"I've looked into what's being done to you in Egypt, and I've determined to get you out of the affliction of Egypt and take you to the land of the Canaanite...
a land brimming over with milk and honey."'
Exodus 3:16-17 The Message
I returned from Egypt yesterday. No, not the country of Egypt. But my personal Egypt. The Egypt of my childhood.
For the last two weeks I spent most of my time reminiscing. Easy to do since I was at my birthplace -- Maryland. On the second day of my visit, I was able to drive past my childhood home, elementary school, middle school and high school. Christopher was with me and I would share with him the memories that immediately flashed into my mind.
Everywhere I turned... memories of over 30+ years ago would surface. Again and again. I was almost frightened by their potency. And even Christopher noticed. "Is this somewhere else where you were bullied, Mommy?"
And it hit me... is it easier to move on to my Canaan because I am physically no longer in my Egypt? Instead of having to layer my Canaan on top of my Egypt... did I have it easy? Because I was no longer daily reminded of the past that sometimes left me scarred?
For me, the memories of my difficult childhood are entrenched in the buildings and playgrounds I encounter when I return to my birthplace. Memories of being bullied or beat up by other children... or being abused... or rejected... or all the mistakes that were made. Hard memories that are part of who I am.
Perhaps if I had stayed... new memories would heavily layer over top the painful ones... and only the positive memories would survive. All I know is... one way or the other... we need to move on from our Egypts and into our Canaans. Whether we leave our Egypts by space... or by time. We need to move on...
And when we look back to how far God has brought us... may we always be amazed by His grace and grateful for His mercy. And even if it is painful to visit our Egypts... may it be a strong reminder that we do not want to return there... and how God rescued us.
that you were slaves in Egypt and
that the LORD your God
brought you out of there with
a mighty hand and an outstretched arm...
Deuteronomy 5:15 NIV