This post was written for the #FiveMinuteFriday prompt “forget” (today’s post took me beyond the five-minute mark…but I’m choosing to share it all to the Glory of God):
Psalm 103: 1 – 5 (ESV, my emphasis)
Of David. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
In the past year, I’ve often left people stunned by my honest vulnerability, my choice to remember and share of the grief, trauma and pain that I’ve walked through. In a world that tells us to forget the past, so that we may live in the present, remembering pain and suffering is not encouraged. And yet, as disciples of Christ, Jesus calls us to enter the heartache, so that we may enter His Love, Comfort and Peace:
Luke 9: 23 – 27 (The Message)
Then he told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you? If any of you is embarrassed with me and the way I’m leading you, know that the Son of Man will be far more embarrassed with you when he arrives in all his splendor in company with the Father and the holy angels. This isn’t, you realize, pie in the sky by and by. Some who have taken their stand right here are going to see it happen, see with their own eyes the kingdom of God.”
Of my own accord I would choose to forget. I did so for twenty years, choosing to forget by numbing, rather than face in remembrance. But God stooped down, turned my face toward the grief, the trauma and the pain and as my body shook and heaved, He placed His loving arms around me and whispered:
“It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. Kick, scream, throw a tantrum. Be angry, I’m angry with you. Angry at the evil in this world. Be my little girl again and let me hold you.
Do you see me standing next to you? Do you see me holding your little brother’s hand in Mine? I have never ever left you, or the one you tried so hard to protect. And know this: I will keep on holding tight to you both until I come again to take you home to me. I will never ever leave or forsake you, my beloved child. Come, let me hold you tight.”
And so, He’s taught me to face my fears, my heartache and grief head-on, to turn toward remembrance and away from forgetting. And in the remembering, He’s moved me to surrendering, to surrendering all I lean to hide and press deep down, at His precious feet.
Now, almost one year later, the repeated remembering has not only softened the pain, but is also ushering in deep healing, a healing and restoration that calls me , like David, to shout to the rooftops:
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Remembering the trauma, grief and pain, is leaning into the Love that meets us in it, is allowing Christ’s Mighty Arms to embrace us and is stepping forward to witness in power to the wondrous “benefits” that He stands, holding out to a weary, parched and famished world. Let us not ever forget the wonders of His Love.
If you are hurting right now, I pray that God would strengthen and uphold you in these powerful truths:
- He is for you.
- He is with you.
- He has never and will never, ever forsake you.
Would you like to hear more of my journey in and through suffering, embraced in His Love? I’d be happy to send you a free version of a manuscript I’m preparing for publication, which testifies to God’s powerful love in my life. Just leave me a comment below and I’ll send it your way. I’d also love to receive your feedback and critique, if you have the time and energy!