Monday, January 18, 2010

Making Old Memories Become New, Revised Versions

The following was copied from my friend Bekki's blog. It fit my thoughts for the evening and I wanted to share it with you.


“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.” -Lewis B. Smedes

We must be careful with our words, with our actions, with our choices, and with essentially everything we do...lest it create a memory of pain and grief; a memory that cannot be erased by forgiveness. Yes, healing can occur but in the recesses of our mind, the memory will live on. If not dealt with properly through forgiveness, true repentance, and a new way of looking at the hurt, it WILL come back to haunt you and try to steal the peace forgiving had brought.

I am reminded of a story that my sister shared with me recently. I will not go into details about the circumstances but a very, very terrible thing had happened in a family. It resulted in jail time for one member and immense bitterness from several others. It resulted in a blended family being torn apart by the bitterness and ugliness of the betrayal. Yet, in the midst of this tragedy was a person who admitted their wrong, paid their due to society, all the while, leaning on the everlasting Father whom they had come to know after the offense had occurred. This person lived for God the whole time they served their 5+ year sentence.

After the sentence had been served, the person tried to reconcile with the family only to repeatedly be rejected because the other family members were so bitter And then one night, the person came to the church for a special service and this time the sibling who had been so tragically hurt by the person, came to them, took them by hand, and together they went to the altar. They knelt together and prayed. Healing took place that evening. Forgiveness was offered and received, not only from each other but also from God.

By the end of the altar call, the whole family had joined these siblings and were weeping and praying together. A family healed. But the memory of the offense will live on and could come back to hurt them again...if....they don't surrender their bitterness and their futures to God. To look back won't help them now. They must look forward to see what God can do through them to help others who face their same dilemma. In other words, create a new way of remembering and let God take care of the future.

If you have experienced hurt and have painful memories of the past, I challenge you to talk with God, surrender your bitterness, and then go to the offender and offer them forgiveness. Make a new future of HOPE...don't let the devil steal your joy because of a painful healed, renewed, and grind the devil under your feet as you walk in a glorious future of reconciliation, restoration, and joy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Happy New anyone who still is interested in this blog after such a long dry spell (4 months!!) :-)

2009 is gone and a new year has begun. We had a wonderful time visiting with family this last week and got home in the wee hours of today. Driving home was an interesting experience.

I haven't driven in fog for several years now. Luckily, we have missed most of it in our cross-Cali travels. Driving last night, we encountered a very heavy fog along the I-5 corridor. It was so heavy that I was driving 45-50 mph at times. I could see taillights of cars that flew past us but only for a few seconds as they quickly were swallowed up by the fog. As it got thicker, I was praying constantly and it would lift slightly for a few moments. Then it got super thick and when the kids noticed how slow we were going, they finally noted the fog. They immediately got worried and I told them just to pray and ask God to lift the fog for us. Within less than a minute of them doing so, the fog lifted and never returned! The kids were so excited to see instant answer to prayer! Thank you, Lord for doing so and increasing their faith!

This morning as I recalled the events of the evening, I thought about how life mirrors this story. So many of us go along through life seeing clearly and trusting God to see us through. Then we encounter a "foggy stretch" and can't seem to find our way. Some, like the speed demons who flew past us last night, keep trucking and hoping that they won't hit anything in their path. They barrel through life with little regard to the fact that they can't see clearly. Some make it through without incident. Occasionally, the fog hides obstacles until it is too late and a crash occurs. Some come out of their wrecked situation damaged. Some survive with minor scratches and have a new respect for life. Some don't survive and perhaps even take innocent lives as a result of their crash.

Then you have those like me who slow down and realize it is time to call on God to see them through to safety. The fog slows them down and makes them look at life more carefully. And when God, as He ALWAYS does, brings them through to the other side, their faith is renewed and their eyes see more clearly than before. They avoid wrecked lives by fully relying on God's promises to protect them and guide them.

I pray that in 2010 when foggy situations arise, I will be reminded to slow down, call on my Father, and allow Him to lead me through to a new understanding and a clear view of the road ahead.

May God bless and keep you in His hand throughout the coming year.