“You blocked out all the joy too.”
Standing in my sister’s kitchen, the reality of her statement smacked me in the face. I suppose the Truth does that to us sometimes…
This particular conversation was unexpected. It came on the fumes of a recent dream that had awakened me in the middle of the night. I could not easily shake this one, this dream took me back to teenage years spent in my adopted home of Romania.
While the contents of the dream were noteworthy, I was more affected by the flood of repressed memories that it aroused- past times mingled with tears and laughter, community and travel.
Since this conversation with my sister, I’ve asked myself “When did the memories fade?” When does a person block out portions of their life? Why can we so often remember the bad, yet none of the good?
After wrestling over the past, it seems that I began to forget when I was abruptly faced with losing the home I had grown to love. Like many teens who move from place to place, I learned to cast aside what I had grown to love, thereby numbing the pain of the impending loss – a clever defense mechanism that hides pain rather than resolves it.
Identifying when a change takes place leads to discovery, to an unveiling of old lies that must be addressed. A step backwards can, at times, be what it takes to move forward.
In recent weeks, the memories have begun to return, and I am learning to appreciate the pain and smile at the good.
What did you used to love? When did the shift occur? While inviting God to return us to things once loved can bring pain, a life absent of pain will also be absent of joy. And today I choose joy.