My apologies to those of you who have been following my blog. It has been a month since my last blog and there are reasons for that. At the very beginning of starting what I believe God would have me do I stated that I would not put myself under any pressure and I would be open and honest with what I write. The last four or so weeks have been difficult for a number of reasons but one in particular.
Sometimes in life we experience something that happens to us and we can find no explanation for it and the harder we try to understand the more confused we can become. During the past four weeks I encountered one of those experiences. I had no idea that a planned visit to see someone would leave me devastated and in some respect traumatised and struggling to cope with things. The fact that I have been on holidays for the last two weeks has been very timely.
The deep hurt that came over me left me demoralised and not really wanting to engage with people, not a good way to feel for a Pastor. Being at the other side of the pulpit has not changed the fact that like anyone else I hurt at times, I get disappointed at times. Position does not make a Pastor immune to pain. For the past two weeks I have tried to write this blog but was unable to do so until now. Why now?
Two days ago I got a surprise visit from someone who was delivering something and as they were leaving they asked me how I was keeping. I gave them the party line that I was fine and then corrected my lie by telling them that I had been struggling. I shared only briefly with them because I had an appointment to keep but it was the first that I had shared any details with anyone and in sharing briefly I pray I can begin my recovery.
So what turned an ordinary planned visit into a nightmare? The simple answer, a person from my past. The person that I was visiting was an innocent participant in what would unfold. They had absolutely no idea that what they were sharing with me was tearing me apart inside, so much so that I almost got up and ran out of the house. They were sharing with me some of the things they and their old acquaintances got up to before they became a Christian and they mentioned someone from my past that had brought much pain and trouble to my family.
To be honest I cannot remember how much I referred to this person from the past in an earlier blog when I was sharing how my mother was somehow involved with this man and how she abandoned us for approximately a year according to my memory. I can specifically remember hearing that she had gone to Sunderland but had no idea why.
There have been times in the past when I tried to guess as to why our mother would abandon us for that period of time, what would take her away from her husband and two young children, why would she go to Sunderland? I don’t know why but I used to wonder did she go away and have a baby and then return home but this was pure guessing. The truth was I did not know and it was unlikely that I ever would know. I had asked God that if I had a brother or sister somewhere that I did not know about would he somehow make it known but I had no idea that something else would come to light.
As the person I was visiting continued to share innocently from his past I found myself getting angrier and angrier as I remembered vividly how one of the men he mentioned had hurt our family. I don’t know for sure if this person had any part to play in my mother’s suicide but I always personally thought that he had some part to play in it. Suddenly the person I was visiting mentioned that this man had a brother in Sunderland and he started to share a particular vice he was involved in.
It was as if Pieces of a lost jigsaw had been found and the picture was being completed before me. I struggled to listen to the stories I was being told about this man’s brother in Sunderland, especially as there was a strong possibility that my mother may have been a victim in it. My anger turned to devastation and feeling physically sick. At this point I wanted to get up and run out of the house but this person would have been devastated if they thought that they were responsible for making me feel the way I did.
I had been in the person’s house coming up to two hours so I said it was time I went home. Somehow God enabled me to pray before I left. As I returned home my emotions were everywhere, I was glad my wife was already in bed because I did not want to try and explain the state I was in and why. For days I could not get out of my mind what might have been happening to my mother during her time in Sunderland. I tried to convince myself that it was just a coincidence that the man who was somehow involved with my mother had a brother in Sunderland and that she was somewhere else. I have failed to convince myself.
Where do I go from here? A number of weeks ago I preached a series on “The Snares of Satan”. Satan has many snares that he uses to try and capture the children of God, he knows strategically where to place his snares for optimum devastation and sometimes we can innocently get caught up in one of them. Today the Lord reminded me of some of the things that I preached during that series of messages and I believe Satan ensnared me in the pain of the past.
There are perhaps things in many people’s lives that have been left unresolved and we think that we are over them or have come to terms with them, that is until something new is revealed and old deep wounds are once again opened up. The deeper the hurt the deeper the wound and it has been said that deep wounds take longer to heal. Satan knows where we are most vulnerable, he knows precisely where to pick and try and open up old wounds.
Thank God that he can bind up and heal all our wounds, the problem is that sometimes we do not let him. During this experience devastation and deep hurt has in some part kept me from coming to the great physician. I am not going to try and spiritually psychoanalyse my experience and give advice accordingly. What I will say is this, sometimes, suddenly and unexpectedly things from our past can surface in ways that can affect us deeply and devastatingly and we may not react the way we perhaps know that we should.
Be careful if you get ensnared in the pain of the past, it can prevent you living for God now and trusting God with your future.
“He heals the broken hearted and binds up all our wounds”