Owning My Story

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Yes, you read that right: Sigma Apple Pie

I attended a conservative Christian college that did not have any Greek organizations.  So you see the irony in the name, yes?

Coloring outside the lines was the name of the game.  Far enough out to have fun but not so far to be called radical.  The members had healthy appetites for Animaniacs, The Princess Bride, Groundhog Day, Papa John’s pizza and Spades.  There were also a few games of capture the flag after dark with no boundaries except… well the whole campus.

Those souls were like apples of gold in pictures of silver to me.  Laughter was good medicine.

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Last weekend about 40 of us returned to the scene of our college-crimes for a reunion.

As we sat at our favorite pizza joint or watched the basketball game in the new building, we reminisced quite a bit.

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Stories came out not all of us had heard.  Spots of rebellion were confessed. But mostly we laughed at everything we had done back in the old days…and caught up on the here and now.

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I will confess I wondered what this reunion would be like.

In my college days I could say that my family was highly dysfunctional.  But it wasn’t until I was twenty-eight that I could say it was abusive.  The 7-8 year gap in my personal understanding of my story was filled by my college years.

And so my college friends bore the unknown and ill-defined burden of carrying a friend running away from her past, trying to find freedom.

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Though I talk about all the laughter I also remember my personal pain as I plunged into a major depression the end of my junior year.  And also the pain I caused in many relationships with my girlfriends.

I was running from my story.

All I wanted was out and away from the confusion and chaos of the relationships of my home. 

I wanted the past to be the past. 

I wanted to simply start fresh.

The truth is the past is never just the past.  My past isn’t an inanimate object I can place on the shelf.

It is integrated into the present with or without my permission.

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My past is also me.

I am grateful for all the laughter, the unpredictable, and the spontaneous joy coming from every angle and person in college.

Because that laughter carried me through the darkest of days.

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And, I am sorry for the offenses I caused and could not heal.  Several girlfriends could testify of the challenge of loving such a wounded soul.

And, come to find out, many of us were very wounded souls trying to walk out of a painful past and into a more promising future.

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That was the gift of our reunion. I was able to own my story.

I saw more clearly who I was in college through the lens of nearly twenty years and a ton of healing.

And more importantly, I got to get a glimpse of all the stories of friends I thought I knew.

The truth is this.

Many of us were wounded in ways we could not talk about because we did not understand it ourselves.

And somehow, we managed to carry each other a little distance while we sought out the truth of our stories through the lens of Christ.

We were a rag tag bunch of The Wounded ~ The Healers ~ & The Warriors.

And I am ever so thankful that I walked a while with all of you.

What about you?  Have you found that you just want to run from your past?

Just one more opportunity to recreate yourself as different from who you once were?

I pray that you too find a way to…

Live out of your whole story.

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2 responses to “Owning My Story

  1. This is great. I found myself running from myself for a long time. I didn’t love myself and therefore tried to escape. The problem is, that wherever we go, we go. Lol we cannot outrun ourselves. This is when I came to the end of myself and gave up. Christ came and rescued me from the pit of my depression. He showed me that He became everything I was so that I could become everything He is. Christ in us the hope of glory! 🙂

    • You nailed it Adam! Yes, wherever we go – we go. For me it was also giving myself grace that in my college days I was fresh out of the wounding of an abusive childhood. It didn’t excuse my failings but I could look back on my time with friends and know that Christ was in me, working out his Salvation. I could also see how much healing took place even though I hurt a few on the way.

      Thanks for your comment! Do you blog as well?

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