Updated: Feb 17
You ever look at something from your childhood as an adult and think its not what you remembered?
It wasn’t what I remembered.
This is the house I did a majority of my growing up in before we moved to Alabama. What’s amazing about this house is that I can remember more good memories than bad. It was after we lost this house that things did get worse and my memory took hold, defining “Alabama” by all the bad that had happened.
I was so young when we moved in that anything before this house was a bit of a blur where I can remember both bad and the good. Isn’t it interesting that our minds tend to hold on to the good, that they can give us a feeling of comfort? Even when, in reality, comfort was something we longed for back then.
When I think about this house, I think of a little girl who thought life was good and didn’t know what was coming. It was before my mother became unfamiliar to me before she became a stranger. It was before my father became so angry. It was before we were all so broken.
I don’t remember it being so small. It wasn’t terribly small, but I picture it so much bigger in my memories. I also don’t remember it being so plain; back then, it was so alive to me. I remember flowers in the garden, grass greener than anything.
Now I see what most of you see - a dull, brick house with no character. Maybe it’s grandeur and bright gardens and green grass were all in my imagination? Maybe I needed to hold on to something good through the abuse that was to come, to slowly losing my mother to the battles of addiction and a series of mental illnesses that would change her before my eyes.
Perhaps I needed something secure to hold onto before security and hope slipped away? Maybe.
I shared a little about my past with you in a recent post and, please - I encourage you to go find it. In fact, I think it’s important enough that I will tell you where to go when I’m done here.
This is about more than a house, though. I don’t want to talk about this house right now, I want to share a deeper message God shared with me as I saw this house in a photograph again, so many years later and not long ago.
He told me to let go.
See, I am bold in my mission. Here I am following the call God Himself gave to me, writing a book about my story and the glory that were to come, and the Lord tells me to let go.
What am I possibly holding on to?
Then I saw and felt it clearly - it’s time to let go of an image of building something from the past. God is a God of moving forward. As it is, I am at the point in my book where moving forward is something I have to slow down to actually do.
And in slowing down, I am faced with many more memories that I need to reflect on, and mostly, that I need to let go of. In letting go of these memories, images, and thoughts that remain from some of my darkest moments, I am coming into true healing.
You can’t move forward when you’re trying to build something from an image of your past. Moving forward means walking into something new and unfamiliar, facing the truth of what was and letting it go to become something new; to become someone you were always meant to be.
This is a house I held onto for years to create false hope when it actually needed to be left alone.
Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of? Are you holding onto a false hope that God is trying to reveal as not being His? I encourage you to look hard at it again.
Look and then release it. It wasn’t that good anyway.
We can’t always trust our minds, but we can trust God. We can trust the new. We can trust the light that exposes the darkness and becomes His best.
Move forward, friends, don’t look back. There’s nothing there.
Genesis 19:26A: But Lot's wife looked back and she became a pillar of salt. God had them move forward and she got caught in trying to hold on to something that wasn’t really good in the first place.
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