Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Old Wounds, New Story

For whatever reason, the last few months and weeks have been particularly emotional for me as I process old wounds in a new place. The facts of my nuclear family and personal history are unchanged; and yet, I am not. The losses I endured as a child are "old news," and yet I am processing them in a new context, as a new person, with new relationships. God has peeled back another layer of the onion as it were, and suddenly my soul is raw again. 

One specific narrative that has been unearthed is that of "Kid Sister." Dad is the Source of all Awesomeness, Brother is the natural heir of said awesomeness, and I-- am the Kid Sister. The Tag Along. In the backseat. Trying to be included, noticed, awesome. This is not the stuff of abuse or a story of neglect, but simply the confused interpretation of an eight year old girl in an ordinary family. And yet this childhood story mingled with cancer and death and some other things has in some ways morphed into a powerful narrative that essentially says, "you're not enough." 

It's never a convenient time to be emotional, to feel broken. But being so during Holy Week-- the week leading up to Easter-- has been appropriate. Because it's invited me to take my personal family baggage to the Family of God and to look at the Cross where it was paid for. It's allowed me to walk with Jesus as it were to His death and understand that even this new layer of pain that He has unearthed is being prepared for resurrection. And most poignantly, it's presented to me a different narrative, a new narrative, to subsume the old. 

What I mean is this. My pain comes from a father whose attention I craved and a brother who I feel received it to my neglect. And yet the story of Easter is all about a Father and Son who loved me so much that they gave everything in order to bring me along. Jesus Christ shed His own blood in order that I, too might be called a child of God. And not just a child, but a Son-- an heir to everything that belongs to God. Equal status with the Firstborn. Equal delight in the eyes of the Father.

The story of Easter is one that gives me a new story, a new life, a new nuclear Family. It doesn't erase the old or change the facts of history. But it does bring healing. And from that place of healing, I can embrace even the most painful aspects of the past without being mastered by them. 

What are the stories that you bring to Easter? How might the gospel reshape them?