The word restore comes from root words that mean renew and rebuild (Merriam-Webster online). Consider that when restoration comes to our lives, there’s a space of time between us and the pain that created the breach or brokenness.
Yes, there may be years between us and the event that forced us to stop, process, and heal. A gap of some kind helps us in the restoration process. In this time gap we review (look at things again) and we reconcile (decide how to settle or resolve) to move forward.
Here’s what I learned this weekend: restoration happened, and it proved sure and settled not with the one who hurt me, but when I was surprised with a trigger to the memories.
You see, I heard again and again in different settings that the way we know we’ve done the work of true forgiveness and received real healing was to experience a “confrontation” with what or who hurt us…and it doesn’t hurt anymore. I always expected to see the person, and in my healing gap prepared for the conversation.
But that’s not how it happened this time.
This time, the Father re-presented me before witnesses who were there then, and close to the situation. He put me in a place to serve them, with desire to run to them with joy. It was quick — “Hey! It’s good to see you!” Congratulations on this or that I’d heard happened for them. And it was sincere.
Father chose the place and time for this, and I sat in awe of His strategy. You see, hugs are quite personal for me; they remove barriers and secure bridges for intimate exchanges. I don’t give or receive them often or lightly. If there’s tension or conflict, “hugging it out” means very little to me. If restoration or reconciliation is in process, they don’t mean much to me. Hugs don’t prove I’m over it if I’m not. It’s just one of those odd things.
But in this moment, I gave some of myself away when I hugged them. They represented the one who hurt me, and WOW… I had no flood of memories. I had no visits to the past. I had no backward movement, no depression, no resentment, no discussion, no trauma.
I laughed at the ODD way the Lord decided to show me progress…
that one of the first things He revealed when the dust of my mountain settled,
and allowed me to experience the wind of His spirit
was in the resolve or settling of “accounts” with my memories about that time of hurt.
BECAUSE I WONDERED… was I really over it? Had I moved on like i declared? Did the Lord honor all the work I did to grow up and out of pain, hate, resentment, bitterness, fear, failure, deception, pride, and my “rights” to holding memories hostage? Was it really over?
Yes. Over. Finished. And now, RESTORED. Ha! Renewed. Rebuilt.
The Point: Moving forward, however we must, gets us to the day where there’s a confirmation of choice. And that confirmation is not about right or wrong; let’s not judge the roads we took to survival. But that confirmation is about wholeness. It’s about the Lord showing us that while we let Him heal us, and while we challenged our worst selves, and learned to receive His perfect love to put us “out there” again…IT WORKED! The confirmation moment is to show us how the wisdom of His word was working wisdom in us. And the reconciling — well, we get to see the reward for liquid prayers, and be a vessel of honor and serve.
It’s not payback; everyone who hurt may not need us later or have to cross our paths again.
We may never see our torturers again. But there will be a confrontation that makes us face the memory. And the Lord will be there to seal us. And we will transition from “forgetting those things that are behind” to It is Forgotten. And the strength we lent to forgetting moves to the reaching ahead effort.
Amen? Amen! Love to all…