“Love like you’ve never been hurt” -Satchel Paige
This is a quote used by our pastor in yesterday’s sermon on love. I don’t really like it. Not because it’s not true or necessary but because I don’t want to do it. I mean really. If you’ve been hurt, really hurt, it’s very very hard to love again, much less love like you haven’t been hurt, especially love the same person who hurt you. I would much rather put up walls and not let anyone in, especially those who have hurt me. It makes good sense to me to not allow anyone close enough to hurt me again. Why would I allow myself to ever be in the position to feel the pain of loss or hurt again, if I can help it?
I’ve been hurt, really hurt, a few times in my life. Four times, that I can think of right this minute. The first was when my parents got divorced, the second was a combination of a few boys in junior high and high school who really hurt me in relationships, the third was our two miscarriages and the fourth was when we adopted our daughter.
I forgave my father for the hurt he caused me and we went on to have a good relationship before he died and I am so thankful for that. Since then, God has given me a few replacement fathers that I am so grateful for. They have filled a whole in my heart and I have found healing and that father/daughter relationship I always wanted.
I forgave my boyfriends who hurt me. I have worked through the trust issues I had from those hurts and learned to love my husband and trust him fully. It took time and counseling, but it has happened and I am so thankful for that healing.
It took me a long long time to come to the place of allowing myself to love another child after suffering two miscarriages, but I now have birthed two more babies since then and they have healed my heart. I will never forget those children I lost, or stop loving them, but I have come to peace with the losses and now fully can love my children without worrying if I will loose them.
And then there is my daughter. I have five precious boys whom I love with all my heart. There is nothing like a mom and son relationship, but I always wanted a daughter. I prayed for a daughter for years, and finally we were blessed to adopt an 11 year old girl with intellectual disability two years ago. I had visions of doing her hair and painting her nails and tea parties. When we brought her home she wanted nothing to do with me. It got worse and worse and finally got to the point where she was hitting me whenever I got within a foot of her. It was terrible. I was so looking forward to a daughter and got the absolute opposite of what I wanted. She hated me and she wanted nothing to do with hair bows, nail polish or tea parties. She wanted nothing to do with me. Honestly, it broke my heart and I started really putting up walls and not allowing her in emotionally. It was the only way to survive it. Over the past two years it has gotten better, as in she doesn’t hit me much anymore, but she still doesn’t like me. We don’t really have any relationship at all. She rejects any kind of moves I make toward her and frankly I just don’t try anymore. It’s easier that way.
I recognize that we can never have a relationship if I don’t try, but it’s really, really hard. She has hurt me deeply, and I don’t see any reason why she would do anything different in the future. Trying to reach out to her will cause me more pain. There is nothing in me that wants to do that. Nothing. But I know I will never come to the healing I need, if I don’t try. She may never change. She may never want to have anything to do with me, but if I don’t try I will never know. A closed heart cannot give or receive love. That’s not the person I want to be. I am only hurting myself. I am taking the tiniest of baby steps. I am praying God will give me the tremendous courage it takes to make tiny steps toward opening my heart, but I am not even close to being there yet, but I am trying. It’s so hard! I know I am not alone in this. I know I am not the only hurt person. If you have experienced deep hurt and pain and feel like you cannot open your heart again, keep trying. Know that you aren’t the only one. I am trying too. Take the tiniest steps. It will take time, lots of time, I know. But maybe years from now, things might be different. I will never know if I don’t try.