Allowing My Past to Catch up to Me

On last week’s podcast and today’s at The God Journey, Kyle and I talk about dealing with the long-term effects of unresolved childhood trauma. On my recent trip to North Carolina, a good friend of mine, Dana Andrechyn, shared with me a poem she wrote that captures so well what it is like to run from the pain of the past and then finally find just the right time and space for Jesus to bring healing to your broken heart.

I love this poem. We talk about it more on today’s podcast. I also wanted to print it here for those that wanted a copy.

Allowing My Past to Catch Up to Me

To be out on the open water at sunset
facing backward, shore fading
like the past that I left behind,
we set our present course
into the beauty of the end of the day…
Our speed is slow and gentle enough
to allow my past to catch up to me
its drama unfolding as if it were yesterday—
and instead of looking away, I fixed my gaze there.
(for so long I have just wanted to leave it buried.
but the grave can’t hold living things.)
Set in the midst of the beauty of the setting sun,
and its safe embrace, a softness rises in me
laced with tears, washing my face, my soul
as I remembered the girl I left behind so long ago.
Left her standing there, hands full
of hunger, ache, resentment, shame, loneliness—
hidden from all eyes, especially mine.
To forget her would heal me, I thought,
but the neglect of my own little soul was
just another arrow of abandonment,
piercing my present and my hunger.
But here, now, in this beauty I scoop her up
onto the seat next to me—wrapping my arms around her,
giving her the gift of her voice—her pain, her anger, her tears.
Feeling her youth and the shattering of her innocence.
Remembering how we had to survive by fortressing,
with grit and hardness—armoring up.
We were never thrown a life-line
as we tried to keep our head above water
as best we could.
Today, I pulled her out of those waters
into the lap of my soul and I mothered her.
Saw her. Held her. Held me.
Disarmed.

Dana Andrechyn, July 2020

© Copyright 2022 by Dana Andrechyn.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

10 thoughts on “Allowing My Past to Catch up to Me”

  1. Myself and a million other little girls could have written this poem.
    Good on her. Brave, Honest and above all healing.

  2. I remember that day Dana wrote this poem. I did my job as her husband by bringing on the boat and getting her in the way of beauty. The rest was up to her and God. I drove looking forward and she wrote looking backwards. I was quiet enough so she could hear her Father.

  3. Facing abandoning myself was almost as bad as the trauma. The regret…but you don’t know what you don’t know. When stuff happens to you as a child, you understand through a child’s mind. And if there is no one there to help you, you carry that childish understanding into adulthood without questioning it. Understanding God’s love finally, helped me be safe enough to get curious and question why I believed the things I did, or reacted the way I did, and give space to be with God in it. He was always there…He just waited for me to invite him closer when I felt safe.
    Thanks for sharing the poem…it touched my heart deeply.

    1. Hi Jack! Thank you…and please share it. I’m glad it resonates. The writing if this was how I experienced God bringing rescue to my heart. It was very healing to write.

  4. Thanks for sharing this poem, Wayne. It speaks to a great need in many of us today.
    This tracks right along with the writings of a Godly couple I have known for many years, Roger and Gerri Taylor. Their website is http://www.placesinthefathersheart.org. Their articles are free for downloading, only asking that they not be sold.
    Your posts are a blessing to the body of Christ. Keep up the good work!

  5. David Rhinehart

    Wow, powerful poem! I loved the line…..”for so long I have just wanted to leave it buried.
    but the grave can’t hold living things.”. Thanks for sharing Wayne.

  6. Pingback: Life at Father’s Pace | Lifestream | Wayne Jacobsen

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