Onward and Upward

Those words permeate parts of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. And they speak to me today. A friend sent me these amazing words:

“After my sister had a brain aneurysm she has had continual chronic pain. I did some research about pain, and how some pain is phantom pain. It’s pain that our brain tells us we have, but its not real pain. Oh it feels real, but there is no physical reason for the pain. The time of genuine pain was back during the event or trauma that caused the pain in the first place. Some researchers say that the phantom pain comes from experiencing the pain, then thinking about the pain, anticipating it, dreading it and more. This causes a loop in the brain that cycles around, like a videotape that has continuous feed – no end, unless someone hits the stop button. They have worked at teaching people diversionary techniques that fragment the cycle and over time defuse the pain. When I tried to share this with my sister a couple of years ago, at first she was greatly offended because her pain was real to her – and visible to us. Five years have passed and she is doing better, but her outlook had to change in order for her to move forward. She had to let go of the pain…recognize what was real and what was in her memory.”

She then went on to talk about our time in France, and I made the connection. Perhaps some of my current pain is phantom pain. Perhaps I’m locked in this continuous loop of pain that I can’t seem to get out of. It all makes sense.

So it’s time to move onward and upward. To place France back in the past where it belongs. To learn everything I can from our experience, yes, but to not allow the pain of the experience to jade my todays and tomorrows. How? I’m not sure, but I think praising God has something to do with it all. Thanking Him for all He’s done through the trials. And singing songs of His deliverance.

On Friday I put in a new CD, the latest Mercy Me, “All that is within me.” The entire project spoke volumes to me. It’s as if they wrote it for me, for the disappointment, for the sadness that I didn’t live up to my own expectations (and God’s?) in France, for all the times I’ve questioned why. One song stood out:

My Heart Will Fly

Why this happened i cannot explain
why write the script with such heartache and pain
could there not have been an easier way
watching life through this glass so faded
i cannot see the bigger picture taking place
oh to understand one day.

[chorus] When i finally see you face to face and my tears will fly away, away.

It won’t be long until we all go home
with all things revealed and on that day we’ll finally know
oh, as we are fully known.

And what appears as incomplete is still completely Yours
and one day we’ll see as we’ve been seen and we’ll soar.

***

What strikes me is that I know that one day I’ll fly and soar on heaven’s wings. But I sense that God is calling me to abundance RIGHT now. That my flying and soaring can happen on earth despite the bewilderment. And that can only happen in the circle of trust between Jesus and myself. I don’t have to know the why or the why not. I have the choice to sing today.

And sing I did. Raising hands to the high rafters of our church, I sang. And meant-meant-meant every quarter note of praise.

Onward and upward, Jesus. I want to follow You onward and upward. Bring me along. Heal the phantom pain. Heal the real pain. Help me to stop looking back at the plow behind me and look forward to the row You want me to hoe. Lead me forward. Help me leap forward. In joy. In trust. In hope. Take me on a new adventure. Please, oh please. I want to move onward and upward.

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