time for good? Are you making sure that people feel loved through it all? That Jesus is at the center of your decisions, thoughts, actions, words?
The last year and a half, there has been one thing just eating away at me. One thing that I knew wasn’t right. I knew what I was being prompted to do and yet – I knew the hurt it could potentially cause. I knew the hurt it was causing just raising the possibility. The fear that this one person in my life could cause more damage if I reached out – it was crippling. So I pushed it down. I swallowed up the belief I had that I was doing the wrong thing, fully knowing I would regret not having any action.
The thing is, I have forgiven all of the hurts. Which doesn’t mean I have forgotten, because a wise person should never forget these things. But I have to forgive, I am forced to forgive because if I do not, I am allowing this one person to keep control over my life which is the very thing an abusive person feeds off of. By not forgiving, I only continue to welcome in Bitterness to have a seat at the table and eat up my Happiness. By not forgiving, I am telling the Lord his grace is not big, wide, or deep enough to cover the sins of this one person.
So I forgave, because God has no limits, but that doesn’t mean I need to let this person back in. I have been hurt enough and I’ve learned that forgiving doesn’t mean dropping all of the boundaries. Having walls of protection from invaders are important and this person has attacked over a thousand times too many for these walls to not be thick.
Now though – I think they were too thick. It became not just about me, but about the little boy who I rocked to sleep tonight. The little boy who was struggling so hard to fall asleep on his own and just wanted to fall asleep on his mama. So I let him get comfortable against my chest and his tired little eyes closed and we rocked and rocked until his breathing slowed and the little movements of his hand caressing my arm stopped and sleep finally came for my baby boy, but I kept rocking and dreaming of how much he has grown in the last eleven months. How big he has grown, how silly he has become, how smart he’s gotten. From barely being able to open his eyes for periods longer than 30 minutes to playing and adventuring through the house for hours in between naps – where did my little boy go?
The last year has flown by and I owned Time. I locked it in a prison cell with chains and I threw away the key and I swallowed up my fears and regrets and decided who would and wouldn’t meet my son. I had the power over who got to know he existed, that he was forming from the size of a chocolate chip to a lime to a pumpkin. I invited his adoring little fan club to meet him as soon as he was born. I spent my precious maternity leave with my son only meeting special people who deserved our time and deserved to see the new things Jude was learning. I’ve guarded my weekends pretty well since my return to work and only allowed a handful of people to come between me and my family time. I’ve begun creating Jude’s first birthday party invite list and I am carefully crafting the small list of people who will celebrate this glorious little boy’s first year of life.
And through it it all – I’ve purposefully kept you away from Jude. I decided you would miss all of this time because the fear of what you might do was too great. That fear was valid and only based on a whole lifetime of being let down, hurt, forgotten… I don’t regret the walls I put up. I only regret that I made them a little too thick. That I ignored what I knew was the right thing to do and didn’t cut a little hole through the wall for Jude to come through. This little boy, he brings joy with him everywhere he goes and life is just one constant party. I know God is going to be loving people through Jude for the rest of his great and adventurous life. Why didn’t I trust God to start working through him right from the beginning?
For this, I’m sorry. More than you’ll probably ever realize or ever let me have a chance to say. I only hope that you won’t let Pride come in and keep you from Jude in this new year. I’m going to send that email. I’m going to hit send and swallow all of my fear. I’m going to unlock Time and try to give you back the experiences that I took. Will you have them? Will you hurt me?
As I’m getting ready to cut open that hole in the wall I’m realizing that I am no longer afraid. The Lord is with me, you can no longer hurt me. I only ask that you give Jude a chance to bring you joy – and know always that I am carefully guarding my little boy with every muscle in my body.