Pain sticks to our minds like gum to the bottom of our shoes. We don't want it there and it takes hours to remove it from every ridge. However, it only takes seconds for it to stick to the point that even our best attempts cannot rid our soles of the mess.
I felt frozen for a long time. It is truly amazing how the most haunting memories can keep us paralyzed when time never stops moving. Sometimes the most painful memories shift from a dark time to an endless reality. It is amazing how we can still feel the touch of someone who is no longer there. A ghost that is stuck in our minds.
The worst part of a ghost is that they are not the one who is tortured. We are. The ghost has moved on to a new life. But we are tortured by its presence. I have felt that pain a lot over the past year.
I have come to learn that life is not meant to be a give and take. That equation is never balanced. We give more than we should and take more than we deserve. Our sinful nature makes it impossible to live faithfully in that way of life.
When memories haunt us, the hardest part is knowing the other person has moved on. Whether in death or life, there is no greater pain than longing for something that is no longer there. However, waking up a realizing you are frozen while the people around you move forward is a crippling reality. We often analyze what we could have done to keep that ghost alive in our life; nevertheless, we destroy ourselves in the process.
I could not save my grandma. I miss her. But I could not save her. And I could not fix the mistakes I made with the people close to me. The longer I focus on the mistakes of my past, the more likely I will repeat those mistakes in the present.
Christ is not just a means of justification. He is a means for restoration in all our imperfections. He is the hope for the hopeless. The longer we fixate on every imperfection, the less time we advance toward a perfect restoration.
Change might be the hardest thing in the world to accept. But it truly is unavoidable. Life will change. People will change. And any guarantee on earth is nothing more than wishful thinking. So what is it that we hope for going forward?
If change is unavoidable, thank God He stays the same. To be rooted in Him gives us room to grow. Bouncing around leaves us yearning for growth, yet hopeless because we have never allowed roots to form. We mess up. We make mistakes. We are imperfect. Thank God none of those phrases describes our God. Otherwise, we would forever be hopeless.
Some ghosts are unavoidable and memories unforgettable; however, our choice to remain frozen stays the same. You can move on just like the ghosts that haunt you daily. We are not frozen, paralyzed by the fading memories that are reminders of who we were, not who we are becoming. Our future is not the roads we have already traveled, but the unfinished map of where we go next. The beauty is, no matter the path, when guided by the Spirit, we know the victory that is to come. Our hope is not who we were or even who we are, but who we will become when sanctified in Christ.