Friday, March 02, 2007

Forgetting


I have to admit it… I think I am getting forgetful….


Memory has always been one of my strong points…you know I was the kid in school who never studied until the night before…remembering the info just long enough to get a good grade on the test…. forgetting meant bad grades and that was a bad thing….:)

Trivia has been a part of my life for forever...I have always had the talent to remember miscellaneous and random pieces of information that might prove useful later…I file tidbits away in my brain to be pulled out when needed and have found this talent to be quite helpful when putting projects together, scheduling events or dealing with unexpected incidents. Its good to know that a certain doctor has a class on Tues mornings or that bank deposits give us $500 availability immediately, unless we use our old ATM card which only gives us $100.…forgetting can mean the difference in having grocery money on Sat. or knowing how to reach the physician of your choice in an emergency.

I rarely tend to remember non useful information…my brain seems to hold on to what may be pertinent info first. I couldn’t tell you who won the World Series in any given year or who won American Idol when….

But I can tell you the due dates for payments on each of my credit cards...whether or not they can be paid online, whether or not the payment will post same day and if it has to be made before a certain time to do so….I don’t really stay on top of the birthdays of my nieces and nephews but if its something that will effect my household, I’m on it…doctor’s appointments, haircuts times, the cheapest place to buy gas or which supermarket has the best deal on meat or produce…yep, that’s the kind of things I’m really good at remembering…Forgetting is bad, it is often very inconvenient and can even have dire consequences….as I have learned the hard way I assure you…

Then there is the forgetting that involves significant moments in my life…moments that are frozen in my mind’s eye by great emotional impact… perhaps joyful, romantic, or spiritual, maybe painful or frightening…some are one of a kind in nature….

Many, I have made a conscious effort to hold on to by virtue of photographs or video, cards or mementos…others I would give anything to remove from my memory but they are seemingly seared there forever unless God grant me release. Would to God that I could forget some things and though my memory has always been reliable…some memories I would be much happier to erase completely as if they had never happened at all…but then that’s not how it works, is it? We don’t get to pick and choose what we remember and what we forget...or do we??

These days there is a different kind of forgetfulness that I am learning…

As we all know…it is good, even God to forgive and forget…to let wrongs done us fade into the past and be forgotten, God helping us to be free from the pain of such wounds to the point that we rarely even remember them anymore…and when we do look back on them we see only His mercy and grace in bringing us through. This is an honorable aim…high and noble yet requiring a depth of healing that it often takes years to arrive at….all the while leaving us helpless prisoners to our memories, suffering along, and waiting for God to do something….

The forgetfulness I am seeing lately encompasses painful memories, of course, but more than that… in thinking on “Phl 3:13 I have been impressed that it encourages us to forget those things which are behind. It doesn’t specify only the “bad things” lest we forget that even the "good things" can enslave…it simply says to forget and not only to forget...but there is another piece to the puzzle…to reach forward...not only to reach but to stretch, to strain forward…to the things which are ahead…to press…toward Christ…It implies a conscious effort to forget…and in the forgetting to move forward.

Perhaps there is action then that can be taken on our part …Perhaps this is a
God secret that we can make our own.....Perhaps the forgetting cannot happen unless the reaching forward is embraced.

Sometimes it seems that we are frozen in time by our past experiences, our memories…held hostage by all that was.…the good as well as the not so good…but I am finding, by His grace, that if I so choose...and apparently it is His timing that is allowing me that choice...then little by little I can forget...not as in completely obliterate it from my mind, that is not how we were created, but I am enabled, in the reaching, to forget what is behind that was painful...to forget what is behind that was beautiful …to forget those moments that changed my life forever…forget in a positive way, to no longer be held hostage, no longer imprisoned…but an active participant in my freedom….reaching and straining forward to what is ahead in Christ…

Pressing into Him and into my future in Him, I can be free from the past, even the good past…. forgetting to the point that all that remains of those memories is mercy and grace…and somewhere in the process…peace…

Perhaps forgetfulness isn’t such a bad thing after all.

13 comments:

Joni said...

Okay, this is almost scary. I just posted a long, drawn out bit on my blog. And then I read this new post of yours. Wow. God is really after me on this one!

THANK YOU for this post!

Danielle said...

Having much of the same on my mind, I have learned these past few years that you never forget...but you do heal.. and to quote Beth Moore when her husband was looking back "You're a much neater person healed than you would have been well". Yes, memories are cagey things...but understanding that they are our memories, good and bad, and understanding that they have their place in our lives...well...it has helped to heal an enormous hole in my life. I really appreciate the depth of this post...it touched an important part of me as I look back over my most recent journey.

everydayRANDOM said...

FABulous post...I have very little memory and what I do have appears to be selective but not by me. They say it a protective thing - that we can onlyhandle so much. What ever it is I am good with it. Hate puzzles and while they may be good for you so are brussel sprouts and I am not going there either. Thank you-will have to study your words but as always He has our back and that is FABulous...

Bek said...

i will say that the Lord has helped me forget memories that i released to Him.....thank you, Lord! and then HE has given me so many new fun memories!!!! with HIM!

Tammy said...

Yes sometimes forgetting isn't such a bad thing...funny how God works isn't it?

Deborah and Sally said...

Wow, great post !!
So true in so, so many ways.
I believe when God shuts doors He always opens a new one.
I think some pains and hurts go so deep that they scar for life, but through the Lords wonderful mercy and love, even the scars become distant memories. For every scar there is a purpose, in Him !
I think part of it is living day to day, taking what comes with each day - whatever it may be !
Memories, those awful things that will someday be a thing of the past forever.
This to shall pass !:)
Deborah

Barb said...

I consider myself blessed that I honestly have very few memories I'd like to forget. But I've seen people suffer because they couldn't let it go and give it to God.

This is very thought-provoking. I hope it helps even one person out here who needs to let something painful go.

Pat said...

This is one of your best posts yet. It touched me deeply. We claim to hold on to those good memories because they are just that-good memories. Are we holding on to them in an effort to continue living in them thus growing discontent? You're right, forgetting isn't all bad. Moving forward and pressing on is God's plan.
Thank you for a beautiful - beautiful post.

Sara said...

the gift of forgetfulness, i have been grateful for it more than once. it holds hands with forgiveness.

jayjay said...

Amen to that. Hard to forget some things that hurt in the past, and what may have been done to one, but forgiving is another matter. I'm pretty good at forgetting and er, forgiving, but that also means I'm good at forgetting the good stuff too. I'm amazed by people who remember things in MY life for me. Ha ha

KayMac said...

lotsa good stuff here..great post.

Goody said...

Hi Cheryl,
Great post with so much LIFE! It is impossible to forget or forgive isn't it?! That is, unless we let it go knowing that God knows the plans he has for us...good and not evil...a purpose and a hope that will not be cut off. My good memories can be as torturous as my bad ones. Yes, pressing on and letting God be the goal! Thank you for this post!

Ame said...

wow ... excellent ... i needed this :)