I Am Sorry
I am sorry. I am sorry I didn't say it sooner. I’m sorry it took me so long to come here. I knew I would need to but I couldn’t forgive myself. The man you were and your spirit have taught me so much. You have helped me grow in ways that seemed impossible. How is it possible for a camper to become the teacher for the counselor? I remember your smile and your laugh. I remember our last game of gaga. I remember your hug and how you’d asked me questions I didn’t know a child could develope. I now know that loving you and spending time with you has helped me to know that the love of of Christ surpasses life and death. I wouldn’t be this strong without you and Jesus giving me the strength to keep on going. I adore you, now and always.
I took a pause on the healing series recently, and I thank God that he has allowed me to finally conclude this series. Let's finish strong...
When I initially started this series, I wanted to let everyone know that I wasn't really preaching to the choir but that I too was going through this journey. (the video above explains that) With the help of my squad, mentors, and the Holy Spirit, I have been reaching into the depths of my hurt and pain throughout my life. I've never exposed myself this much before this season of my life and these past 8 months, and it isn't easy. However, this adventure has been the most humbling and strengthen experience of my life.
The last post about this series was about me wanting to focus on how choosing yourself and caring about others with forgiveness, ownership, and selfishness are a part of the process of healing. Though this post isn't going to be directly focused on that statement, it will be lightly shared.
Healing is one of the hardest journeys I've ever had to go on, and it doesn't stop when the tears end. I once heard that a woman that needs to be feared is one that can put herself back together. I used to think that this was a profound quote until recently. I don't think a man or a woman that needs to be feared is one that can put him or herself back together. It is the men and women who can recognize that there is pain and hurt inside of them. Those who can look inwardly, be truly vulnerable, and allow God and the love of Christ to take every scar in their heart and use it for growth, compassion, kindness, and forgiveness. Those are the people that I look up to; this is who I aim to become more of and what this series is about.
It was 2014 when I met Justin, and now we're in 2019, 5 years later. (see why I said that healing has no timestamp?)
5 years later, God gave me the opportunity and strength to travel back to that summer and reintroduce myself to the experience that contributed to the growth of not only myself but many others who know Justin and his story.
As I walked up to the camp I had spent 3 months living in 2014, I was nervous and scared. (healing does that to you, and it's alright, it means you have room for growth.) It was almost as if I was meeting the younger me and in a way I did. I allowed myself to walk and revisit every moment of the storm that shook us all up. I replayed every thought I had throughout the experience. Though I was able to walk and replay everything, it wasn't until I had said my goodbyes, driven 5 minutes away from camp, and played the beautiful song one camper dedicated to the experience, that I was able to let myself cry.
Oh, the tears were coming in. In fact, as I'm typing at this very moment, with my fingers trembling, these tears are soaking my shirt. (will they ever stop? I don't know.) The statement at the beginning of this post were the exact words I was uttering in my car as my voice shaked and tears streamed down the chocolate high bone cheeks on my face when I drove away from camp.
See, facing this hurt allowed me to find the root of why everything hurt so much. Yes, I no longer had a friend on this earth to laugh and grow with me. Yes, I saw what nature can do to people in a matter of 5 minutes with a twister. Yes, I witnessed children hurting, and I wasn't able to stop the wind from whisking them in the air and tossing trees at them. As a counselor, it was my responsibility to ensure all campers where safe, but in 2014, I was unable to do that for many. How do you forgive yourself for that?
It hasn't been easy facing this experience. I will never forget the smile Justin had elegantly glued on his face during our last game and what he said when I couldn't stop crying during his funeral, "Ms. Abigail, don't be sad. It's okay. I'm here, and I'm going to be waiting for you until your ready to come here too."
When you choose to heal from whatever hurt that resides in your soul, you must be willing to dive so deep within yourself that it's merely you and God. Only when it's spirit and Spirit does healing have the opportunity to penetrate and take form within your soul. It is only when you allow God to show you the root of the scar that you can forgive, love and grow.
Healing is a process we all must go through, and it continues throughout our lives. This journey requires us to have wise selfishness where we allow ourselves to meet ourselves; when our spirit sits with the Holy Spirit that is when we heal. When we allow ourselves to face our hurt with love and compassion, we are able to grow and ultimately love and care for all the way Christ has asked of us. I can't guarantee that your healing process will be painless (in fact, it's probably going to be anything but that). Though I will tell you, it is when you stop fighting the storm that you can sit in the eye of the hurricane and make it to the end so that you may witness the beautiful rainbow God has designed.
This was a part of my healing process that I am blessed to have shared with you all, but it's not over yet. What do you want to be healed from? What are you fighting God on? What have you been running from that God desires to use the blood and love of his Son, Jesus Christ, to heal you from? I will let you in on a secret: God, heaven, and I are rooting for you. You've got this!
Until next time...