Monday, June 6, 2016

You Gotta Take the Good with the Bad

Ya know how on your Facebook timeline, it offers for you to see your memories? 

They show you the most recent to the furthest back, starting with "a year ago."

Last year really sucked for me. So I usually quickly scroll by to not see any posts from then.

The only ones I wanna see are the happy memories of my family. 

But today I was reminded of one from the year my dad passed away, 2009. That was another year from hell. And the following year. Man have I had a few years that have been doused in pain.

Often times I think, "I wish I could just erase 2015 as if it never happened."  

I was thinking this morning about those darn memories. 

My dear friend Sue and I were talking about memories the other day. She was sharing with me how someone she knows has been doing an experiment on memories. She asked him if there was a way we can erase bad memories and he said, "Not without erasing the good ones."

I simply say, Ugh.

I often think of the story of Joseph, who went through a great many trials before being united with his family. He was plotted against by his own brothers, thrown into a well, sold into slavery, unsuccessfully seduced by his owner's wife, then lied about and thrown in jail, spent more than two years in there until Pharaoh needed an interpreter and Joseph was finally remembered. Then he spent I don't know how many years as Prime Minister of Egypt until the time his family was before him, offering forgiveness to them. 

He fully came to realize that all he had been through was for a purpose. In Genesis 50:20 he says, "You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done..."

That's one of the ironies of moments like that, seeing the good through the bad, and frankly, it's a chance to rebuild what you once thought was destroyed. 

So writing has been therapy for me. But one of the downsides to writing is being able to look back and see the mess you were in. However, one of the upsides to writing is seeing how far you've come from the mess you were in. 

With that being said, I was looking back at some of the things I wrote last year, and as I'm reading it I can sense the agony I was feeling then. I'm looking at the me from last year sorta like an out of body experience. I wanna grab the me of last year and hold her and let her know it's going to be okay, and I'm not leaving her side. 

I'd like to share an excerpt from one of the things I wrote last year. It's taken a lot of courage for me to do this because I'm still guarded. I still have a hard time trusting. But maybe this will help some of you who are going through a difficult time right now. And I want people to know, You are not alone.

Mass Genocide of Loss
by Julie Dixon

A mass genocide of loss accurately describes how I'm currently feeling.

Now a mass genocide of loss will leave you in utter shock and despair. It makes you question if you will ever be able to recover from the devastation. 

Alone has been my constant. 

The pain I feel is incomprehensible.

Love does not force, fear does. God sees the bigger picture in all of this. He was never afraid of me Not returning to Him. He's my Shepherd. He would have gently called me home. But man has to step in and make things happen NOW. We have the misconception that God isn’t big enough to handle waywardness so we MUST do something. Surely He needs our help.

When a son or daughter disobeys a parent does that make them no longer a son or daughter? Through loving correction the child is restored. But through harsh beatings, the child cowers and wants to flee. 

Too much pain, like a pinball machine. Not quite sure where the ball is gonna hit or when it’s gonna stop.

I just really have to believe that Jesus isn’t like Christians. The irony in that is that I am one. But I don't wanna be like the mean ones. The rules only club. I wanna be like the Good Samaritan.

He has such deep acceptance and love for you, exactly where you’re at. And He waits. And He waits. No matter how long it takes, He waits. Loves you in all your prickliness, in all your drunkenness, in all your filth. And He waits. He’s supernaturally drawing you with the power of His blood, that covers all our sins. 

So here we are, on the flip side of last year and I wouldn't trade where I'm at for anything in the world. What I went through, got me where I'm at, because of last year, and all the other painful years I've experienced. 

The relationship I have with my husband, the best it's ever been in all 23 years of marriage. We fought for each other hard. I saw him put on the gloves and go to battle for me. My daughter and I are inseparable. We love each other dearly and I wouldn't give that up for nothing. My sister, you don't wanna mess with her. She's truly one of the greatest women I known. My brother-in-law, a meek man, but boy, what a protector. And Sue and Debbie and Sarah and I can't forget Christina. I am truly blessed by these beautiful friendships.

I've lost some relationships as well. Many. Pretty much too many to count. But the shake down has happened and it's shown who was genuine and who wasn't. 

Do I still have twinges of pain here and there, most definitely. I'm not sure if those will ever leave. Guess time will tell. 

Hey, I still feel sadness when I think about losing my dad, and that was six years ago. It's not as great as it was the year we lost him or the year after, but there's apart of me still missing him. Maybe it's similar. Twinges of grief. Twinges of what the hell was I thinking. But also twinges of remembrance, of how grateful I am that God never left my side. He was with me the whole time.

I see now that those memories, you can't kill the bad without killing the good. I don't wanna lose those. I hold onto those like my life depends on it. 

Love and Peace,