The Short Way Home: on healing the past


The longest way round is the shortest way home. ~Alexander Maclaren

From the day my boy made me a promise and slipped a shiny ring on my finger, he began a life of teaching me about the important matters.
He has taken seriously sharing wisdom he has collected on things like east from west on a map, what a yellow flag thrown on a football field means, and how to match my steps more closely with Jesus.
As the years stacked up, I began to connect the letters on those blue interstate signs to the digital compass in my car to get where I was going and also to cut up in small pieces and eat the Bible he had gifted me on our wedding day.
I set sail on an old life with a new knowledge of a better way.
This is wisdom, yes?
And yet…
For all the ways I have true North set in my heart now, there were many years of living under my belt before I knew direction.
I got lost regularly.

As many times as I was misguided by hands I trusted, I also found a thousand ways to wreck my own self straight into the nearest brick wall.
Life has a way of rolling you flat sometimes, doesn’t it? She just keeps going and won’t always give the good chance to sift through a little wreckage. Things not sorted get thrown together, taped shut for later, and then tend to stack up like the boxes my family just moved from one attic of our old house straight to the attic of the new one.
Every now and again, I find myself tripping over dusty boxes in my heart.
Being left out can feel like abandon written over with the childish scrawl of a five year old. Or sometimes watching someone succeed at something at which I feel I’m failing is extra tape sealing my worth I bought into one terrible day. Even fine, regular words from one I love most can leave deep cardboard paper cuts because I never took time to sort through the way a child bears a messy divorce.
And let’s just try to keep forgetting the heaviest boxes we don’t dare mention.
It feels like colossally grievous effort: unpacking right in the middle of building a full-on life. Especially when things move along fine as they are.
But we weren’t meant to keep tripping over our cluttered-up souls:
we were made for skipping and dancing in wild, wing-footed freedom.
The longest way round is the shortest way home.
We could leave things packed up, keep building our lives, and shortcut on to the end…a fine, half-true version of ourselves.
Or we could take the time to get up in that attic with a light (always with the light) and sort through the mess that finds a way to come out in one way or the other anyhow.
And this notion of home…
What is that?
Home is the truest version of you.
And rested.
Probably swinging on a front porch with bare feet and the perfect breeze with a fine view of a mountain or two.
Home is seeing yourself just exactly as Jesus sees you:
a delightful, messy, bold, courageous miracle full of wonder that takes His breath away.
As you begin to run in all that whole and free that is you?
Don’t forget to pause and take in the view from the porch.
It’s pretty spectacular.

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  1. Shelly | 2nd Aug 16

    Oh how long it took to unpack some of those boxes…or decide they just needed to be purged as they didn’t define my worthiness after all. Such a great reflection! Hope we get to meet eventually!

    • Melissa Blair | 3rd Aug 16

      Shelly, let’s please. Meet. Soon. I would love that so much. It’s so funny I think I actually did write some things about the boxes being thrown out, or burned…or something more dramatic. Completely agree. Boxes got to GO. Sweet freedom. Have a great day, friend. I’m so glad to hear from you.

  2. Rachel S | 7th Aug 16

    I want to make Instagram inspirational quotes out of this entire post. Your writing is breathtaking. It transcends time and space. I see previews of your book in these lines and it makes my spirit happy.

  3. Jennifer Schuhknecht | 5th Nov 16

    Can’t wait to get your blog in my inbox 🙂

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