Being back in my hometown is surreal. Even though I have come into town at least every 4 months (or more) since I left when I was 18 to go to college, there is just something different about having all your clothes hanging in the closet. I've spent more than half of my life in Buckhannon. There are lots of memories here. Some of my best memories are here....and so are some of my very worst.
I spent about an hour just driving around yesterday. As I passed by familiar roads, schools, stores, and houses I feel almost like I am remembering a dream I once had or maybe recalling a story I heard someone tell about a girl named Katie that used to live in this place. I think I feel so out of place right now because I am truly not the same person I was when I lived here 11 years ago. Not one thing is the same about me except my smile, laugh, and my need to give everyone big hugs. I have been changed from the very core, and in a way, it's really hard to take a look back at my old life. It's hard remembering how I used to feel inside. It's hard to remember things that happened in the past. Even though I never really forgot, seeing things or people, make me remember in a more real way.
Everywhere I go has a memory.
I forgot how much pain I felt when I lived here. How empty I felt.
Honestly, I don't want to remember. I don't want to feel it.
I want to be here, whether it be for another day or another month, and be able to look at everything as though it is all new to me. I don't want to drive past something or talk to someone and have to relive my past. I don't know if that is the right way to think about it or not. I feel like I have already faced my past hurts and pains. They are already healed. There are some things or people that aren't going to change even though I have, and that should be okay. But maybe I am wrong. Maybe I am here to face these things...again. I don't really know.
All this makes me think about scars.
Jesus has scars on His hands and feet from the nails He took for our salvation.
Even though God raised Him from the dead, He left the scars as a reminder of Jesus' sacrifice. When people saw the risen Christ, it was the scars on His hands that allowed them to believe it was really Him (John 20:19-31).
I suppose it is by my scars from the wounds of my past that show that I am a new person in Christ. My wounds used to open. I would try and cover them on my own, but the healing was only skin deep. When I met Jesus, he opened my wounds and healed them from the inside out. It took time and it took a willingness to allow that pain to come to the surface again, but it was worth it.
The feelings I feel now as I look at my old life are like hearing a sad story about someone else's life. I suppose that is what I am feeling as I go around and revisit my past. Maybe I am just sad for what the Old Katie went through. It's almost like mourning a death. I mourned my old life years ago, but I never visited the grave.
This is all for a purpose. That much I know. This experience is making me all the more thankful to God for all that He has done for me.
Buckhannon is a wonderful place, and I don't want any ghosts haunting me while I am here.
"See! I will not forget you. I have carved you on the palm of my hand." (Isaiah 49:15)