That Was Then - Elisabeth Klein
I have taken it upon myself to go on a journey of self-discovery. I am bound and determined to find some answers and then, hopefully and finally, make changes in how I relate that will make a difference in all of my future relationships. That’s a tall order and I feel a bit ridiculous. I feel clumsy. I feel like I just decided to walk through the glass shop in Saugatuck I grew up visiting while swinging a baseball bat. In other words, maybe not my smartest decision, and odds are, some shards will probably fly. 

For now, my journey is in dual parts — reading a few resources that have been recommended to me by people I trust and then journaling about my memories, specifically regarding men. I have even gone so far as to recall my three-day eighth-grade boyfriend (who I broke up with because his smoking habit disgusted me) and the time some of my girlfriends gave me a guy for my birthday. Cheapskates.  

But here’s what has occurred to me as I write about these men and boys…in all of these memories of mine, I am surprisingly sinless. I have not done or said a single thing to warrant their bad behavior nor have I handled it ungraciously. If my fuzzy memories and sometimes-childhood self-perceptions are to be believed, that is.  

So one of the things that is dawning on me is that (and I can hardly bear to think what this actually means if it’s a truth) I may have blown some of the wrongdoings done to me ever-so-slightly out of proportion.  

If this is indeed the case, what are the ramifications? I mean, it’s not like I made actual people up from thin air or anything, but maybe the yelling wasn’t yelling. Maybe the touch that didn’t feel right was an accident (or maybe it was worse than I even recall?). Maybe the lie was a misunderstanding. Maybe. Maybe not. 

What this is doing in me is helping me realize that there is no way for me to clearly remember every episode of my life. But there is someone who was with me through each scenario. That’s why I’m asking Jesus to guide me through this process. I’m asking him to bring up the memories he wants me to sit with, and to minimize the influence of the ones that really don’t matter. And I’m asking him to give me as clear a viewing of them as possible, while reminding myself that he was sitting right there, sad when I was being hurt, cheering me on when I was standing up for what was right.  

This clunky journey of mine is stirring things up, making me a little more blue, but it’s all a good thing, it’s all for a bigger purpose. I need to remember so that I can learn and move on and hopefully, not make the same mistakes again and again. 

I Corinthians 13: 11-12
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.

If this post encouraged you, you would benefit from “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here or “Living through Divorce as a Christian Woman”, found here.