They say time heals all wounds but that wasn’t my experience.
As time went on my wounds deepened. I ran the day shift from behind a hostess stand at a restaurant off the beaten path with barely a customer on most days. I was trapped alone with my memories. Visions of my romance now over, scraped slowly across my mind and tore harsher than they had the weeks before. My Bible was flopped open hidden in a cubby of the hostess stand but the words carried little meaning. They’d offered beauty in better days but now they seemed empty of answers. Nothing was able to penetrate a shell of numbness holding in deep pain. Time wasn’t healing anything.
Every park bench, every store, every starry night had been ours, and now I still traipsed through them, but he was missing. Each place was now mine alone with the rawness of his departure haunting them. No matter how strong I started each day, eventually a memory of us would slay me, my day’s strength sucked out.
I considered a rebound.
Maybe the only way out of this much pain was to create new memories. Any guy with a kind word and nice face could help me. I wouldn’t take the time to heal and become someone whole who could really give. I would grab someone and take. I would use him to replace my pain. Anyone.
As a Christian there was a check in my spirit about something as shallow and immediate as a new relationship to replace the old. A rebound probably wasn’t really God’s will, but surely God felt for my suffering. He saw my tears. He heard my prayers. And He wasn’t making any of it go away. Maybe it was up to me.
A passing waitress broke me from my cell. She’d seen my Bible, and maybe a wince at a memory. “I’m inviting you to a service in a couple of weeks held by a woman with a prophetic gifting.”
I’d been curious about this kind of meeting but had never attended one.
“How will I know that she’s really hearing from God?” I asked.
“Start praying now,” she replied. “Ask God for a word about something only He could know.”
As I considered the invitation over the following days I prayed “God, if I go, would you please show me how to move on from this heartbreak? Tell me how to get out of this pain that erupts from everywhere I look and every song I hear. I’m begging you.”
I was desperate for a word from God so I went. I stood in line that night with others waiting for a prophetic word and finally she came to me. She looked right into my eyes, deep into my soul, and paused, waiting on God. My heart was pounding and I was secretly begging God to speak. Begging for relief. Her silence broke with a gentle, joyful laugh, like she’d seen it… what I needed… and it blessed her. “God’s going to heal your memories young lady.”
That statement floored me. Of course I knew God healed bodies, but memories? I’d never heard of that. I knew in that second that healed memories were exactly what I’d needed all along. I needed to look at that bench, remember him, and have it not feel like a knife. I needed to walk through a store, pick up something we used to buy together, pay for it myself, and have it feel insignificant.
I began to pray for healed memories constantly, and everything began to change. The memories still came, but I took every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5) and I claimed healing. Little by little the memories weakened. I was climbing out of darkness step by step, day by day, memory by memory.
I gave up the idea of a rebound and committed not to date anyone while I healed. I read a book (“Your Knight in Shining Armor: Discovering Your Lifelong Love“) that encouraged my commitment and lead me through a time of becoming a whole and healthy woman again.
“Heal their memories Lord,” is a prayer I’ve prayed over many others since my experience. Women who have lost children in and out of the womb. Men who have returned from the torments of war. Dear friends who have lost marriages or who are fighting to hold onto painful ones.
In my experience it is not time that we can count on to heal wounds. It is the Great Physician we can cry out to and claim victory in. He does not take away our pasts but will make gentler the memories connected to them. We can’t demand the world not to “trigger” us, but we can trust the Lord to disarm the power our memories once had over us.
In support of you and your journey,