Do you remember my word for the year - SOAR - and the little figurine that I picked up to help me remember the attitude that I wanted to take... with my hands open to God to both give Him my life and to receive what He had to give me this year?
Sunday afternoon I found myself sinking into the black hole of depression and discouragement. I had been trying to make a decision between a couple of things and had been struggling that I would "do the wrong thing". Not that one was evil and the other good, but because they both had good points and I wasn't sure which was better or which one was "God's will for my life" as I've so often heard... and said. As I was struggling to not slip in the "depths of despair", I began to pray through the Lord's Prayer and when I came to the line, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us" it was like a light came on in my head. The verse reminded me that if I was truly wanting to do what was right God would forgive me if I made a mistake in judgement and would continue to lead me. What a wonderful truth!! He would forgive me in the same way I was forgiving others! I was feeling quite pious at that point, because I do try to forgive others right away, but then, suddenly, my mind was filled with a catalog of little painful hurts and memories from my past. Huh? I had often wondered why almost everything I remembered from the past was negative - from small hurts, to cutting words, to being misunderstood, to being wrongly accused, to being humiliated (in fun, but it still hurt), to bigger things as life progressed. I thought I just remembered them because that's how life was - and I was positive I wasn't bitter about them. I mean, I liked to talk about them and I could even laugh about them! But now I realized for the first time that all of those painful memories were not just funny "poor me" moments that I happened to remember for some reason. They were actually things that I had been hanging on to and things I had chosen not to forgive. In that moment God impressed on me that if I wanted true freedom to "soar" - like my word for the year - I needed to lift each one of those memories to God just as my little Willow Tree girl was doing with the dove and forgive them from my heart. I did it. Memory by memory, I asked God to help me forgive those that had hurt me, and to forgive me if I had hurt others, and not only to take each memory from my hands, but to remove it from my mind so that when I thought of the past it wouldn't be there and it could be replaced with good memories instead. Oh. My. Word. All night and yesterday and even today old memories have continued to surface and I've been lifting each of them up to God in the attitude of my little Willow Tree girl. I wish I could explain it better. It has been very freeing and I think it will continue to be so. This is going to be an interesting year, I think!!
Do you struggle with painful memories, too? I would encourage you to give them to the Lord and let Him redeem your very thoughts. Let's soar together this year - closer to our precious Lord.
PS - Don't forget to enter the giveaway drawing on the post below! I'll be accepting entries through tomorrow night - the 18th. : )