Sunday, September 23, 2012

Confession #22 - I'm Sending You Back to The Future!

It was the summer of 1985  my best friend just got a brand new Nissan 300zx for her birthday.  Fast cars, and fast friends that was the crowd that I hung with; a young teen on the brink of loosing her innocence.  His name was John.  He was mildly handsome and very flirtatious and for a girl like me who was craving attention, he fit the bill.  It didn't matter that my friend had been seeing him, I liked him and I was going to be his.  By the end of the summer I got my wish.  When school started so did the pressures of being "in love".  He said he loved me too so it was okay; he was the one.  My friends pressured me too; pressed me into doing what I knew I wasn't ready for.  I gave in anyway. 

The breakup came three months later.  My parents discovered the truth and so they wouldn't let me see him anymore.  My heart broke as I picked up the phone for the last time to speak to John, "I'm sorry but my mom and dad won't let me see you anymore," I mumbled through my tears.  "Okay" was his reply.  And John quickly moved on with his life.  In fact, he immediately began dating a girl he would flirt with in front of my face while we were dating.  Then on to another, this time a girl I worked with.  Each time I would see him come pick her up after work my heart would ache.  Each time I'd pass them making out in the school halls, I'd run in the bathroom and cry.  Inevitably I would run into them at the mall, or McSugars, the popular high school hang out, that would literally bring on a panic attack.  This went on for 3 years.  By graduation, there had been other boys I dated and even one that I had been seriously seeing for most of my senior year, but I still hadn't gotten over John.  It was as if a piece of me was missing and he had it.

The years passed and I'd run into John less and less.  I married my husband eleven years later.   This was the man that God had picked out, the man that should have gotten what I gave to John.  However, I never really gave John much thought, he became a fleeting regret of the past and I felt happy. 

Fast forward to three months ago - approximately 27 years after we began dating.  I was checking Facebook and noticed that it was my friend's birthday.  This was the same girl who was seeing John, back when I wanted to date him.  I posted a Happy Birthday wish, and then my mind began to drift, reminiscing about the past.  Not a past that I'm particularly proud of.  Anyway John was on my mind and I started to panic a little as I did in the past.  All I could think about is God forbid he should see me like this, older and much, much fatter!  Here I am a grown woman married to a wonderful man, and I am freaking out at the meer thought of seeing someone I haven't seen in 27 years.  So I prayed, "God please, please, please, don't EVER let me run into John again."  "I don't think I can face him." 

Wouldn't you know it, very next day I met my girlfriend for a play date at one of the children's play centers.  I'm sitting there helping my daughter into dress up clothes, I glance up and across the room, no joking, there HE WAS!  It was John!  OH MY GOODNESS, all those feelings came rushing back.  Panic ensued, I felt like I just climbed into the Delorean at 88 miles per hour and raced back to 1985.  My jaw dropped, my complexion turned white and I stood there with my mouth open wide staring straight ahead.  My friend came up to me and asked if I was okay.  It jarred me.  My head shaking a violent no from side to side, I went to hide in a corner.  I sat there for at least ten minutes hyperventilating.  What in the world was wrong with me?  Was God telling me it was time to face my fears? 

Once I was somewhat calm, I explained the situation to my friend.  She was shocked and asked if I was planning on talking to him.  My reply, "NO! Absolutely not."  As the words left my mouth I turned around and nearly walked smack dab into John. 

"Hello John", I said with a warm smile.  He looked completely perplexed.  "It's Joanne, Joanne LaSorella, well Cuchel now."  We spoke for a few minutes catching up and then parted with a handshake. 

That was it, the panic, the fear, the loss, GONE!  It was over.  I had given John control over me for twenty seven years but now, God had forced me to face my fears to prove to me that He had healed my wounds.  He proved to me that I could be proud of who I am no matter what, and that who He had created me to be, I was. 

The point is the heartbreak and insecurity I suffered after loosing my first love is one of the main issues that led me to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the first place.  I know that God used this pain in my life for His good.  God had set me free of the bondage I had to these emotions when I accepted Christ, only I didn't realize it. The lesson here is found in John 8:36, "So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."  When you accept Christ, you are free from all bondage, all sin; you are healed.  You don't need to live in the past you can go back to your future knowing that Christ's sacrifice on the cross broke the chains that sometimes keep us enslaved to our past sin.  In Matthew 27 verse 51 when Jesus gave up his spirit and died on the cross it says, "At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom."  This is the curtain that separated the high priests from the presence of God in the temple.  The death of Christ actually ripped the curtain that separated us from God and to allowed us to be in the very presence of God.  It's God's presence in our lives that heals our broken hearts and mends our inner wounds.

"Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ's sacrifice.  And thank you for forcing me to face my fears and for making me realize that you did free me from my emotional bondage.  Please continue to break the chains that bind me so that I can continue to do your work and to live life to the fullest.  And dear Lord, bring my sisters in Christ back to their futures by helping them realize that they are also free indeed."  AMEN!

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