Josiah, my precious three year old little boy, is growing up faster than I ever imagined He would. Not only is he taller and bigger in size, but he's smarter. His growing mind fascinates and amazed me every single day. Today as I saw him standing in his bathroom at the toilet using the bathroom, my mind took me back to three years ago when he was a newborn. He was colic, he hated having his diaper changed and he loved the football hold while I cranked up a Stephen Curtis Chapman cd to calm him. No more diapers (hallelujah!), no more carrying him around to soothe him! Now, he's a big boy and he reminds me of that quite often. "I can do that Mommy. I'm a big boy." So sometimes I like to get out his baby pictures and show him the day that he was born. I like to show him his first bath, his first tooth and his first birthday. He is used to my sentimental routine so when I pull out the pictures he instantly looks along with me and says, "Member mommy? Member when I was a baby?" And someday I will remember how he says member instead of remember.
Every day I try to show my children how much I love and adore them. At times I think I probably overwhelm them with my love but I never want them to remember anything but love from me. I know that it is inevitable, I will mess up. I will spank when I shouldn't. I will yell when I shouldn't. I will say no instead of yes. I will hurt my children's feelings. But I pray that it will be the love that they truly remember. May they forget the lies people tell them or the way that people mistreat them. Even me, their own Mom, may be guilty of that someday. I pray that those things will not go with them as those things have gone with me. But may they truly take things with them worth remembering. Anything else, I pray they will forget!
As I have gone through this purging process in my life, the one thing that has made it the most painful is my memory. Whenever we pray that God will allow any ugliness to surface, it comes. And it comes with a force! My heavenly Father has had to take me through situations and experiences in order for me to relive them. But, as I relive them, he re-tells the story. Don't ever doubt the power of counseling, especially from the great COUNSELOR himself! That's what he's doing, he's counseling me. It really works out great for my schedule for I don't need a babysitter for His counseling appointments. Instead he comes along side me and walks me through each and everything that seems to bring me pain. As the Holy Spirit re-tells the story, I do experience some pain. It maybe a time that I went through as a child. Just remembering makes me want to FORGET. It may be something that happened six months ago. Just remembering it makes me want to FORGET. For when I remember, pain takes hold. But I'm letting Him re-tell the story and remember only the things that benefit me.
When I was a little girl I would hide in my closet. I would turn off the lights, hide deep inside a bunch of clothes behind the metal rack, and cry. No one could hear me, no one could find me. It was just me and God. The closet was a place where I had many conversations with myself and with God. But when I went into that closet, it was always because of pain. My feelings were hurt or the world was against me. I always thought everyone hated me and that no one really cared about me. Still today, I go to the closet. No one can hear me, no one can find me. And now, I'm about to be thirty years old and the story seems to be the same. My feelings are hurt, no one likes me, the world is against me. But Jesus whispers, "Mandi, forget. You are not that little girl anymore. You are loved. You were always loved. Not everyone hates you and they didn't hate you years ago. The world is not against you, it never was. Forget it! Forget who did you wrong. Forget who robbed you. Forget who said ugly things about you. Forget those that overlooked you or didn't believe you. FORGET."
I seem to struggle with the same little girl. She hasn't changed much. She sometimes hears the same voices and believes the same lies. But now she's making a change and it's a hard one. She's trying to forget instead of remember.
It's a decision that has to be made in my life. I can't stay where I'm at and minister in the capacity that I know God has called me to do. I must forgive and forget. Holding people captive will only hurt that precious little girl. Forgetting is just as hard as trusting. But I so desire to let it go and release my pain. I want to experience freedom and fullness in Christ. The only way for me to get there is to forgive those that have hurt me. Some have not meant to hurt me, some have done it with spite. Both, I must forget.
Philippians 3:13(NLT) No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be,[a] but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead
4:8And now, dear brothers and sisters, let me say one more thing as I close this letter. Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
And Lord, help me think about NOTHING else!