At the beginning of the year I posted a blog called I Perceive It. It's based off of the scripture Isaiah 43:18-19. Back in November and December of last year this passage came to my attention. It came to my attention at a time where I was experiencing great loss, I was physically feeling worse than I ever had, I was wrestling with things in my marriage, friendships, life patterns etc. It came at a time when I was thinking of the past a lot. A LOT. And, overall, just doing too much thinking. I was just doing lots of reminiscing. That can be good and can be bad. And I did find myself in the thought space more often than I would like to admit, of "why did this happen? Is there a reason? Why, why why?"
So just in time, with only the promptness that the Holy Spirit has, the phrases "Forget the former things. Do not dwell on the past" got my attention and got it good.
Thus the lengthy blog back in January.
I thought it was just going to be my 2012 anthem.
It sounds so new year-ish, doesn't it?
Forget the former things (2011 was a weird year for us in 5,000 ways)
Do not dwell on the past (Sweet! let's move on, we are ready, Lord!)
See! I am doing a new thing...(Yee haw! That has to mean, no more loss, no more unfortunate situations, right!?)
Now it springs up! (Oh! Spring! It's right around the corner. And God is ready to work NOW. Ready, set, go!)
I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland (This is what I blogged mostly about in January . I discerned His work correctly then, but I didn't see the much bigger scope of what that entailed)
These verses still look great on my chalkboard and I still read it several times a day. It hasn't gotten old. It's a "new thing" to me everyday. I don't think it will be erased anytime soon.
Today it schooled me yet again. Funny how you read something 100 times and the 101st time you palm-slap your forehead and are instantly enlightened.
That's the Word. Living and very active!
Today it was the " Forget the former things" that got me.
Sometimes I like to remember. Actually I like to remember a lot. And I am exceptional at it. My first memory is of when I was 1. It's very vivid. I remember details, colors, smells, dimensions, words... I remember well. It's rare that I use the excuse "I forgot" because rarely do I forget. More so now that I have a baby but it's still not common.
I like to remember.
I mean, who doesn't?
Remembering and memories are what get me through.
Good times, certain smells, rituals and habits. Remembering helps me live. To savour. To enjoy.
Remembering can also destroy.
The injustices done to me or others.
The times when I ate crow. ( I think that's a funny idom)
The times when I share(d) too much.
The times when I look(ed) dumb.
Days when I feed into my insecurities.
Times when I shoo vulnerability away like it's the devil.
The words spoken to me that were unkind, judgmental.
The negative traits in someone, not the good.
I like to remember the old things.
The "things of the flesh". These memories are something I can hold onto and feel justified with. They can be just as comforting as a familiar smell or song but the aftermath of remembering is not life. It's so ugly written down. But true.
It's also a nasty tell of my insecurity.
Thanks to Jesus and Beth Moore, that's getting worked right out of my heart in a serious way! I thank them both. See here. The more I allow memories and thoughts into my heart that are not affirming of who I am in Christ, that are not encouraging of my mission as a Christian, that do not spur me onto love and good deeds, the more I die. When I remember and DWELL, I get myself into trouble. I'm not saying to forget all things and discount the bad. Nope. That's what got me here, it's what made me who I am. Hopefully, I learned some lessons too. But the dwelling and the holding on to the negative is not at all ok. The more I dwell, the more the "new thing" that God wants to continue in my heart gets overlooked, trampled, ignored and rejected.
Things ought not to be so:
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!
There they are again, those ways and streams..
I also have a hard time not remembering. I guess you could call it forgetting. Yes, as much of a fan as I am of positive thinking and life-giving thoughts and words, it's hard for me to forget the former things..to make way for new things, new thoughts. Renewing my mind is vital. Lately, I am reminded of this on an hourly basis.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I was reading Beth Moore's blog recently, In the Wake of Drought and was further motivated about this. Something she wrote goes a long with what I've been thinking. It was affirmation to me that God continues to work in my heart and mind.:
So these thoughts and memories that are not of God, that are of the past, that may bring up some negative feeling in me, they need to be cut away and STAT!
I will not forget what has brought me to this point in my life and walk with my God but I will not dwell on the injustices, my failures or those of others, the unanswered questions or the unfortunate situations. I will dwell on the "new thing" He is doing. And I will live, really live.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.