the past don’t own us anymore

When Eliana gets especially fussy (it does happen sometimes), when I feel like bedtime has to be just around the corner, when these momma  bones get tired and ache for a rest, when bobby pins no longer contain the mess that on better days I call a hairstyle, I turn on music.  Usually, it’s just the cure we need. It focuses our hearts, calms our spirits. I wish you could sit on the living room floor with us and watch my sweet girl respond to music. It’s a beautiful thing. She looks up and grows very still. She listens. I can be a pretty practical and sensible person, but I don’t care what people say–my baby listens to music. She has since she was in my tummy.  Sometimes she sings along. That’s my favorite.

Last night was one of those nights, friends. One of those nights you start checking the clock for bedtime an hour early. One of those nights where there’s nothing else to do but snuggle and sing away the last hours of the day. One of the songs we listened to last night was “The Past Don’t Own Us Anymore” by my friends Jenny & Tyler. And I found myself fighting tears while I cuddled my sweet baby. It’s from a collection of Love Songs, so I’m pretty sure this song isn’t actually written about the situation I’m about to apply it to. I feel like that’s one of the beautiful things about art, though– it speaks to our souls, and the situation doesn’t have to be the same for it to hit you. So, onward.

In high school, I had a friend who always used to tell me that my problem with boys was that I invested myself way too much.  “When you fall, Lindsey, you fall HARD. Every. Time.” she would say to me in an attempt to get me to lighten up.  My friend was right, but not just about boys. I fall hard about nearly everything. The last time I tried to do anything ambitious regarding a career, it was not pretty.  It left my heart pretty battered, and it took a long time to heal.  Because when I apply for a job, I don’t just write words on a piece of paper (or type endless paragraphs into stupid little boxes of an online form), I put my heart down on that paper. I imagine myself in that position, I develop a passion for it.  When I fall, I fall hard.  And when that rejection comes back, they didn’t reject my words on paper. They rejected me. my heart. Needless to say, after that happened a few (I stopped counting at twenty interviews in the first 9 months out of college–to say nothing of the rejections that happened pre-interview) times, it made it difficult to want to share anything with anyone.

“Pain came ’round and turned my soul stone hard
Floods came rushing up from underneath
Dark and lonesome memories
I tried, I tried to make them leave
Why can’t I just make myself believe?”

For several months after the whole teaching debacle, I tried hard not to fall for anything. Which is hard to do when you’re pregnant. It’s hard to do when you bring your heart home from the hospital wrapped in a gauzy blanket. The fear I lived in the first few weeks of Eliana’s life was crippling.  This was the hardest I had ever fallen. I just knew that any minute, it would all be snatched away from me.

DSCF0082“Of this I’m sure–The past don’t own us anymore.”

This whole childbirth education thing is exciting, but it terrifies me. I’ve known for months that this is something I care deeply about. But I’ve been afraid. Afraid to talk about it, afraid to try to do anything about it because I don’t want to face rejection.  Past experience tells me that I can’t handle it. Past experience tells me that when I fall, I fall hard and falling hurts.  Past experience tells me that I invest myself too much. Past experience says build a wall and hide your heart and keep the things you love to yourself.

“Of this I’m sure– The past don’t own us anymore.”

The Lord has been so faithful to heal my heart and to teach me how to fall hard without placing my hope in the wrong places. To teach me that he isn’t a big meanie in the sky who just likes to do mean things to us to see how we’ll respond. To remind me that he is near, and he is present, even when it feels otherwise.

“Of this I’m sure– The past don’t own us anymore.”

Ever since I started this fundraiser, I have been so blessed by the words that people have shared.  I keep getting emails, messages, and texts from people who hear my heart and encourage it.  Some of these are people I haven’t even talked to in years. I’ve thought a few times about what will happen if I don’t raise the money by August 5th.  I wonder how I’ll feel. We really can’t afford this right now, so it will certainly mean things being put on hold for quite a while, I imagine. And that’s okay. I’m certain that the Lord will do what he wants, and that I’ll get to be a part of whatever that is however he wants.  Today, I remember this, and I feel it very strongly, and on days that I don’t, like last night, I whisper to myself , “Of this I’m sure– The past don’t own us anymore.”

“Grace came down anew to feed the fallow
Love came showing us our deeper need
We grew wiser from the storms
Built our home on better shores
Found the fire burned more faithful than before
Of this I’m sure–The past don’t own us anymore.”

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