I look back on that time in Junior High with a different view now that I have processed through it. Now that Tricia has gently led me to confront it, and allowed God to heal it’s wounds.
I can see now that those other girls were acting out of their fear and pain and hurt in their own lives. I can see that God is using and has used that situation to help me understand other people’s hurts.
When I was in Tricia’s office looking back at the Gym class, and all that transpired there, I remember getting mad at myself, expressing anger at myself for how I handled it. Tricia asked me why I was angry. I told her that I didn’t handle things right, I didn’t stand up for myself. I just backed down and did what I was told to do by others. Others whom I perceived were stronger than me.
I remember being so angry and ashamed at the time, that I made a vow to myself that I wouldn’t cry in public like that again. Especially out of hurt, rejection, or anger and frustration. I wouldn’t let others see just how much they hurt me again.
Unfortunately (as I saw it for a long time) I wasn’t able to keep that vow without fail. I did cry in front of others, though sometimes I was able to hold it in until I was alone. When I did cry in front of others, rather than just accepting it, I got angry at myself for not having enough self-control. I felt like I did things wrong yet again, by showing weakness.
God has used Tricia to help me rethink that incident. Through her, I have started to be able to look at my seventh grade year in a new light, through His eyes. He has shown me that He knew what was going on and was with me the whole time.
When I was in the session with Tricia, as I was berating myself in my head for crying and not standing up for myself, I nearly heard the words in my head, “You did nothing wrong, Heather.” I knew it was the Holy Spirit impressing those words on my heart. When I tried to tell Him that I should have been able to control myself and my emotions, and I should have stood up for myself, He again said, “You did nothing wrong. You are not at fault.”
What a release for me! If God never had me on “the hook” for not standing up for myself, or not being able to control my emotions, I could let myself “off the hook” too. I was blown away to hear the very words I needed to. I blamed myself, and I was told clearly that I didn’t do anything wrong. Crying isn’t wrong. Being open about how hurt I was, wasn’t wrong. What is worse is trying to stuff the hurt and tears. It hurts me even more than if I let it out.
I can’t hold myself to standards that I, or anyone else, sets for me. I can’t go along with the thoughts of “Just suck it up and deal with it. Don’t let anyone know that they got through your armor.” I think and feel deeply, which means that I care deeply about others, and what others think about me. And when someone or something hurts me, I get deeply wounded. I feel it to the very core of my being, to my very heart.
I guess this is the way God wired me. I am emotional. I am always going to be emotional. I am going to cry out of hurt and frustration and pain and anger. It doesn’t matter how hard I try to stuff it, it is going to come out, one way or another. I just have to choose if I am going to let it out in a healthy way, or unhealthy way.
My choice, when I am deeply wounded, is how I deal with it. Will I cover it over and hide it? Will I stew and brew about it, until I am drinking bitterness and gall? Will I cry out my pain to God and give it all to Him to heal. Will I call out to Him in my anguish? Will I allow others to see my weakness and need? Will I allow others to see how they have hurt me, and through that, bring healing to the relationship if possible? Will I wallow in the pit of self pity? Will I run to God who is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I will trust?
Sometimes I do all of the above. In different stages and at different times. God walks with me all the way. He walked with me all the way through the rough years of Junior High, High School, College, and post college years. He walked with me before I became a Christian, and He has walked with me since I turned my life over to Him. He has wooed my heart from the very beginning; planting seeds of longing and desire for something more, something better, something more beautiful, intimate, and adventurous than I have ever seen before. Anytime I get a taste of it in this world, it’s not enough, it leaves me longing for more.
So I need to keep pressing on for the joy set before me. I need to keep running towards that longing and desire, rather than stuffing it and burying it, because along with that desire and deep aching longing comes pain… pain of the not yet, the unfulfilled, the longing and loss, the not perfect.
But then come those moments of pure Joy when I know that I have done what my Savior wants. The Joy of knowing that in the deepest places of my heart He is healing me, and helping me have new perspective on old painful wounds. Perspective that helps me deal with the pain, and stop living out of that pain. Perspective that brings me to living instead in His healing and freedom.
New Names from God: