Saturday, August 20, 2011

The House that Built Me

For years, I would dream of the house in Virginia that I lived in as a child. The different houses I've lived in seem to symbolize different seasons of my life. This is the house of innocence. The house of carefree childhood. Something in me knew I needed to go back there again.

So, this summer, my brother and I were driving around the countryside of Virginia with our grandmother and we stopped at our old home. We knocked on the door and talked to the couple that live there now. We told them we had lived there before them. They invited us inside which I hoped they would. They'd done a lot of remodeling, but I could still remember where everything had been.

The staircase that I ran up and down more times than I could count. The living room where my siblings and I opened Christmas gifts. The bathroom where my dad pulled my first tooth. The bedroom that I shared with my little sister, where I played with my first American Girl doll. Outside, where I learned to read and write. Where our jungle gym had been. My mom's beautiful garden (many of the things she planted are still blooming). The driveway where we'd ridden our bikes. Bittersweet feelings enveloped me as I thought of memories from years past.

It's hard to explain why, but it was healing for me to go back there and see it again as an adult. It's almost as if it merged who I was as a child with who I am now. There was closure the Lord needed to bring. My childhood is a big chapter in the story of my life. There was grief I needed to face. Grief over the loss of my innocence. At times, I long for those days again. Days before I knew the sting of grief, pain, loss, and rebellion against God. When I was a child, I was oblivious to such things. I am thankful for the days of growing up in the country as a tomboy, playing with my big brothers outside in the dirt one minute and dancing around the living room with my baby sister as a ballerina the next. I am thankful my parents protected me from the world... as much as they could.

And oh, how I long to do the same with my own children. How I wish I could protect my children from pain and sin. How I wish I could keep them from knowing the heartache I've known. I suppose most parents feel the same. How I wish I could have protected Lily and kept her alive. Seeing the place filled with memories from my childhood made me grieve the loss of my first-born never being able to make her own childhood memories.

Through all this, God is showing me that as parents, we should protect our children. However, there is only so much we can do to protect them from pain, sin, and even death. We must learn to let go and trust Him. Our children are a gift from above. God gives and God takes away. And He redeems and uses all things together for our good and His glory.

Lily is Yours now, Lord... my future children are Yours.

I heard this song which reminded me so much of going to visit our childhood home.

Thought if I could touch this place or feel it
This brokenness inside me might start healin'
Out here it's like I'm someone else,
I thought that maybe I could find myself
If I could just come in, I swear I'll leave
Won't take nothin' but a memory from the house that built me


1 comment:

  1. Wow, it looks like a beautiful place! I'm so glad it was healing for you to return to the place of your childhood. I, too find it hard to know that I'll never be able to give my child a childhood. xx


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