You’ve heard, “kids say the darndest things”, and indeed they do! Having raised four children of my own, I can vouch for that. I have to tell you about a particular little 7 yr. old boy that I met last week. I’ll call him Jaxson. I’ve been thinking about him ever since. He was super sweet, yet kind of shy, and he had the roundest chubby cheeks framing his huge, playful grin. As I talked, I asked him questions to get to know him a bit, but he would just quickly bob his head to respond. He didn’t say much but, he did say one thing to me that I’ve thought about ever since.
He was telling me that he enjoyed reading. His Grandma had given him a Bible for Christmas. A Bible isn’t your average 2nd grade reading material, you know. While his was a version designed for kids, it still has a hefty volume of text for a 2nd grader to wade through. Jaxson said he had been reading his Bible, but he was having a problem. He said, “Every time I start to read, I have to start over again because I don’t have a book mark”. I had an urge to laugh, but just smiled as I explained that he could just use a piece of scrap paper for a book mark. I wonder how many times he’s reread the story of creation. “In the beginning…” He couldn’t get past the beginning.
Jaxson’s little confession also caused a tear to well up in the corner of my eye, from a different place than where the laugh came from. I wasn’t quite sure why. Maybe I was just touched by the sweet innocence that was expressed by this child, but something about my experience with Jaxson had touched something deep in me. His statement taunted me this week as it played over and over in my mind. Now I know why it resonated with me. Jaxson was stuck at the beginning and so was I.
Perhaps you’ve read some of my earlier posts where I have talked about being raped at knife point as a teenager and being physically abused in a previous marriage. If you have personally experienced rape or abuse, you understand that the after affects can be extremely damaging and far reaching. While I have previously gone through counseling and participated in recovery groups to find healing over the years, I am currently involved in yet another round of group therapy sessions. I’m doing this as part of a training program to be able to facilitate support groups for women who have been abused, as I have. By going through the sessions as a participant, I not only gain experience with group dynamics, but I’m forced to take an even deeper look at myself. It seems that each time I go through this, still another elusive wounding is unearthed from the rubble of my past and I become more whole. That’s a good thing! It makes me a little easier to live with, so my husband should appreciate that.
In our recovery group, we have homework assignments to complete between sessions. As a part of the homework this week, we were instructed to draw or find images that would serve as a visual prompt, a reminder of our healing, like a monument, a stone of remembrance. I love stones! I know that sounds strange, but there is just something about them that draws my gaze. When we hike, I always take a stone from the trail home with me. I live in the rocky state of Arizona. The rock formations that may be drab to some are fascinating, even beautiful to me! I was excited about this assignment, or so I thought.
Images of things that would serve as my “stone of remembrance” came to mind very quickly, but all the thoughts surrounding my stone monuments were emotionally exhausting. Today, my tangled mess of thoughts seemed to jell together to form a realization that sparked excitement. It was an excitement that I once had, but had forgotten. I had some moments of enlightenment that I won’t go into detail on in this post, but I can give you the bottom line. Tough seasons of life over the years have dulled my expectations for my future. Goals and dreams that I had imagined for my future hadn’t totally disappeared, but it was like I had placed the goals and dreams up on a very hard to reach shelf, in a perpetual place of waiting. I truly believed in my heart they would happen someday, but not now and not anytime soon. I would have to wait and wait and wait… I had forgotten some of the lessons of the past. I didn’t have those stone monuments in place to help me remember and I realized that I’ve been stuck.
I’ve been living my life like Jaxson has been reading his little Bible. Each day, instead of moving forward to my future, I begin in the very same place, waiting… I’ve spent years looking up at that shelf, longing for the day when I could take hold of those things. Here I am at my age, still in the creation story and there is so much more ahead that I’ve been missing out on. It’s like, I didn’t have a bookmark!
Going through another recovery group, yet again, will be my ladder. I’m choosing to hoist this ladder through the darkness, through the dust and the cobwebs, as I ascend to that very hard to reach place. I intend to take hold of that box, those goals and dreams. This blog post will serve as as one of my stone monuments, my bookmark. It’s not over yet, not even at this age. I say, let the future begin!