Memories. It’s amazing how my brain memorizes the events and feelings that are least helpful to the future. If things are difficult, I romanticize the past. When things are easy, I forget about the difficult things that brought me to this point and I can’t remember enough to be thankful for today.
Another pattern I’ve seen in myself is the tendency to change my memories. I edit the past based on my present feelings. I may have had some good times with a friend, but I’m angry at them now. Suddenly those memories don’t seem like good ones. I’ve added a pinch of negativity to the recipe. I think that’s why forgiveness is much easier when the offender tries to “make up” for their wrong. We have a good experience with a person and suddenly that terrible thing they did wasn’t really so bad after all.
Knowing these things about myself, helps me to put into perspective my mental obsessions. Jesus said that He makes all things new. He alone can give those bad memories purpose, and He alone can keep those good memories good. It’s a relief that he holds the past, present, and future. It’s a relief that he doesn’t remember in same way that I do. He doesn’t watch me sin, and then dwell on all of the other times I’ve sinned. He doesn’t punish me for what I did yesterday, or change his mind about extending grace to me. He is the truth. He knows the whole story and He doesn’t it chance it on an emotional whim. The past was nailed to the cross. Period.
Jesus said that He makes all things new.
New Year’s Eve makes me reflective. It’s the most dangerous time of year for my brain. It’s when I do a big edit of my life’s content. I find myself looking through the photos on my phone, scrolling down my Facebook page, and cracking open my journals. The best part is reading my prayers. I forget too easily about the prayers answered. I remember last December so vividly. I was pregnant, working full time, driving my husband to his physical therapy appointments, spending time on the phone with our insurance company, and wondering where I was going to live after the baby came. Now I am staying home with my precious healthy baby, living in our new house, thankful that my husband has healed, thankful that he is back to college, and thankful for his new job. Wow! If only, I could dwell on this, rather than complaining about my son’s teething, the home improvement projects, the hours my husband had to study, or the burnt dinner. Yes, it’s time for an edit.
It’s time to edit out words like “unfair”, “lonely”, and “hopeless”. It’s time to highlight the words “miracle”, “blessing”, and “answers”. It’s time to remember those dark days, and see God’s perfect plan at work. It’s time to remember those good days, and be thankful.
It’s time to remember that God is the God who was, and is, and is to come.
He was there every moment of 2013.
He will be there in every moment of 2014.
He is here with me now. He is.