Time and Space

We were talking about small victories, about the little choices we make along the path of finally moving on.

She and I both have our stories. We have our chapters where we had everything we thought we wanted, and turned the page to find out that those were the things we could not keep.

My fingers pressed the buttons and typed a sentence that I didn’t even know was true until after it had been said:

“I tried to make time and space my healer.”

I became the person who thought miles and state lines would be the medicine I was desperately seeking.

Sometimes I’m both the fight and flight type of person. When it comes to others, count on me to fight. But when it comes to my own pain, you’ll usually see me headed toward I-85. So, I learned the art of leaning into time and space. I put them on a pedestal and just knew that they would solve all my problems.

So, imagine my surprise when I found myself crying over a bowl of salad and asking one of my best friends if we’d ever stop having this conversation. I begged her to tell me that one day I would wake up to find that the clock’s hands had finally been able to repair all the holes in my heart.

She didn’t promise me that because she knew better. Time and space had not repaired any more of me than the last time we sat across from one another, back when Christmas lights lit up our hometown.

Time and space can sometimes be the tools in His hands, but they are not the one who can fix your brokenness. And the second you think they will, God will set them down and tell you that He’s not going to let you depend on them, you must learn to only depend on Him.

We keep thinking that age and life experience are the things that will save us. They’ll fix the pain and they will make us stronger, healthier, more reliable, less insecure. Eventually, we’re just going to grow up and get it together.

But we’re fooling ourselves when we tell ourselves that God is intimidated by our allegiance to time. We often think that if time doesn’t heal us, He’ll eventually just break down the door and say it has been long enough, I’m just going to fix you and get this over with.

We forget His patience. We forget His willingness to let us work it out and wait it out. God is not threatened or moved by our idolatry of waiting and growing up. He knows that eventually we’ll figure out that time and all its experiences don’t fix a broken heart.

He knows we will eventually have waited beyond what we can bear and will throw ourselves at Him once we finally remember that He’s the only healer there is.

Until then, we bury our heads in our work, our social lives, our gym memberships and keep telling ourselves that eventually we will feel better, be better. After some time we will have moved on and the pain will have lessened.

But the reality is, that the pain doesn’t lessen, we just get used to feeling it and it becomes our new normal. And in this new normal, we’re able to call ourselves better and healed not realizing that we forgot what it was like to live without it.

I’m sometimes glad God keeps me in front of my pain and heartbreak. That He rips down the altars that I build in front of time and space. He lets me cry into bowls of salad, and all the way down I-85. Because time doesn’t heal wounds, and when I think it does, I’ve made it my god.

And so, no… we’re not going to wake up one day and suddenly no longer feel the heartbreak. We are not going to just grow out of this stage of pain. We will either lean into Him as healer, or wear ourselves out counting on clocks that hold no power.

The Guest Room: To The Ones We’ve Hurt

Dear Hurting, 

You wonder how I know your name – oh, it’s written all over you. You’ve been hurt, and no matter how you try to mask your wounds, you are hurting.
I see you.
I completely understand why you would resent “Christians” and maybe even God himself.
Who could blame you? You didn’t deserve what happened to you, and you don’t deserve what’s happening now.
Years come and go. It’s been a while since you experienced that first hurt. But you’ve never forgotten the horrid sensation, and you are determined that to never let it happen again.
What’s worse, is that the people who are supposed to be “the good ones” do nothing but judge you. They judge you because all they see are your actions – actions that speak clearly of the pain you’ve endured. Pain that now lives behind doors of arrogance, independence, and numbness to anything representative of that “god person” who people rant and rave about.
This probably doesn’t mean much coming from me, a stranger who rants about God on the daily; but, the people whom you knew and trusted were a misrepresentation of Christ, to say the least.
Jesus’ sole purpose and desire for you is that you would know His love. A true love. It’s a love that doesn’t inflict cruel pain. A love that only brings joy. A love that lasts forever.
Deep down inside, you knew there was something wrong about the kind of love that you were shown. 

I’m here to tell you: you were right. That isn’t what love looks like.

It isn’t what actual Christianity looks like. And it definitely isn’t what Jesus looks like.

Dear Hurting, I want you to know that your deep wounds are not too deep.

You are not a lost cause.
When you first take steps to heal, it will probably feel uncomfortable. You’ll be uncovering bumps and bruises that you thought were gone; the truth is, they were merely bandaged up, never properly dealt with.
The pain you’ll feel in revisiting the circumstances that caused your scars is only temporary.  It’s like rubbing alcohol on a cut – it burns like crazy at first, but the sting is well worth the long term benefits, like protection from bacteria, infection, amputation, and even death. 
Allow the Holy Spirit to be your rubbing alcohol. 

Dear Hurting, I apologize.

I apologize for ignoring you, for judging you, for hurting you. 
You probably never expected to hear that – especially from me, one of those who caused you the most pain. I apologize on behalf of all Christians who failed at showing you the powerful and unrelenting love of the Father. I apologize that they left you to do life alone after simply diagnosing your “issues”. 
It hurts. It hurts like crazy, huh? To be rejected, lost, confused, abused, abandoned, afraid, and in the midst of all that, alone. 
I don’t want to make excuses for why we sometimes lack compassion. I know that some of us seem to live a life completely opposite of what our Bible teaches us. I can’t make any excuses because there are none.
But it hurts me almost as much as it hurts you – and it hurts God even more.

Finally, Hurting, I can not heal you. 

No person can. And anyone who tells you they can is lying. Don’t trust them. They’ll only leave you in more pain. 
If they’re not speaking truth and walking in love and only pointing you to the true One who can heal you – don’t trust them.
They are like wolves in sheep’s clothes – our common enemy’s weapon of choice. They’re not the real thing.
The only one who can heal you, redeem you, change your heart, forgive your sin, and make your future more abundant than you could have imagined is Jesus – a love greater than any love you’ll ever know.
I’m sorry. Sorry that these aren’t the words you’ve always been told. I’m sorry that they told you they could fix you, give you all the right answers, heal you.
Dear Hurting, will you forgive us?

Dear Hurting, will you let LOVE heal you?

Profile PictureKristina Smith. At 31 years old, I still have the faith of a child. I’m obsessed with love and all the power that it yields when given & received in its most pure, raw, organic, & natural form.

Currently residing in the on & popping city of Gainesville, GA (see: sarcasm), I work for Adventures in Missions, a non-profit Christian missions organization, and am committed to unveiling hidden potential in the missionaries that I disciple. 

Instagram: @krissi1908