Thursday, October 21, 2010

empty my hands


"letting go. a necessary life skill. one [of the multitude] that i am still learning. the past, people, places, lost hopes and dreams. i collect them all the way some people collect precious moments figurines, all lined up collecting dust on the random shelves and hidden corners inside of me. some commemorate specific events, most could have a more generic inscription, like "regret". i occasionally take them out, one by one, polish them off as if to admire them and then carefully put them back in their places. the act of letting go is too difficult. i don't know how... to empty my heart. to empty my hands." ~ Myself, July 12, 2008

i wrote this at a time when i was trying to come to grips with some losses in my life, or perhaps, more accurately, the reality that i had not dealt with significant losses in my life. the topic of this particular entry was my childhood home that we moved away from when i was ten years old. it was more than a move to a new town. within the span of a few years, my entire world changed: my mom had remarried and suddenly, i had a father figure for the first time in my life and along with that, a new school, a new house, and a new life.

i grew up dreaming about being able to buy that house someday, driving by it whenever i was near the area. life was moving forward at a rapid pace and all i wanted was to go back; to grow backwards. years later, when the house went on the market, i was able to walk through it again for the first time. it was profoundly sad. and completely empty. although so many memories remained within those walls, i was faced with the reality that that life was gone. forever. owning the home as my own personal memento from my childhood wasn't going to change that. i could never go back. twenty years after walking out of its doors for the last time, i knew, i had to let go; not simply of the house, but of that dream.

and so, the coping mechanism i learned as a child, i brought with me into adulthood: never let go. not really. look and act and talk as if you've let go, but keep your hands - and your heart - clenched tightly.

life has continued to move at its same rapid pace and i have wasted so muc of it still wanting just to go back; to grow backwards. "if i could just go back to the moment right before this... or that..." to the moment life changed in a way that i never wanted it to or now wished it hadn't. those moments that forever alter life: the day before we moved out of that old house; the day before my stepfather, whom i grew to adore, was tragically killed in an accident; the day before my marriage ended. sometimes we think we are holding onto memories, but when we stop and open our clenched hands we find we're only holding onto sorrow and regret. And all the while, God is whispering to us to open them up to Him. Lord, empty my hands...

"It is a lie that time heals all wounds; only the Holy Spirit heals." Pastor Chris Hodges

I've got voices in my head and they are so strong
And I'm getting sick of this, oh Lord, how long
Will I be haunted by the fear that I believe
My hands like locks on cages
Of these dreams I can't set free

But if I let these dreams die
If I lay down all my wounded pride
If I let these dreams die
Will I find that letting go lets me come alive?

So empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with You
Oh empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with You
With You, with You Lord

These voices in speak instead and what's right is wrong
And I'm giving into them, please Lord, how long
Will I be held captive by the lies that I believe
My heart's in constant chaos and it keeps me so deceived

But if I let these dreams die
If I could just lay down my dark desire
If I let these dreams die
Will I find you brought me back to life

So empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with You
Oh Lord, empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with You

Cause my mind is like a building burning down
I need Your grace to keep me, keep me from the ground
And my heart is just a prisoner of war
A slave to what it wants and to what I'm fighting for

So won't you empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with You
Oh empty my hands
Fill up my heart
Capture my mind with You

With You, with You
I need You, I need you my Lord
With You, with You
I need you now Lord

Empty My Hands,
Tenth Avenue North Lyrics

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