Posted by: Jack Brown | July 6, 2012

Closing Time

I often find God does things in my life with very precise timing. I’m not talking about changing traffic lights to get somewhere faster (personally I think he’s more likely to give me a red light to remind me to stop rushing about), I’m talking about the way certain events line up in ways that are freakily connected. In small examples of this songs come on the radio just that speak directly to something I’m praying about at that moment, or a coupon comes in the mail from Firestone just as I need to have that particular thing done to my car (call it coincidence if you will, I see it as provision).

Sometimes, though, the connections are larger and more significant, and are meant to get my attention in a big way. One of those happened just recently. As I’ve shared on this blog, I’ve been in counseling for the past few months processing instances of sexual abuse in my childhood. It’s been an extremely productive time of reflection and self-realization (“Oh…THAT’S why I react that way”), and I’m very thankful for the counselor I’ve been seeing. I can honestly say I’m a different person now than I was 9 months ago, and those weekly times in her office were eye-opening, heart-opening, and tools in the hands of a healing God.

A couple of weeks ago I came to the realization that my time of processing, at least this particular season of it, was drawing to a close. I had an appointment with my counselor for Friday, and I decided to tell her I didn’t need any further appointments for now. Now some of you may recall that this whole journey began for me with Jerry Sandusky’s arrest last year for molesting young boys while part of the Penn State football program. Sandusky reminded me strongly of the man I encountered in my youth, and the news stories of his arrest hit me like a brick wall. So it seemed appropriate to me that on that Friday, just a few hours after I told my counselor I felt I had moved on enough to end my sessions, Sandusky was convicted of almost all counts against him. The headline “Sandusky Convicted” also hit me like a brick wall, but in a good way. The timing just seemed to much to believe. I sat by the television and cried for those young boys, now young men, and what they had to be feeling at that moment. And I prayed they would also find good people to walk alongside them in their path to healing. I knew what I experienced was only a shadow of the evil they encountered, but then again when you run into evil who quantifies? I wept for them and I wept for myself, but my tears were different than they were last autumn. Then they were the bitter tears of facing truth, now they were healthy tears of grieving loss. The first tears stung, these tears healed.

As I got ready for bed that night I sensed a strong feeling of closure. I felt a release to move on and see what the next steps of this journey look like. Now, of course I’m not suggesting that God timed the Sandusky case for my sake, but I do think the opposite may be true: it’s possible he timed my journey to coincide with the case. I don’t bother trying to figure that out. But I am thankful that it seemed like he was telling me, “I’ve got this under control. I know what has happened…and I know what needs to be done next. You can trust me.” That was a good feeling.

One thing my counselor was always good about was offering me something to drink for our sessions (water, tea, coffee if you’re wondering). I’m not much of a drinking man, so that may be the closest I’ll ever come to pouring out my troubles to a bartender figure. But now it’s closing time, and I need to head back out into the “real world.” And I know it’s a scary place, believe me–I know. But that’s OK. It may be closing time, but it opens up a lot of possibilities.

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