Memories can play tricks on you, especially childhood memories when you were too young to put words to the emotions of an event or your surroundings. The more you think about it now, the more articulate you become about the emotion you felt – good or bad. But your facts were so limited. You might not know the whole story.
I once heard some one say that our past is like a pair of glasses we are looking through at our present. The things we have experienced color how we see our world, often giving us a less-than-accurate view. That makes the memories in our hearts, the things we choose to see as our history, our personal truth, powerful deciders for our present and our futures.
A few months ago, I realized that I, a very visual person, was able to remember not only situations and circumstances and words that had pierced me in my life, but I could remember what the room I was in looked like, or what a person was wearing during painful past memories. I began to wonder why hurtful words or circumstances from 2 months or 20 years ago could still affect me so strongly – actually gaining strength over time to become such defining moments in my life. I wondered if I could just choose to remember the other stuff, the blessings, the faithfulness of God. Why, I wondered, was there so much negative clutter in my mind and memory bank and yet I struggled to remember the goodness of the Lord, shown to me over and over. In reading through old journals and letters, I would come across the most amazing stories of God's provision or kind words of love from people which I had all but forgotten. I would get so excited reading about all the ways I have been blessed, but had so nonchalantly let slip from my memory.
I wondered how could I forget blessing so easily and remember offense just as easily? I do believe the enemy of our souls (the soul being our mind, will, and emotion) is out to distract and defeat us. And if that is true, I was beginning to realize – he was winning his fight against my heart in too many ways.
I picked up a notebook and wrote at the top of the page: The Chosen Treasure of My Heart. It would be a place I'd write the good remembrances of my life. And because I also want to esteem and honor my parents, I even titled a page for each of them: The Chosen Treasures, My Memories of My Dad and The Chosen Treasures: My Memories of My Mom.
Just like that – I am re-calling my true history by remembering and being grateful for the abundance of blessing I have lived in. I don't do it well or right every second, but I have just decided – I have very little "RAM space" left. I don't have the room in my brain to remember every little thing. That being the case, I am CHOOSING what I want to remember! My "past-glasses" prescription is changing.
My heart? Reserved for treasure alone! This is what I choose.
It is kind of what God did. He chooses to forget our sin. It is at the bottom of the sea of forgetfulness!
NOTE TO SELF: "Finally…whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things…and the peace of God will be with you." Phil 4.8, 9 NKJV
And remember – He forgets…