The Girl Who Awoke from the Dust and Begged for Forgiveness

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I thought about her today.  My heart dropped to the floor and I wept. I went and found a picture of her.  Wow, it’s been so long.  I stared into her eyes and let her remorse and sadness burn a memory in my mind.  I acknowledged her.

{Sigh} So, this is what it feels like to remove a wall that protects a heart.  This is what it feels like to have pure love.  To feel love so hot it burns and then erupts from the inner core like a slumbering volcano that has awoken from hibernation.  Love that’s so fiery it bubbles and rushes from its peak, like hot lava that is about to meet a quiet forest.  Love has that kind of power.  It can swallow a forest of fear and shame and regret and sadness until they are no more.  Love can clean an entire region, and claim her territory and demand a fresh start.

We all have the capability to love like that.  Our love can literally bubble and burn through years, decades and vast seasons of anger, sorrow, and hatred.  Yeah, it’s that powerful. And yeah, we can do it.

I am beginning to feel that kind of love.  And it’s crazy good.  I went for a run the other day and thought about my week.  I thought about the things that made me happy and the people that I came in contact with.  I thought about my focus and I smiled.  And I felt the need for more.  I want more!  I want to strip every layer of sadness and anger from my body.  And I feel like I should start with her. The girl that used to haunt me.  I shamed her until I finally just blocked her from my memory.  I don’t know which is worse; being haunted (which at least means she was thought of), or being totally forgotten.  Both are pretty sad.  I know one thing now, she doesn’t deserve to be forgotten.

The girl who awoke from the dust and flashed through my thoughts was 20 years old. Oh man, how do I describe her?

Growing up, she had lots of friends, good friends that were lots of fun and they loved her and she loved them.  She loved Junior High, she was the Student Body President, loved to be happy, loved to act, was always on the honor roll, was a gymnast, singer, piano player.  Had so much going for her and saw no limits.  And then her family life started to get shaky.  Her foundation was getting unstable.  And when a rug gets pulled out from under you, well, you lose your footing.  You get wobbly.  Her foundation, her rug, was being pulled. She wobbled.

Fast forward a few years and that smart girl was failing classes in High School, got really sick, dropped out of school and had to do home school for a while.  She stopped praying, she stopped doing the things that helped keep her own personal foundation strong.  She became lost.  She gained weight and started down the self loathing path.  She lost her genuine smile.  Now, she had moments that were great, I don’t want to paint a completely dismal picture, but the snowball was getting bigger and bigger every year.  She barely graduated High School and didn’t even bother applying for college, giving up her dream of one day attending Harvard or any college for that matter.  She had chosen the wrong path.  So, she ran away once her High School experience was finally over.

She found refuge in New York.  She started putting pieces of herself back together.  She had happy moments again.

But then she came home and realized that home was a mirage.  So she ran away again and went back to New York.  She took her sister with her this time, because that’s what big sister’s do when your parents are about to sign divorce papers.  This poor 20-year old lost her heart that summer.  She had to.  She became numb.  She built a wall.  And a forest grew to protect that wall.  She became too independent.

And this is where I come in.  17 years later.  With love that flows like hot lava.  What does a heart want to do when it’s all doped up on happiness and love?  It wants to forgive.  I want to pluck any and all ugliness from my soul.

Today, I forgive.  What a beautiful day!  I forgive the 20-year old me.  And I applaud her and I thank her.  Because she did her best.  I have nothing but love for her right now.  It’s remarkable.  The holes in my boat are being repaired so much quicker than I could have ever imagined.

I forgive her for simply not feeling.  For not mourning the loss of her family.

I didn’t cry when I found out that my family was finally broken.  I don’t remember anything about it.  I don’t remember packing up the home I grew up in.  I don’t even think I went to help. I simply don’t know what I was doing.  I felt nothing. I didn’t mourn.  I amputated that whole experience from some cortex in my brain.  And that’s not healthy.

I forgive her for not taking good care of her body and I acknowledge her ignorance and youth.  I forgive her for doing what she needed to do by building a wall around her heart.  I forgive her for not loving and feeling loved, which is the essence of life. She was a robot.  I forgive her for being mean to herself.

Today, I share hope with her. I sat face to face with her in my mind.  We were together and I asked her to just sit still and I painted her.  The new her.  I started with a brand new canvas.  I used only bright, beautiful colors.  She sat under a golden sun.  I gave her a smile that stretched across the canvas and moved her shoulders back.  I put light back into her eyes and gave her confidence.  I gave her soul wings and I let her go.

