Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Journey Home...Part 1 "A History"

I really am not sure just how many of or how long these posts will be.
They, (like me) are a work in progress.
When my Heart is very, very full and God is orchestrating a detailed renovation in my heart/life, I process by writing. This Blog is my venue and though I am very aware that it is public and open for all to read; I am truly writing for me.
One of the reasons that I pour my heart out in a public blog is that I spent much of my life hiding behind masks. Masks of perfection, of aloofness and of all being well when all was anything but well.
Now, I value transparency, both in myself and in others. Blogging publicly is part of that journey in transparency
for me.

If you had asked me a very few months ago, "Jen, where is your home?" I would have answered that it is ultimately wherever my immediate family is. This is still true, but if you were to take it farther and ask me, "but where is the home from which you grew up?"; I would have paused a moment and then told you that I was born in Halifax NS. I would go on to say that I spent my teen and adolescent years in New Glasgow, NS....but would never once have referred to it as home.

Though I spent the greater part of my most formative years in that was not home.
"Home" to me is a place of safety and security, of love and of happy memories.
New Glasgow, in my mind, held little of those; in fact, it held each of the respective opposites.
For me, it was a dark place full of pain, heart ache, abuse and trauma.
Though I remembered each of the traumatic events that occurred in that place with great accuracy I had learned to block out the pain.
I have learned an unwelcome truth in that....when you block out the pain and the emotion that goes with it, you end up blocking out all emotion and most feeling. You tend to become somewhat numb.
It is a survival technique that many of us use to cope. It works to get you through....unfortunately, it is rarely a switch to be turned on and off like a light. Once turned off, it is very difficult to even locate that switch, let alone to turn it back on.

Over the years, God has orchestrated much healing in me...and I don't mind saying so myself:
"I've come a long way Baby".
It's a life long journey for me and I have learned to be just fine with my imperfections and even gaping wounds...yet ever leaving my heart open to whatever the Lord wants to put His finger on next.
One of the things I get such a kick out of, is the oh so unique ways God will choose to bring another level of healing in my life.

For a number of years as friends and family were introduced to and came to love Face book, they would in turn invite me to join this world wide phenomenon. I was already a Blogger and knew my addictive tendencies, therefore one by one, I turned down the invitations.
That all changed a few short months ago as the realization hit me that one of the most important men in my life was soon heading out of province to University.
Having raised and worked in High Schools with teens for a number of years now, I knew that I would be sadly disappointed if I thought I would be receiving the number of phone calls that this Mother's heart would feel was adequate.
If I was to stay in touch with the daily goings ons of this child who made me a mother, I would have to do it by joining him in his world...Face book.

Little did I know as I began that journey with fear and trepidation, that it would lead to some of the most incredible connections and reconnections of my life.
One by one, friends from a time and place I had taken such care to leave behind, became endearing parts of my present.
Some caused me to remember long forgotten events with great laughter. Some reminded me of others I'd all but forgotten and some, I discovered were Kindred Spirits on a very deep heart level.

As the people from my youth in Pictou County became more and more dear to me, a revelation began to take hold.
Over the years I had learned to live without regrets, to understand that I am who I am today due to the full sum of all choices and events no matter how negative.
I would often say, there are many things I would never choose to relive, but I would, in the end still not change because they led me on a path that has led me to today.
Today, includes a family that I could not be more proud of and a level of peace and joy that I would not want to be without. So, if all of the chapters of my life have been written as a succession and result of the last....who would I be if I changed even one sentence of one chapter?
As much as I have embraced this philosophy of life for myself concerning the traumas, heart ache and hard decisions; there was a huge portion of the events that formed me that I had not embraced because I had forgotten.
When I pushed aside the pain of those New Glasgow years, I began to forget the laughter, fun and love that I also experienced in that place. One was as real as the other, unfortunately, one I could remember all too well and the other had been lost.

It soon became clear to me that it was time to take back that which had been stolen from me, to "face the demons" so to speak and to embrace all of the wonder and good of those adolescent years.
I knew I HAD to go back.
It became crystal clear to me that if I was to reach this new level of wholeness in my life, it would require facing the fears that held me today as if I was that young girl of so many years ago.
God used face book and my reconnection of a couple of friends in particular to bring about a desire and a need to visit this place I was beginning to think of as home.
It is a very good thing that He knit my heart with theirs because there was a battle yet to be faced and won in order for me to make this journey.


Shaun and Holly said...

I know you have written this for you but I love that you are allowing me (and others) to peek into your heart.

Love you!!


S. Whitney said...

great start,,looking forward to more

Cyndi said...

Beautiful, honest post Jen! One of the most amazing things about you is your gift of "making a home." Your children, friends and family know a warm, safe comfortable place complete with good food is wherever you are! That is a gift and one you have cultivated.

Jen said...

Thank you my friends...your encouragement is so very much appreciated. I questioned doing this so openly and in doing it as such, how to word the truth in ways that were appropriate. I posted less than 24 hours ago and what has truly surprised me is the depth and revelation of the private messages that have come as a result...from some of the most unlikely sources. It is a wonder to me how powerful transparency can it can touch the lives of others in places you never knew existed.

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