And then I played the piano.  In my mind, I wrote a new song for her.  I took out all the sad, minor, awkward notes and only gave her harmonic, beautiful notes.  I rewrote her song and I titled it, “Hope.”

Today, I gave her a hug and I laughed with her.  I told her that she is going to be great. I told her not to worry anymore.  She doesn’t need to have fear of any kind.  She is watched over and is not alone.  She is going to serve a mission for her church and love every minute of it and she won’t want to come home.  She will feel a love so immense for the people of Spain and for God.

She will get married and have a beautiful family.  Four kids! She’ll have a husband that loves her endlessly.  Her eyes watered as she burst with anxiousness to get to that beautiful place where happiness and wholeness exist.  I told her that her Mom and Dad are great.  Everyone is fine and she still has a family that loves her.

I told her that God loves her.  He forgives her too.  I told her that she is smart and powerful and she can move mountains with her faith.  She will learn so much about how to be healthy and she loves vegetables and growing her own food (she nearly fell off the chair with that one.)  She loves to run, she has run countless races including 3 marathons.  Her jaw dropped.  She hates to run.  She hates exercise.  But I could see in her eyes that she believes me.  She hopes and will do anything, anything at all to get to that place.  She can’t wait, wants to fast forward to….

Now.

And now she is fine and loving all that comes her way.  Her life is crazy and funny and hard and easy and everything in between.  But it is beautiful because hope and love make everything more beautiful.

Time for me to put her picture away and embrace the present.  Treat it like a gift, wrap it with a bow and cherish every beautiful second.  I need to thank her one last time.  Because without her, I would not have devoted 14+ years to studying health, I would not put my running shoes on and do hard things.  I wouldn’t be so passionate about motherhood and family and my faith in God would not be this strong.  She has blessed my life so much.  Thanks to her, I have a purpose.

I’m guessing we all have some version of ourself that we’d like to change.  Some part of our history we’d like to erase or do differently.  And even though it’s impossible to go back and undo what’s been done, we can embrace who we have become and make the necessary changes for the future starting NOW.  There simply is no better time than RIGHT NOW. Please do yourself a favor and love who you are.  You can move mountains too.

Find your happy. Forgive and live.  Let your inner volcano erupt with nothing but love.


5 thoughts on “The Girl Who Awoke from the Dust and Begged for Forgiveness

  1. I love this post! I have been finding my lost, forgotten, hated or ignored girls. It has been a hard but amazing journey…. to find them, remember and learn to love them…. To finally hear what they have to say and the sorrow and pain they felt. It is a beautiful journey and I resonated with how beautifully you said it. Thank you for this post!!

  2. I am in a place that is hard to know what to think! Where do I put this story in my life of Mommy make it all better? Knowing in my heart that no matter how much I yearn to take away the pain for someone so special, that there is only one person I can do that for and that is myself. how? by returning the love that has been so openly extended to me.

  3. Wow!! You have a gift for writing, and for expressing just how powerful that divine gift of love and charity can be, when we allow it into our hearts through taking even the smallest steps to just start somewhere, and then to keep on trying.

    Thank you for being in tune to being able to write words that are the starting point of restructuring what seems, for too many of us, an unfinished symphony in the circumstances of life. There is always hope! And to quote a great BYU Speech: Healing = Courage + Action + Grace
    You seem to have successfully found healing, and I am happy for you!

    May you find continued strength and focus to find whatever weather you daily find painted on the canvas of your life! (Since you like to paint pictures, I am following suit! 🙂

    Warm Regards, Christine

    1. Thank you so much Christine for taking the time to comment on my blog. I truly appreciate all of your kind words. I really love that quote you shared from a BYU speech. Publishing this post was kind of scary for me, but it has proven to be very liberating and healing. Sometimes all it takes is courage I guess. I hope you are enjoying all the beauty this life has to offer! Wishing you the best!
      Mandy

  4. Both girls were and are beautiful and strong! You couldn’t be the amazing women you are today without the journey you took before. Other peoples choices obviously effect our lives but they don’t decide our happiness. Well done Mandy Pants 😉 You’re beautiful heart not only helps your own family but others in their healing as well. So much love to you!

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